Infant christening or infant baptism is commonly celebrated in many Christian denominations. The exact details of the baptismal ceremony vary among Christian denominations. Many follow a prepared ceremony, called a rite or liturgy. In a typical ceremony, parents or godparents bring their child to their congregation's priest or minister. The rite used would be the same as that denomination's rite for adults, i.e., by pouring water (affusion), or others by sprinkling water (aspersion). Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic traditions normally practice total immersion and baptize babies in a font and this practice is also the first method listed in the Baptismal ritual of the Roman Catholic although pouring is the standard practice within the Latin branch of Catholicism. Catholic and Orthodox churches do not sprinkle. At the moment of baptism, the minister utters the words "I baptize you (or, 'The servant of God (name) is baptized') in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.
In Unity we do not make use of water in baptism, as did John of old, but prefer to follow the example of Jesus whose form of baptism John the Baptist foretold: “The cometh one after me he that is mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose. I baptize you in water; but he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit.” We acknowledge that when Jesus said to his disciples, “Suffer the little children come unto me,” he showing the right attitude toward children. They are to be received in the love of God. They are not to be kept apart from the things of God for they too have a rightful place in the divine plan. We are reminded that “For to such belongeth the kingdom of God.”
Although it is not required, many parents and godparents choose to dress the baby in a white gown called a christening gown for the Baptism ceremony. Christening gowns often become treasured keepsakes that are used by many other children in the family and handed down from generation to generation. Traditionally, this gown is white or slightly off white and made with much lace, trim and intricate detail. In the past, a gown was used for both boys and girls; in the present day it has become more common to dress children in a Baptismal outfit. Also normally made of white fabric, the outfit consists of a romper with a vest or other accessories. These clothes are often kept as a memento after the ceremony.
For more information call the church office at 330-539-0122.
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Unity is the perfect place!