Christening ceremony is one of the most memorable events in a child’s life. It is generally the first event for them and it comes even before their first birthday. The various formalities of the ceremony can vary from one to the other, but there are two things that always remain constant – the baby and the gowns. |
During the early days of the ceremony, the event was such that it needed a certain time and amount of preparation. The mother of the baby would sew the gown herself for wearing on the occasion. These gowns were always of high quality, and the same in terms of appearance – lengthy, made from linen, silk, satin or cotton and long-sleeved. They were also accompanied by matching bonnets and booties. The designs on the gowns ranged from being very simple and minimalistic to very detailed artwork. The gown would be kept with the family and will be handed down to generations for their prospective ceremonies.
What does the ceremony represent?
Children are considered as gifts from God and this ceremony is a way for them to acknowledge his kindness and graciousness. It is like a public ceremony of saying thank you to God for letting you bring your child into the world. The parents promise to bring up their babies in such a way that they remain faithful towards their own religion. The ceremony is just the first step towards building the faith of the child for its own religion and for God. However, not all these formalities make everybody a Christian. It is also a decision taken by the parents and they hope the child to understand the meaning of that decision when they grow up. Till then, it is up to them for preparing their child for making that very important decision. This is the common meaning of christening ceremonies and the specifics of the event vary from one denomination to another. The ceremonies have always been traditionally shared with the family, friends and the church. For those ceremonies that are held outside a church, the formalities often involve special prayers, anointment with holy water, gowns and of course Godparents.
New styles and traditions
Thanksgiving, blessings and dedications are slowly becoming alternative ways to christening ceremonies in today’s world. These are typically held while a normal church service is going on and are much less ceremonial in nature. Some of these events don’t even use the gowns meant for that occasion. If you are not much fond of traditional gowns then you can easily go for the modern types of gowns. The days of long and unisex gowns are long gone. Nowadays there is a wide variety of gowns available for both baby girls and boys. The color white has gone out of fashion and new colors like pink, beige and ivory have entered the scene. The designs on these modern gowns are much detailed and they feature a lot of colorful lacing, embroidery and sequins. One good example of modern christening gowns (interesting to know is that the Norwegian term is dåpskjole) are the gowns made by the different brands. One of the best I know is Oli Prik, feel free to visit their website for inspiration.
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