Baptism vs Christening: Difference and Comparison

Right from ancient times, several religions and cultures existed 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, and Christianity, have a historical context for every ritual they perform and every festival they celebrate.

People believe in these traditions and think they have some spiritual meaning. In Christianity, two such traditions or rituals are performed, 1. Baptism, and 2. Christening.

Key Takeaways

  1. Baptism and Christening are used interchangeably, but their meaning is slightly different.
  2. Baptism is a religious sacrament that involves immersing a person in the water to symbolize purification or rebirth.
  3. On the other hand, Christening is giving a name to a newborn baby, accompanied by a baptism ceremony.

Baptism vs Christening

Baptism and Christening differ because baptism is the ceremony performed after the christening. The christening ceremony is the ceremony that is enacted for giving a name to a newborn. On the other hand, the baptism ceremony is performed by immersing the individual in the holy water, believing that their sins and wrong side are washed away.

Baptism vs Christening

Baptism is a ceremony performed at any time in an individual’s entire life.

It is believed that when a person is baptized, their wrong side is diminished, and all the sins the individual has committed until they got baptized are washed away.

Christening is a ceremony performed to give the newborn a name. The infamous naming ceremony is 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

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 people from all cultures and people of all age groups perform. There is no compulsion as to who can perform the baptism ceremony and get baptized.

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It is a concept where an individual is immersed in water, and he or she is considered free from their sins and all past mistakes.

Some baptism ceremonies are carried out by just sprinkling the water on the individual’s forehead, while in some churches, individuals are asked to submerge themselves in the water.

Some churches also ask individuals only to 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.

baptism

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 newborn’s friends and families are gathered together, and according to the traditions of the Christian religion, the newborn is given a name.

Some people believe that christening is a type of baptism, while others 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 for when it is supposed to be performed, but the christening ceremony should be performed when the child is young enough.

The church‘s fellowship welcomes the newborn by sprinkling water on his or her forehead and 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 and is a child to their parents.

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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 always have faith in their child in all the phases of their child’s life.

They would always help their child make the correct decisions and show them hope and love whenever needed.

christening

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 has restrictions on when it should be performed. The christening ceremony is supposed to be performed after the child’s birth.
  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 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.
Difference Between Baptism and Christening
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

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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6 thoughts on “Baptism vs Christening: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I appreciate the thorough explanation about the difference between baptism and christening, and the way different cultures perform these rituals. I think it’s a very important topic to discuss and clarify.

    Reply

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