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Baptism and Christening

What is baptism? - Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,
both signify and seal our in grafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace and our engagement to be the Lord's.
Webster's dictionary equates baptism with christening, in fact the word christening is used to define the word baptism in the Webster's 1828
edition. The difference is that Christening is used with persons or objects whereas Baptism is with persons only.

What's the difference between a baptism and a christening?-None, they are just different words for the same thing. There used to be a difference
but not anymore.  A baby's christening used to be the naming ceremony (the bestowal of a Christian name) that accompanied the act of baptism.
Nowadays, when people talk for a Christening, they're really talking about Baptism. Christening is the old name for Baptism. When babies are
baptized, their parents promise to help them grow up as Christians. Water is poured on the baby to symbolize a fresh start with God. The two
terms used to be interchangeable, but over time the Baptism has retained the traditional religious significance of cleansing and saving the soul.
The Christening has become more popular for ceremonies that involve naming and welcoming the baby. Most Christian churches use the terms Baptism
and Christening as having the same meaning and there is no difference in ceremony for either. It is very important to understand that there are
two kinds of child welcoming ceremonies. One is called a Baptism (or Christening) and the other is called a Naming ceremony. The main difference
is that the Baptism / Christening is a religious ceremony, whereas the Naming ceremony, while very spiritual, is not religious in its content. 
Baptism or being baptized is terms that are used in the Bible, so the Church tends to use them rather than the other.

What is the proper signification of the word Baptism? It is of Greek origin, and properly signifies a washing, sprinkling, or pouring out,
in order to cleansing.

To assist in a comprehensive understanding of the baptism, it is necessary to investigate the word "baptize", and find out where it originated
and what it means exactly.

Baptize comes from the Greek verb "baptizo" meaning "immersed in", "poured out upon" or "to be enveloped". The English word Baptize is not a
translation! It is a "transliteration" of the Greek word baptizo. What’s the difference? A translation is the process of changing a word from
one language into another. For example, the Spanish word "donde" is translated into the English word "where". The precise definition is conveyed
as the word is translated from one language into another. On the other hand, a transliteration is a change from the characters of the alphabet
of one language into the characters of another without the rendering of a particular meaning. In this case, the Greek word "baptizo" has been
transliterated into the English word "baptize". The Greek alphabetic characters are simply transliterated into English alphabetic characters.
The result is a new English word without a specific meaning. The analysis of the Greek word “baptizo” reveals important and helpful information. 
The word is a verb, and is only indicative of a particular action. Beyond this, the word alone does not lend itself to any further consideration.
“Baptism" finds it's origins in the story of John the Baptist, although Baptism is not unique to Christianity.     Baptism is the spiritual analogy
to birth itself. Just as person in born into the world from protection within the water of the womb, a person is reborn spiritually of water
in Baptism. To be baptized is to be spiritually reborn. The phrase often used in religion doctrine in the past is "drown to the world and reborn
to Christ”.

The term "Christening" dates to the early Christian and Catholic churches, as they considered and debated whether an infant's faith can be forever
controlled and directed by others (Parents). It was believed that parents can "dedicate" a child to "Christendom" - the Christian faith and worldly
Christian Church, but the infant as an adult is a unique soul of the person's own faith and decisions independent of their parents and others - that
faith is a strictly personal decision. Hence was born the term: 'Christening".     Christening, however, is not limited to a ceremony for people.
For example, ships and churches were also "Christened". Christening an object is said to be the naming, or identification of that object. It is
obvious that what christening and baptism have in common is the naming or identification process not the water.

Anointing with Oil - The anointing with oil in Christenings and Baptisms dates back to the early Christian Church and is still included in most
Catholic ceremonies and many other Christian denominations. Anointing with oil is found throughout the Old and New Testament. At Jesus birth, the
Wise men brought 3 gifts - gold, incense and anointing oil. Jesus was both baptized and anointed with oil in the Bible.

In ancient times, fine oils were a symbol of wealth and also could be used in commerce the same as money. Only the wealthy could afford the finest
of oils - pressed from various plants - used for many purposes:

. Burned for light and producing a sweet, clean flame
. As a perfume
. To moisten their skin in the harsh sun
. And for cooking.

The poor only had animal fats for such purposes and the impoverished had neither. Thus, to be "anointed" was a statement of prosperity.

In spiritual terms, anointing with oil is a declaration of spiritual wealth. With Baptism/Christening, the person  becoming a citizen of the
Kingdom of God and Christendom in Baptism, that person now is wealthier than any worldly king - even if the person's life is of poverty and
difficulty - as the person is assured of eternal life in heaven. The anointing with oil is after the baptism/christening in the ceremony for
this reason. Most, but not all, parents also have anointing with oil in the Christening ceremony, but it is not required.

"Godparents" and "sponsors" mean the same. However sponsors do not necessarily have to be practicing Christians while Godparents must have
been baptized.

In the service of Baptism, the person to be baptized, an infant or an adult is given three gifts — three symbols: Oil, Water and Light.

First the child is prepared to become a member of God's Church through the receiving of the sign of Christ's Cross — it is traced on his/her
forehead using Oil specially blessed by a Bishop. Oil is also used as a symbol of preparation.

Secondly he/she is symbolically washed clean in the waters of Baptism — and it was in the water of the river Jordan that John the Baptist
baptized Jesus Christ himself. During this action the person being baptized receives the gift of God's Holy Spirit and is made one with the
Body of Christ. Finally, the baptized person receives a lighted candle to take home with them, symbolizing the taking out of the Light of
Christ into the world.

However, the service of Baptism is not the end of the matter; it is only just the beginning as, in the case of a child, the Godparents
(together with the parents) now take over the role of ensuring he/she receives a Christian upbringing. Eventually the baptized person will
come to confirm the decision taken for them by their Godparents and receive the gift of Christ himself in the form of the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist.

What may we learn from the nature of baptism?

“The infinite goodness of God, in appointing an initiating ordinance, irreversibly sealing all the blessings of the covenant to the elect
seed,” Gen. 17:7

In baptism, you as parents are: thanking God for His gift of life and publicly acknowledging Him and His love, deciding to start your child
on the journey of faith and asking the Christian Community (the Church) for its support.

For your child, Baptism: marks the beginning of a journey of faith, which involves turning away from the darkness of self-centeredness,
turning towards the person and teaching of Jesus Christ and becoming a member of the Christian Community - both local and worldwide.

Baptism is a 'sacrament': a visible sign of God's love.

Kiddy Kidswear - baptism gowns, christening gowns, boy christening outfits and flower girl dresses.

How To Measure (Use it as a guideline)

1. Dress Length: - Measure from the shoulder point at neck over fullest part of chest to hem line.

2. Chest: - Measure around the fullest part of chest. Kept tape straight, just under the arm and around the shoulder blades.

3. Waist: - Measure around the normal wasist line.

4. Sleeve Length: - Measure from the shoulder bone to the hemline of sleeve.

5. For Garment Messurements: - Select a size which is 1-2" (25-50mm) larger than chest and wasit than the body measurements.

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