Welcome to God's Family!
What is a Christening?
This very special service sees those who are to be baptised welcomed into God's Family, prayers said for their growth in the Christian faith and for their love of God. There are also special prayers and blessings given as God's Family, the church, asks for the Holy Spirit to be with those being baptised and to guide them on their journey.
What happens during a Christening service?
Special words are used during the Christening ceremony which: declare faith in God, promise to try to live a Christian life, ask for God's blessing and the Holy spirit to be present in the person's life. There are 3 main symbols which form the ceremony of Christening. The sign of the cross is made using oil on the person's forehead as a symbol of their becoming Christian. Water is poured over their head as a symbol of new life as a Christian, being born into God's family. The newly Christened recieve a lighted candle to symbolise that God's presence will always be with them.
Being Christened as a baby or child
Having a child Christened is often an important tradition for many people when their children are born, and yet it is so much more than just a tradition. When a child is born, parents have many wishes and hopes for their child as they start out on their journey through life and they want to give them best start possible. Parents have been bringing children to church to be Christened (Baptised) for centuries because Christening (Baptism) marks the beginning of their journey through life as part of God's family, as a Christian. As children are usually too young to make the decision to become a Christian and make the promises that go along with that decision for themselves, Godparents are chosen to make the declarations and promises on their behalf. They also promise to help the child to learn about the Christian faith and pray for them so that when the child is old enough they can make the decision and promises for themselves at a service of confirmation.
Being Christened as an older child or adult
It's never too late to be Christened. It is becoming more and more common for people to be christened as an adult. This occurs for a variety of reasons; usually because either their family was not religious and they have come to faith or their family, although Christian, felt that they wanted to leave it to them to decide. The service for an older child or adult is almost identical apart from the person being Christened making the declarations and promises for themselves. Usually the person being Christened will have sponsors who are people of faith who will help and support them in their journey, much as a Godparent would, the only difference being that they do not answer on the person being Christened behalf. Usually the service of Christening for an older child or adult is combined with a service of confirmation.
How much does it cost?
NOTHING! There is no charge for a Christening. God's love for us is free and infinite and so the church does not charge for this very special ceremony, as we welcome you or your child into God's family.
Which church and when?
Christenings in Graffoe Parish take place in all of our 6 churches, however you may want to consider the capacity of each church in relation to the number of family and friends you would like to invite. Christenings usually take place on Sunday afternoons or as part of the main Sunday service. During the winter months particularly we try and schedule baptisms either during a service or on the same day in which a regular service has taken place so that the church is warmer. Please be aware that demand may dictate which dates are available.
How do I book a Christening?
If you would like to have a conversation about booking a Christening, becoming a Christian or learning more about the Christian faith please contact the Rector, Rev'd Michelle Godbold, who will be happy to arrange things for you.