Christening OR Baptism?

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] all,

Having some thoughts about what will do in regards to our future children (planning to start trying in the next couple of years,) I’m feeling very conflicted about whether to have them baptised or christened. Typically, my immediate family is traditionally Anglican and I was christened Anglican (and we’ll be getting married in an Anglican church,) however, both my partner and I’s families were historically Catholic. But most of my family aren’t actively involved in church, beside my brother and I. I also work at a [name_m]Christian[/name_m] school.

Conversely, we plan to send our children to a Catholic school in the area, for many reasons. Most notably to maintain the connection to our families traditions. Something my partner agrees with and supports. The issue is, from what I’ve been told by other people, our children won’t be able to take part in communion etc.

Maybe I’m overthinking this, but has anyone been in this situation or similar? I know the general consensus obviously is we need to stick to one faith, however, they really do both have deep family value to us. Thanks!

I don’t have an exact situation like this, but this sort of did happen in my family. Both of my parents’ families were Catholic for generations, varying from dedicated to non-practicing. My parents didn’t hold the same beliefs but were married in a Catholic church and had us kids christened (I believe that is the correct term) solely to appeal to the older generations. Really, none of us practice that faith at all and a number of us chose to be baptized into the [name_m]Christian[/name_m] faith as teenagers instead. DH and I won’t be having our children baptized or christened at all. Our church does a dedication ceremony, which is a simple prayer for the parents and child. It’s important to us that, if they decide to be baptized, it is with full understanding and consent. The Catholic side were told this when we got married and they are still busy telling us we are making a huge mistake, but I’m not about to follow their traditions, which I don’t understand, just to appease them.

I know it is a deeply personal decision and what is right for one isn’t necessarily right for another. The simplest answer, to me, would be to stick with the religion they will be raised with…the one you’ll practice at home. Since you’ll be sending them to a Catholic school, I don’t know how plausible this is… Is it possible to do both? Have an official ceremony with the Catholic church and also have a baptism with the other? Then again, some places will only do the ceremony if you are members there…

I’m sorry, I wish I could be of more help! Situations like this can get so sticky…but I hope you are able to find a solution that is best for you all.

I would do more research on the school. Are there sacraments or activities your children can’t participate in if they aren’t baptized Catholic? I agree with [name_f]Alyssa[/name_f]'s sentiment of sticking to the traditions of the church you will raise them in.

I mostly agree with the previous posters. This is a very personal decision, and I can imagine it’s a difficult one for you. My parents had to make a similar decision for me and my siblings. My father is a Catholic, my mother was raised and baptized in the lutheran church, but she was no longer practicing. The country where I grew up, Iceland, is rather secular, and my mother was a bit hesitant to have us christened as babies. But to my father it meant a lot, so we were christened and raised in the Catholic faith. My children are/will be christened and raised Catholic as well, since we both are practicing Catholics.

I think the best thing to do is to baptize/christen them in the faith you intend to raise them in (if any). And like Wandsworth says, talk to the school about your worries, see what they say and the consequences could be for your child.

Personally, I wouldn’t baptize or christen as a baby (even though I am a [name_m]Christian[/name_m] myself) unless it was really important to my SO. That being said, if you feel like not doing so would limit the child for whatever reason my best advice would be to look at the pros and cons of both options and use that to decide. Good luck with whatever you decide!