Difference between Baptism and Christening

By: | Updated: Nov-11, 2021
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Many people use the terms baptism and christening interchangeably. And it is no wonder, since they refer to basically the same type of ceremony or sacrament. But is that really so? Do you know the difference between baptism and christening? If the answer is not really, keep reading to find out.

Summary Table

Baptism Christening
Is a religious sacrament Is a religious ceremony
Implies a sacrament for the initiating of a person in a new rite Implies a ceremony in which a child is given a name; a baptism may occur during this ceremony
Can be performed for adults and infants Is usually performed for infants
Also means “initiation” Also means “naming”



Baptism is a Christian religious sacrament. It consists of the follower officially embracing the faith and it must be performed by a member of the clergy. Baptism can be done by immersing, pouring or sprinkling water on the person getting baptized. The method used depends on the way in which the ritual is performed by the Christian denomination into whose Church a person is about to enter.

The act of baptizing in itself consists of the member of the clergy stating that the baptism is done in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. It is followed by immersion or the sprinkling of water as a symbol of the sins of the believer being washed away by his faith.

This is the only Christian sacrament that can be done by anyone in case of an emergency. The person executing the sacrament does not even have to be Christian. The only elements that must be respected are the canonical chant (“I baptize you in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”) and the use of water.

Taken out of the religious context, a baptism represents a form of initiation.

Christening ceremony

Christening is the ceremony during which a child is given a name before Christ and is baptized. The term has also been used to refer to official naming ceremonies. Ship christenings are good examples of naming ceremonies.

It is generally agreed upon that this ceremony is mainly performed on young children, even though some parents choose to put off the baptizing part and the integration within the Church until the child is old enough to make such a decision for themselves.

Baptism vs Christening

So what is the difference between baptism and christening?

Once you understand which is which, things get simple. The baptism is the religious sacrament and the christening is the ceremony during which the sacrament is performed. Also, a christening can take consist of only name giving without the child being introduced as a member of the Church, as some denominations prefer their followers to make their own choices in this respect.

Also, christening ceremonies are mainly held for babies, whereas a baptism can be performed any time during a person’s life.

Outside of the religious context, “baptism” can mean “initiation”, whereas “christening” can also mean “naming”.

What does a christening involve?

There are many different ways of having a christening for christian community. It could be in christian churches, with the sacrament of baptism taking place in the protestant church and then the christening at home, or even just a small family gathering.

The main part of the christening is when the small children is washed and dressed in their christening gown and then dipped into water by a priest or religious figure.

This usually involves pouring water over their head and/or face, but it can also involve placing holy water on them.

It is quite common for this to take place in a church building or at home. The ceremony often includes prayers and hymns, often sung by the parents, godparents and other family members.

It can also include blessings by clergy and other people involved in the ceremony. After the baptism, there may be a party with food and drinks to celebrate the event with friends and family members.

Before this ceremony takes place, it is very important that you think about what you would like to happen to your baby during this time.

The most important thing is that they are safe from harm at all times during this process as it can be very dangerous for them if they fall into water, or if there are other problems such as accidents or medical issues occur during during the christening.

Types of Christening:

There are different types of christenings that can be done for your baby. The type that you choose will depend on the circumstances surrounding the birth.

For example, if you are planning a christening at home, it is very important to make sure that the baby is safe from harm in all situations.

If they are born in hospital, it may be safer to have a home christening as there may be risks for them during this time. You will also need to consider how long you want to keep your baby safe after the ceremony.

If you have already planned a christening, but have not yet had your baby born, it may be safer to have a later one as there will be less risk for them during this time.

What is the purpose of Baptism?

Baptism was instituted by Jesus Christ for three reasons: 1) it cleanses us from all sins; 2) it gives us new life; and 3) it washes away original sin. The Catholic Church teaches that every baptized person has to live a life pleasing to God in order to receive all three benefits of baptism. This teaching has always been held by all Christians throughout history.

Why is baptism very important to our life as Christian?

Baptism is a symbol of faith and a public profession of faith. Baptism is a visible sign of the reality of the new life in Christ. Baptism is a personal commitment to follow Christ as Lord and Savior. Baptism also is an outward witness to our faith in Christ as Lord and Savior.

There are many reasons why baptism is important as a religious ceremony. According to Bible, first, it is the act of becoming a Christian and it makes us part of Christ’s Church.

Second, it is the act of washing away our sins. Third, baptism makes us part of God’s family. Fourth, baptism is the way we can be saved from sin and eternal death. Fifth, it saves us from suffering in the future.

Sixth, it is the act that shows that we are Christians. Seven, water baptisms were first practiced by Jesus Christ and by his apostles. Being baptised does not make a person perfect but cleanses them from sin so they can have fellowship with God through Jesus Christ.

What are the steps in baptism?

Step 1: First, we must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Our acceptance of Christ is what makes us a Christian. We must make a public commitment to follow Christ and obey His commandments.

We must believe that Jesus is the Son of God. We must believe that He died for our sins. We must believe that He was raised from the dead. These are basic Bible truths that all Christians accept. If we reject these truths, then we are rejecting God’s Word.

Step 2: Second, we must receive baptism. If we are not baptized, then we do not have a personal relationship with Christ.

Step 3: Third, we must be immersed in water to symbolize our faith in Christ.

Step 4: Fourth, we must confess our faith in Christ and pledge allegiance to Him.

Step 5: Fifth, we must receive the christian name that represents our profession of faith.

Is adult baptism better for a Christian to go through than baptism of infants?

One of the most debated issues in Christianity is baptism. Many believe that infants should be baptized, and there are others who believe that adult baptism is better. For instance, lutherans practice infant baptism because they believe that it is mandatory.

It seems like a very easy issue to decide, and one that shouldn’t be a problem for Christians at all. However, many people make decisions on things they don’t really understand and we must consider the differences between the two views of baptism before we make a decision.

The Bible clearly teaches that baptism is for those who believe in christian faith and repent. To go through with the process of being baptized at any age, apart from being able to understand what it means, does not seem to make sense at all.

The first view of baptism is based on what Jesus did when he was baptised by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:11-12. In this passage Jesus is being baptised by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, and Jesus tells John to baptise him with “fire”.

“And he came up out of the water: and, behold, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

The Greek word used here for “fire” is “phthonos” which means fire. It is generally translated as fire in most English versions of the Bible. When we read this passage we must understand that it is referring to the fire of God’s wrath which is used to punish sinners .

It does not refer to some form of baptism that happens when you get wet or that some people believe happens when you get on a boat and sink into the water.

The Bible also says that this baptism was performed on Jesus by John while he was baptising him in the Jordan River. This means that it could not have been a baptism that occurred after Jesus was baptised.

It could not have been an infant baptism because it is only done on infants, and the Bible does not say that Jesus was baptised as an infant.

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