Difference Between Baptism and Christening (With Table)

Right from ancient times, there existed several religions and cultures that people followed in all parts of the world. People follow various rituals that are performed in these cultures. They celebrate festivities and other ceremonies as well.

Various religions like Hinduism, Islam, Sikh, Christianity etc., have a historical context of every ritual that they perform and every festival that they celebrate. People believe in these traditions, and they believe that there is some spiritual meaning behind them. In Christianity, there are two such traditions or rituals that are performed, 1. Baptism and 2. Christening.

Baptism vs Christening

The main difference between Baptism and Christening is that baptism is the ceremony that is performed after the christening. The christening ceremony is the ceremony that is performed for giving a name to a newborn. On the other hand, the baptism ceremony is performed by immersing the individual in the holy water by believing that his or her sins and bad side are washed away.

Baptism is a ceremony that is performed at any time in the entire life of an individual. It is believed that when a person is baptized, his or her bad side is diminished, and all the sins that the individual has committed in their life until they got baptized are washed away.

Christening is a ceremony that is performed to give a name to the newborn. It is the infamous naming ceremony where all the family members come together and name the newborn. The baptism ceremony is done after the christening ceremony, but sometimes the parents of the newborn decide to conduct the baptism ceremony later.

Comparison Table Between Baptism and Christening

Parameters Of ComparisonBaptismChristening
Type ofSacramentCeremony
Performed forEither adults or newborns.Newborns.
Also addressed asInitiationNaming
ImpliesThe beginning of the new observance in a person’s life. The newborn is given a name.
ProcessAn individual is immersed in water.A newborn is given a name.

What is Baptism?

Baptism is a type of ceremony that is performed by people from all cultures and people of all age groups. There is no compulsion as to who can perform the ceremony of baptism and get baptized. It is a concept where an individual is immersed in water, and he or she is considered free from their sins and all the past mistakes.

Some baptism ceremonies are carried out by just sprinkling the water on the individual’s forehead, while in some churches, an individual is asked to submerge themselves in the water. Some churches also ask individuals to only put their foreheads in the water. The part where the individual is submerged into water is considered the part where all the bad deeds committed by him or her are diminished.

The baptism ceremony is also addressed as the initiation as the person begins/initiates with his new journey in his life by diminishing all the past mistakes. The baptism ceremony is not limited to people who belong to the Christian religion. People from any religion and/or culture can get baptized.

One of the members of the clergy performs the baptism. When they conduct the ceremony, he or she does so under the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Some churches have different methods of conducting the ceremony. However, the common method is to immerse the individual in the water.

What is Christening?

Christening is a ceremony where a newborn is given a name. It is the typical naming ceremony conducted by the people belonging to the Christian religion. The friends and the families of the newborn are gathered together, and according to the traditions of the Christian religion, the newborn is given a name.

Some people believe and say that christening is a type of baptism, while some people believe that christening is a ceremony that is altogether different from the baptism ceremony. Some people conduct the baptism ceremony right after the christening ceremony. The baptism ceremony does not have any requirements as to when it is supposed to be performed, but the christening ceremony should be performed when the child is young enough.

The fellowship of the church welcomes the newborn by sprinkling water on his or her forehead and by giving them a Christian name. When the ceremony has been conducted, the person performing the ceremony says that the newborn is also a child of God along with him or her being a child to their parents. God wants all the good things for the newborn, just their parents want them.

The parents of the newborn commit themselves and to their responsibilities towards their child. They commit that they would always have faith in their child in all the phases of their child’s life. They would always help their child to make the correct decisions and show them hope and love whenever they need it.

Main Differences Between Baptism and Christening

  1. The baptism ceremony does not have restrictions as to when it is supposed to be performed. On the other hand, the christening ceremony does have restrictions as to when it is supposed to be performed. The christening ceremony is supposed to be performed after the birth of the child.
  2. The baptism ceremony included submerging the individual in the water. On the other hand, the main event included in the christening ceremony includes giving a name to the newborn.
  3. The baptism ceremony is also addressed as the initiation of the individual’s life. On the other hand, the christening ceremony is also addressed as the naming ceremony.
  4. The baptism ceremony is not specified to the people belonging to the Christian religion. People from all religions and cultures and perform it. On the other hand, the christening ceremony is mainly performed by the people belonging to the Christian religion.
  5. The baptism ceremony is a type of sacrament. On the other hand, the christening ritual is a type of tradition or ceremony.
  6. The baptism ceremony is conducted after the christening ceremony. On the other hand, the christening ceremony is performed before the baptism ceremony.

Conclusion

Both baptism and christening ceremonies have their unique significance in the world. Even though some people consider them restricted to a certain religion and/or culture, some ceremonies can be performed by people from any culture and religion. People choose to follow some traditions as they believe in them. They show faith in the intention behind performing these ceremonies.

People show faith and hope when they perform these ceremonies. They seek joy by performing them, and they feel content when they go through them. Similar to this, there are people from other cultures that celebrate various festivals and traditions as well.

References

  1. https://brill.com/view/journals/ecso/16/3/article-p425_425.xml
  2. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.12987/9780300241167-004/html

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Editorial Staff at Ask Any Difference is a team of experts in the field of "Difference Between" topics and led by Sandeep Bhandari, Piyush Yadav and Chara Yadav. Trusted by over 1.5 million readers worldwide
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