A baby is baptized in the Catholic Church and on that day is usually given a Christian name. This is an important event and most parents invite extended family and friends to attend the rite along with a home party afterward.
The Guidelines for Naming
Contrary to common opinion, Catholic parents need not give the baby the name of a Catholic saint. Other special names are given upon baptism also. That being said, there are some benefits to choosing a saint’s name for the child on the day of their Christening.
- Giving the child the name of a recognized saint will connect them to their faith throughout their lifetime
- The saint will provide the child with a historical example of what a faith-filled life should look like
- Patron saint days offer another day on the calendar to think about how God does His work on earth through His people
Since Christ-ening literally means “putting on” the Lord Christ, it is appropriate to dress the baby in white as a symbol of His purity. Catholic families often have Christening gowns passed down from one generation to another. Others use the mother’s wedding dress or veil to create a baby’s dress. It is also traditional for the godparents to provide a special gown for the occasion.
A baptism candle will be part of the ceremony illustrating deliverance from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Light. The candle is kept by the parents and may be used over and over in future family celebrations at home.
Tradition says that not only should white garb be worn, but white food should be served. White decorations are also customary.
Baby Christening Gift Ideas
Choosing what gift to bring to the family party depends on several things, including whether or not the attendee is themselves a Catholic. Here are a few baby Christening gift ideas to help.
1. If you cannot attend the event or party sending a congratulatory greeting card is all that is called for.
2. A white flower or white balloon bouquet will be in keeping with the day.
3. Non-Catholic guests shouldn’t feel obligated to give distinctly Catholic gifts. Instead, they can bring things such as an angel figurine, a children’s bible story book or a CD of hymns or lullabies.
4. Catholic guests might choose to give a child’s first Bible, religious jewelry or a children’s crucifix.
These and other baby Christening gift ideas can be found at The Printery House. The Printery House offers a complete line of Christening cards along with gifts that would suit babies of either gender. Take a look at the gifts we offer for the special Christening in your life.