I think the media has taken it for granted that everyone knows about Christenings, so in case you don't, here is a quick explanation. A Christening, otherwise known as a baptism, is a Christian ceremony, usually held in a church, but can also takes place in other locations, and exists to welcome a person (not just babies) into the Christian faith. The parents of Prince George have selected people to join them in caring for Prince George spiritually, and ensuring that he is brought up in a Christian household; these are known as God parents. Traditionally, if a girl is being baptised, she would have two godmothers and one godfather, whereas a boy would traditionally have one godmother and two godfathers. These godparents should ideally be confirmed in the Church of England and be willing to teach and nurture the faith of the child that they are acting as godparent for.
All too often I feel that the meaning behind a Christening is lost, and a lot of people are having the service in order to have a nice big party, not really understanding the importance of what they are doing. The promises made in the church service mean a great deal to my husband and I; before we made the decision to have both our daughters baptised, we made sure that we had read the promises that we would be making and that we agreed wholeheartedly with them. Holding a Christening is also a way of introducing children or even adults into the church family and giving them a very warm welcome.
It was also important for us to have our daughters Christened in the church as it was our way of thanking God for them and promising to bring them up to follow Christ.
I was not Christened as a baby, it was not something that was done in my family, and in fact very few members of my family attend church. I was baptised into the church of England at the age of twenty one and confirmed at twenty two; both events were very special and have helped to shape my life; one day I will write in greater detail about what led me to attending church.
|Ruby's Christening with her God Parents|
My husband and I regularly attend church, and in fact I had been church warden at my local parish church for three years. The idea of a party to mark Ruby and Lottie's Christenings really was not of any importance to me at all, but I wanted a way in which I could include people within my church community; we opted to put on a buffet open to everyone. The top tier of our wedding cake was used, but because we still had half a tier left, it never actually got cut and instead was saved the top tear for Lottie's Christening.
Ruby's godparents were all members of our church, as I really wanted people who had their own strong faith that they would be able to share with our daughter. Ruby is fortunate to have three godmothers and one godfather, all of whom vary in ages. Ruby was Christened at just three months old.
Lottie however, was Christened at nearer to six months old, mainly because I needed time to make her Christening gown, and knit her Christening cardi!
|Lottie in the Christening gown I made|
To mark Lotties Christening, we went to my uncles pub and had a full three course sit down meal (the only way we could achieve this was to ask everyone to pay for their food). It was a really lovely and special day. Lottie has three godmothers, but not any godfathers. Phil and I have always been in agreement that godparents should not be family, and must be someone whom we feel have some faith and can help guide our children through life.
|Lottie Christening with her God Parents|
This week Ruby and I have been looking at some of the stories in the bible and exploring their meaning in a little more detail, as well as offering up prayers for the people we know who are in need of them. In passing, I mentioned to Ruby that my knee was hurting; she put her hands carefully on my knee and prayed that God would make my knee better, it was a very emotional moment, she is obviously listening and taking on board what we are trying to guide and teach her about how to live her life.
Phil and I continue to take our daughters to church most weeks and we actively encourage our daughters to read bible studies and pray, but we also accept that they are entitled to their own views and might not want to be a Christian; but until they are able to make their own decision, we shall be bringing them up in the Christian faith.