Baptism Vs Christening

What Is The Difference?

By: - Home & Family - September 14, 2011
baptism vs christening what is the difference

Baptism vs Christening and Christening vs baptism, what is the difference? Though they really are inherently the same, there are some very subtle variations that make them individually unique.  But what are they?

When you look at baptism vs Christening, the first thing that may come to mind is that may it is a denominational thing.  If you are not overly familiar with Christianity, different groups with different interpretations and different ideas of formal practice broke away to form their own denominations or variants on the same religion.  That is why you have Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Anglican, Lutheran, etc.  However, though some of the difference that give you a Christening vs baptism may come to some degree from the denominational factor, not all differences are connected to this alone.  Originally, the baptism was the more religious version of entering Christianity for newborns or babies, though this has extended to anyone of any age now.  This is a ceremony by which a person is brought into the church and those around them give God their word that they will be taught Christian beliefs and history.  Whereas traditionally, a Christening was only about giving a person a Christian name and nothing more, in other words that person’s first, middle and last names.  A Christening did not necessarily involve any religious ceremonies.  However, today, this has all changed, in fact, in the past century, both Christenings and baptisms became one in the same thing.  Baptisms are still not performed in some denominations, such as the Amish, Mennonites, Baptists and other more non-denominational types of Protestant Christian groups.  However, those that still perform baptisms of young children and vary the use of the name from one to the other are the Lutherans, Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists and Anglicans.

As you can see, there is nothing to understanding the difference between baptism vs Christening.  So, next time anyone asks you in a confused dither as to the differences between a Christening vs baptism, you will have a good answer!

Photo: Christian stained glass window – copyright 2009, Toby Hudson – reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License 3.0 Unported,