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Christening Ceremony
We baptise a child into the Christian faith and not into a denomination. Leaving the family free to choose to worship wherever they like.

The word ‘Chrism’ in Greek means ‘to anoint’. Symbolically through baptism we are brought to Christ and spiritually born again and anointed by God’s Holy Spirit; or as we say, christened and welcomed into the family of God so we may live our lives as children of God.

An Extract: Christening
Christening
Of all God's loving gifts that of a child is the most precious. It is through children that the hope of the world is ever renewed. It is through love that they are brought to life and through love that they grow and thrive and know how to love.

Jesus teaches us our faith and our love should be pure and full of simple trust, just like a child’s. As Jesus did not turn away the children, so too we should receive every child with all the loving welcome and care we can bestow.

Symbolically, through baptism, we emerge from the dark waters of life to wash away the old way of being. As we emerge into the light of Holy Wisdom we are spiritually born again - we are anointed, marked, Christened by God’s Holy Spirit. Therefore, baptism is the rite of initiation, the rite of welcome into the Christian faith - a faith where we turn to God of our own free will.

The Christening of our children signifies our desire to turn to God so they may learn to love as we have first been loved. This gift of God’s love, this call to life, lived in love, embodied by Christ, symbolised by him welcoming and blessing children, calls us all into the family of God.

For the gift of a child, . . . whose innocence and laughter keep the world young, we rejoice and give thanks. May this new life, which we have accepted into our community of ideals and friendship, receive abundantly the blessings of health, love, knowledge, and wisdom, and in her/his turn give back richly to the common heritage that endures from generation to generation. And for the gift of parenthood made to . . . and . . . we also give our thanks.

Christening and Naming book 

Record your child’s special day in a beautifully handcrafted book

Overall size A4 and covered with recycled Indian cotton handmade paper. Choose from our wide range of designs.

Your illustrated ceremony and the certificate are printed in the book along with plain pages for your guests to write in their own wishes and blessings.

 

Some Growing Thoughts…

 There can be nothing more thrilling than

holding your own child in your arms for the first time.

It is like every Christmas rolled into one.

You wonder at the miracle that is this bundle of humanity.

You quake at the responsibility that lies ahead.

Will I cope? Will I get it wrong?

Will he grow to like me, ~ love me?

The answer to all these you know deep in your heart is ‘yes’,

because you love him with an intensity that would shake the earth.

Know that in the years that lay before you

Alex will sometimes get cross

and throw tantrums and refuse to co-operate

But know that just as you are despairing

he will run up to you and hug you

and you will be swallowed into his eyes and melt in his smile

You will more often than not discover the

fun and joy and laughter in just being together.

As Alex proudly shows you all he has achieved,

you in turn will proudly show him off.

Alex belongs to you, yet he belongs to life

Every day is a little bit of letting go

But let go graciously and he will return to you

 ~ with love                                                          Lesley Edwards

 

As a theologian I always welcome your questions. Below are some of my theological thoughts. They may answer some of your questions, if not please do ask.  - Lesley

When we enter the waters of baptism we are symbolically dying to a way of life and being born into a new way of living.

When Jesus was baptised, as he rose out of the water the sky was split apart by shafts of sunlight and a dove was seen hovering in the luminous ray; and the dove alighted onto Jesus. And a voice came from heaven, saying ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ Now the dove is a symbol of God’s wisdom and wisdom is seen as the female aspect of God therefore symbolizing his spiritual birth.

The word ‘Chrism’ in Greek means ‘to anoint’. Anointing is the symbol of setting someone aside as a priest or as a king or queen. At his baptism Jesus was declared the Christ or messiah meaning ‘chosen One’ – God’s anointed – God’s chosen priest and king thereby representing both God and humanity.

Jesus taught both in the synagogue and on the hillside, in the market place, over a meal and in the work place. He didn’t preach at the people as much as have conversations with them. “What shall I do Lord?” people asked, and he would answer them in ways they understood using pictures of everyday life to illustrate his point. He didn’t only teach but rolled up his sleeves and went fishing, shepherding, and healing, in mind, body and spirit.

The first sign of our birth into this world is the breaking of our mother’s waters. Likewise in baptism, arising out of full immersion in water or the pouring over of running water, symbolises the gasp of fresh air after holding your breath, or the sudden coming into the light after the darkness of feeling lost and confused. When we enter the waters of baptism we are symbolically dying to our old way of life and being born into a new way of living. The water feels like a cleansing as we wash away the clinging to the old way of being and emerge into the light of a new wisdom – a wisdom of faith, trust and hope - that the way things are, are not the way they have to be. Therefore, we are spiritually born again with a new sense of purpose and hope for the meaning of life. And this dawning of faith swaddles us in a blanket of comfort all the days of our life.

Through baptism we acknowledge St Peter’s words – we are ‘a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God’. Therefore it is a mistake to think that a child is baptised into a denomination and automatically ‘becomes’ a Roman Catholic or an Anglican (a member of the Church of England) No, to be baptised is to become a Christian. But being christened is not a passive state. It means we not only believe in Christ but behave like Christ. It seems pretty impossible for one person to be Christ to the whole world, therefore many people make up Christ and this one body of Christians is called the church. Each believer is only a part of the whole body of Christ. So, just as a hand is not a foot, and each Christian an individual, we all have a unique spiritual purpose to be lived out in our own creative way. We all have a part to play in making this world a better place, which should be a reflection of God’s infinite love for all creation. And in the end, if it is not to make this world a better place, then what is the point? It can’t be wealth, or old age, for those things will die away. It is our gifts and abilities, freely received and freely given that will bring God’s unconditional and everlasting love into the light.

At the pinnacle of his life, on the mountain top, in contrast to the depths of the water at his baptism, Jesus was transfigured – his clothes became as white as light. For his disciples watching there was the light of realisation. And then a cloud over shadowed them and from the cloud came a voice, “this is my son, the beloved, listen to him.” And so too today this child will bring the light of Christ to your lives – listen to him. Amen.

Sin in my mind is all that we do that separates and harms us in body, mind and spirit from our neighbour, from ourselves, from God. Repentance means to turn back to God. In Christianity baptism signifies the remission (forgiveness) of sin. In other words we acknowledge that we are not separate from God but a part of God. Indeed, we are children of God and as such have inherited God’s ability to love the world so when we sin we disinherit this gift. 

Revd. Lesley Edwards BTh MA (theo)

 

 

 

 



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