How to Plan a Christening

Christenings (or baptisms) are among the most memorable and cherished events in a family’s life.  As with weddings, they mark an important milestone.  Good planning is an important and critical element in assuring a memorable occasion.

The first thing to decide is whether to have the baptism/christening in a church or at home. This is an important decision, since most churches have set times and full schedules for these events. Some churches require parents and/or godparents to attend a special class. If so, choose a day for the christening that is the day after the class or as close as possible. Make a list of documents the church requires so you can deliver them to the church at the required time. Be sure to confirm the date with the church before setting the date and making any plans.

Planning a home baptism is another option, and probably preferable if it is an interfaith marriage, that is the parents each belong to a different faith or denomination. Once an christening is agreed to, determine who will conduct the ceremony and then schedule the event. Decide if it will be a small “families only” affair or a larger celebration and plan accordingly. Send the invitations early and get an RSVP so you have a good idea of how many plan to attend. Then it’s time to plan the after christening celebration!

To cater or not to cater, that is the question. Rent a hall or celebrate at home? If it’s going to be a small family celebration, maybe home cooking or potluck is in order to keep expenses and time considerations manageable.  A larger, more formal celebration will require more time and preparation, but will make the event more impressive and memorable.

Whether you have a traditional church christening, or one at home, the celebration afterwards should be as memorable as the service itself. Christenings are solemn and dignified, and the celebration afterwards should be joyous but also dignified in respect of the traditions of one’s faith, and the welcome addition of a child into the family.

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