Planning a Christening Party for Your Blessed Little One

And unto you a child is born. Now what? Now it's time to get busy planning a Christening party!

A Christening is simply a Church ritual for Catholics and Protestants where a person is welcomed as a member of the Church through Baptism and is given a Christian name. The Christening can happen at any time, however, even after a person is fully grown. In fact, some Protestant sects prefer performing Christening Rites when a child is already old enough to understand the responsibilities they have to take on as Soldiers of the Church.

Let's deal then with planning a Christening party for a baby. First of all, the place of worship must be selected and reserved. Many people tend to choose the church of their parish, but in actuality, any church building of the same faith will do. Catholics however, must obtain written permission from their parish priest in order to have a Christening outside their personal parish district.

Once that's done, the Godparents of the child are chosen. These are usually close relatives and friends of the same faith that will stand in the place of the child at the Christening Ceremony and answer the questions for him or her. They also must swear to bring the children up in the ways of the faith.

The baptismal gown is especially important. Made of pure white fabric, it represents the cleansing from all sin and is usually a family heirloom and one that preferably one of the parents wore or is made from the mother's wedding gown fabric.

The church is decorated with white flowers, especially the baptismal font or tank. The usual flowers used for this are white roses and lilies, which signify innocence and purity.

After the ceremony, a small celebration is usually planned. Traditionally, planning a Christening party revolves around a theme of white, light, and sweet food (to represent the sweetness of becoming part of the Church). Traditional symbols for a Christening are scallop shells and doves.

Decorate your home or church hall with flowers and streamers or ribbons in an all-white theme. You can also add white fairy lights to the mix here. The tables could be covered with pure white cloth and set with clear cylindrical vases with white stones holding a white rose in full bloom under water. Float white candles above the arrangement. Light the candles, even if it's in the morning, since candles are another symbol of baptism.

Style the food table the same way. Cover it with a white cloth and hang artificial white doves above the table. Serve the food on white platters and set tea lights on scallop shells around the platters. Have an arrangement of white roses, lilies, and ranunculus on a pedestal and add a dove pick to the arrangement.

Sweet food– light pastries and a cake – are among the few choices you can serve here. Set up a dessert and coffee buffet if you wish. Have a choice of coffee and tea (hot chocolate, if requested) and remember to put out a selection of sugar, cream, creamer, whipped cream, lemon and orange slices, and toppings like grated chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, and additions like dulce de leche to make a full beverage bar.

Favors are simple, from traditional white Jordan almonds or a ceramic rose or scallop shell infused with essential oils, they should just be white and symbolic of the ceremony that just took place.