How Much Does a Christening Cost?
A christening is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic church. It is regarded as a very important step in the life of an individual. This is ritualistic ceremony that symbolizes the entrance of the child or adult into the church, referring to the body of Christ rather than the building. There is no exact time frame for a christening, but traditionally, parents will have their children baptized within their first year. Planning for a christening is ideally done ahead of time to ascertain that the requirements are properly complied with and the service is performed according to the parents’ beliefs.
How much does it cost?
- In most cases, churches will not charge for this particular event; however, they will expect a small donation. These donations typically range from $75 to $200 per family.
- At St. Benedict Catholic Church in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, there is no fee for christening services. Donations are accepted at the time of christening, particularly from parents or godparents. The church states that special gifts to the parish are also appreciated.
- The Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Seattle, Washington, does not charge for baptism, but accepts donations toward the church to cover the cost of supplies for the christening ceremony, which is about $75 per family.
- A few people answered on CircleofMoms.com that their service was no more than $100.
What is going to be included?
- Prior to any christening ceremony, a church may require parents and godparents to fill out an application form online or at their church’s parish office during scheduled hours. Meetings and classes may be held by a parish or church representative and attended by the parents and godparents. The actual christening service may take an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the church.
- The service will often take place during a Sunday service so that the child can be welcomed by the church. Some churches can also provide private services.
- During the ceremony, the parents, godparents and child will be asked to come to the front. They will then be asked to make declarations on behalf of their child. Once declarations have been made, the priest will recite the proper words while sprinkling water over the child’s forehead. This signifies the child being initiated into the church, and some people believe that this is what allows the child to go to Heaven.
What are the extra costs?
- Baptism rites often require spending for the new member’s christening attire. Christening gowns and baptism suits vary in cost and often depend on design, material, and size. Long baptism gowns for girls may cost about $200 to $400 while baptism suits for boys can be bought for $200 to $300. Christening shoes and bibs can be bought for about $20.
- Other extra costs include invitation cards, which can cost about $15 for a set of 10 and around $112 for 75 cards.
- Many families have a party or dinner after the christening ceremony to celebrate the occasion. This is usually just for family and close friends, and the cost of such a party will depend on the specifics of it.
- If you would like to get the christening certificate framed, this can either be done by simply purchasing a frame or by hiring a service to frame and mat it for you.
Tips to know:
- A certificate of baptism is typically presented as an official record. Parents may need to provide the necessary details for the certificate on an application form when making their reservation.
- Depending on the church, the parents may be required to be active members of the church in order to have a christening there.
- There are typically no fees or costs involved related with christening and baptism. Parishes and churches instead request for donations during christening, or any other church event, to help cover the costs of supplies used during christening services.
- Taking pictures during a christening service may be allowed, but some churches require that only one photographer be designated for the task. Also, there are churches that do not allow the use of flash while the service is going on, but will permit the taking of photos after the christening service is finished. You can also record the whole process if you would like to.
- Some people believe that christening and baptism are the same thing. Christening is often referred to as “infant baptism.” However, in most traditions, a christening is done when parents decide to dedicate their child to the church, while a baptism is when a grown child or adult makes a conscious decision regarding giving himself to God. Christening usually involves sprinkling water while baptism involves full immersion in the water.
How can I save money?
- The christening service itself does not cost anything, but the commemoration usually entails spending to celebrate the milestone. When planning a get-together or celebration, make sure to set a budget. If you do not plan to spend too much, consider inviting only a few close friends and special guests and plan around it.