Christening tips please!

zshopperSeptember 4, 2007

My granddaughter is going to be baptized in 3 wks and we need help with a few things. My daughter wants to change the baby after she is christened from her long dress to something more comfortable for the baby--is that the appropriate thing to do. Should the baby wear the Christening dress all day for her party. Also if the gown is so long does she have to wear shoes? At the party should we give out favors? Also we were told that the godmother and godfather go to the house to dress the baby. I'm sure tradition plays a part in all of this but not sure what the traditions are and we want to make the Christening special. It has been a long time since we christened our children and we had something very simple and small. Thanks for your input.

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I would think most religions or ethnicities have their own traditions. I have never heard of the godparents dressing the baby, but that sounds very sweet.

If the gown covers the baby's feet, I wouldn't think she would need shoes, and although it would be fun for partygoers to see the baby in her gown, it would be more enjoyable for them to see a happy, comfortable baby. If changing her clothes would accomplish that, I'd do it.

Party favors, I have no clue. I wouldn't think they would be necessary, but I'd do whatever is customary in your area.

If your daughter is unsure as to local customs, perhaps she can ask another new mother or an older woman in her church who has had recently christened grandchildren.

Congratulations on your new granddaughter!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 9:42AM
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How old is the baby ? Since the gown is usually passed down to other future babies , I would want it off the baby so it does not get too soiled and the baby would be more comfortable. A photo session before the christening would ensure you good pictures.

I think families create their own traditions or follow what is already done in the family.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 8:52AM
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As a godmother to six, I've done this a few times! In our tradition - Christian Orthodox - the godparents are responsible for buying all of the christening outfit, head to toe, including a pretty new onesie. After the child is baptized, together the mother and godmother dress the baby in the christening clothes and then the priest completes the ceremony.

Usually the baby stays "dressed up" for pictures and for everyone to ooh and aah, eventually is changed for a nap, then is presented again in a different outfit. This second outfit is certainly festive and "dressy", but not as formal as the christening gown. This second outfit is not the responsibility of the godparents.

If the baby is wearing a long gown, I wouldn't worry about shoes and just get some pretty socks.

FYI, it is also traditional for the godparents to give the baby their first cross necklace or pin which the priest puts on the baby.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 8:57AM
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Maybe this varies regionally, but this is what I've experienced as a New England Roman Catholic.

1) Changing. Babies are changed once the "ceremony" is over. The gowns are often heirlooms (or will be) and you don't want it getting ruined. Plus it could get torn if the baby is being handed from person to person.

2) Shoes. I would do little white cloth booties. Unless the child is walking age (Catholics don't wait that long to do a christening), then I'd consider white soft kid shoes.

3) Favors. I've never heard of favors for a christening.

4) Godparents dressing the baby. I've never heard of this. My friend's son was just baptized and everyone met at the church. He arrived in a onesie and they changed him there (it was really hot and they didn't want him to swelter in the long gown any longer than necessary).

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 1:40PM
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