What Happens at a christening?
At a christening a child is baptized with water. This is the heart of a christening. There are several moments in the service which have a special meaning too. Follow each step to see what happens.
“…I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
The vicar will welcome everyone and especially the child who will be christened and their family. There will be a Bible reading, and the vicar will also talk about what a christening means.
You and the godparents will make some important promises for your child in the service. You can see the full order of service here. Everyone promises to continue supporting the child from this moment.
The vicar says: “…People of God will you welcome this child and uphold them in their new life in Christ?”
Everyone present says: “…With the help of God, we will.”
Often, this is the point in the service when parents and godparents will be invited to come out to stand at the front with the child. In many churches, a special oil may be used to make the sign of a cross on your child’s forehead. It’s a significant moment, which marks your child as belonging to God.
The vicar will say: “…Christ claims you as his own. Receive the sign of the cross.”
Water which is blessed in the church’s font will be poured over your child’s head by the vicar. This is your child’s baptism. It’s a sign of a new beginning and becoming a part of God’s family.
The vicar says: “…I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Prayers and welcome
The vicar, or perhaps even someone else from the church, will pray for the child and for all those who will support them in their path of faith. Everyone present welcomes the child into the family of the church with words given in the service.
A candle will be given to the child at the end of the service.
The vicar says: “…Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God.”
Your family are warmly invited to come to church whenever you can. Your church may also keep in touch in other ways. Even if you move, there will be a Church of England church local to you in your new parish, so we are always there for you, wherever you are.