Difference between baptism and christening
Baptism vs christening:
Baptism and christening both refer to a religious ritual performed in Christianity which involves individuals being newly introduced to the faith. Baptism and christening are obviously interrelated as both usually happen simultaneously at the Catholic Church. However, little does one know that there o exist slight differences that distinguish baptism from christening. And yet, however small these differences may be, it does matter a great deal that the differences between baptism and christening are clearly distinguished from one another in order to understand the faith more clearly.
What is baptism?
Derived from the word “baptismos” which translates in to washing, baptism is a Christian ritual which involves the performance of ablution on an individual accepting the faith and is conducted in honor of the newcomers, thus welcoming them in to the religion. The origin of the word becomes important in defining the procedure that usually follows a baptism as the use of water in this ritual is very significant for the rite. Earliest Christians were baptized by pouring water over the upper body of the naked candidate while he stands submersed, knee high in water. Today, baptism is usually performed by pouring of water three times over the head of an individual. Baptism as seen by Christians, is a necessary tool for salvation while some Christians such as the Quakers and the Salvation Army consider baptism to be unnecessary.
What is christening?
The word christening, also known as infant baptism in certain traditions, refers to the ritual where a child or an infant is introduced or brought to Jesus Christ as he or she is introduced to the faith by way of a bathing ritual. Usually, a christening ritual is performed by bathing the child’s head is three times while he is being held over the baptismal font of a catholic church. While certain denomination deem christening to be unnecessary, most Christian denominations such as Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, Armenian Apostolic Church, Assyrian Church of the East, the Anglican churches, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Church of the Nazarene, the Reformed Church in America, the United Church of Canada, the United Church of Christ (UCC) and the Continental Reformed are known to observe the ritual faithfully.
What is the difference between christening and baptism?
Christening and baptism are rituals that are performed in Christianity in order to introduce an individual to the faith. Baptism and christening also refers to purification or the washing away of sins and one is often considered to be christened after he or she has been baptized. Because of this apparent similarity between the two terms, it is often seen that the two words are being used interchangeably. However, while christening is a naming ceremony, baptism can be introduced as a sacrament.
Christening is the term that is used when an infant or a child undergoes this ritual whereas baptism is the name that is used when an adult undergoes this procedure. As christening is a naming ritual, the ritual where adults are being introduced in to faith cannot be referred to as christening as they already possess a name that they have been using for a long time, unlike an infant. However, baptism is the ritual that is more accepted in certain denominations as it implies that an individual is voluntarily and consciously accepting Jesus Christ in the case of a baptism rather than an infant being christened just because he or she got born to Christianity. Also, there are many arguments as to whether ablution in baptism must be done while being fully submersed in water whereas in christening, water is merely sprinkled over the head of the infant at church.
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