Celebrating a baptism or christening

The baptism or christening of a baby can be a very special time in a parent’s life. This religious ceremony includes pouring holy water over the baby’s head and represents parents’ commitment to raising the child under the eyes of God. Many parents choose to celebrate this day with family and friends, and that takes a little planning. Here are some tips on commemorating this precious time:

When to schedule the baptism or christening
Be sure to call the church and verify a baptism date before sending out the invitations. Between weddings, funerals and regular services, the church may be booked well past the date you were expecting. Many often set aside specific dates for baptisms and christenings, so you’ll have to contact your parish to find out what those are.

While many parents choose to have their children christened or baptized as infants, there’s no age limit for receiving this sacrament. Many adults even choose to get baptized later in life after discovering their religion. Therefore, you have some freedom when selecting the time and date of this event.

Who to invite
Baptism and christening celebrations are typically less extravagant when compared to other festivities such as birthdays or graduations. Send out party invitations for both the church event and a following celebration to close family members and friends. With customizable options, you can even include an adorable picture of your baby on a photo card.

While invitations should be sent out to formally invite attendees, you may encounter some potential after-party guests at the church service. For example, have you considered the folks you regularly see at the parish? What about your priest? You may want to verbally invite these guests to your celebration. After all, they will probably play a role in your child’s religious lifestyle.

Where to host the after-celebration
While you can certainly host a party at your home, many parents choose to take guests to a local restaurant for a luncheon or dinner after the church service. This option means all preparation, cooking and cleaning are left to the restaurant, freeing you up to enjoy the celebration!

If you do choose to host the festivities at your own home, keep the party fun and simple. According to the Institute of Christian Formation, water, chrism oil, white garments and candles are the four symbols of baptism. Many baptism and christening parties incorporate these religious symbols and others such as crosses, lambs and doves into the decor. With a basic theme for celebration, setup and planning will be easy and appropriate.

Baptism and christening ceremonies warrant a celebration, so make this day extra special for your child by incorporating family and friends into the festivities.