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Is 7 too old to be christened?

(36 Posts)
SingleMum01 Fri 02-Oct-09 20:35:34

I never got round to it early, too knackered, going through too much at home etc. But would really like my DS to be christened. Has anyone had it done at that age?

alwayslookingforanswers Fri 02-Oct-09 20:36:24

We've had a couple of children around that age christened at our church, plus a few years ago my best friends' DH and her 16yr old DD were Christened as well.

MaryBS Fri 02-Oct-09 20:38:17

We had a 10yo christened at our church last year. In fact thinking about it, on another occasion we had a family where the 3 children were Christened, aged 7, 10 and 11.

jumpjockey Fri 02-Oct-09 20:40:07

I was christened 3 years ago aged 30 - it's never too late!

jenpet Fri 02-Oct-09 20:40:19

Oh yes, we had DS1 (7) and DS2 (who was 9 months then) Christened back in May. It was lovely, at 7 they are old enough to understand what it's all about and ask questions etc. We live in France too, which is a bit traditional to say the least, and all the neighbours thought it was a lovely idea - they even discussed it at school & did a little project about it. Go for it I'd say! smile

SingleMum01 Fri 02-Oct-09 20:44:01

That's great, what do I need to do, I must confess although I believe in God I don't go to church. What happens in the christening ceremony?

stepaway Fri 02-Oct-09 20:45:20

not too late! i was baptised/baptised when i was 12 or 13. I wanted to be confirmed and discovered that I couldn't because I hadn't been Christened.

SingleMum01 Fri 02-Oct-09 20:47:39

what's the difference between baptised or christened?

jumpjockey Fri 02-Oct-09 20:48:30

Best thing would be to pop along to your local church and just have a chat to the vicar/priest after a service. They can explain it all and would be more than happy to welcome you even if you're not a regular churchgoers.

My baptism was done as part of the Sunday service but a lot of christenings are done separately - either just you and your DS or as part of a group all being baptised together. A really important question would be how does your DS feel about it?

Tortington Fri 02-Oct-09 20:48:31

go see your local vicar or priest - you will probably have to go to some kind of weekly instruction in whatever faith it is that culminates in the christening - i'm not sure what the proddies and their variations do - but catholics have something white, then the preist puts oil on your head then the water the witnesses renounce the devil and all his works <childish giggle> and your cooked

jumpjockey Fri 02-Oct-09 20:49:10

Oh and baptised/christened mean exactly the same thing. Some people use one word, others the other

SingleMum01 Fri 02-Oct-09 20:49:48

how do you explain it to your DS?

SingleMum01 Fri 02-Oct-09 20:51:15

and do I have to have godparents?

MaryBS Fri 02-Oct-09 21:30:25

Does your son believe in God? And no, he doesn't have to have Godparents, as he can make the promises for himself, assuming he believes in God!

You can get books which explain it to a child.

LynetteScavo Fri 02-Oct-09 21:38:19

SingleMum01 - Techincaly a christening is when a baby is given a name (while being babptised) A babrism is a babtism.

So if a baby has just been born, they are Christened. A 7 year old, would be baptised, as they have been using their name for a while.

Although there is no difference in the ceramony, only what people call it.

I didn't explain that very well, sorry!

teamcullen Fri 02-Oct-09 21:57:32

My DNs got baptised at 7 and 11 in a catholic church. It was in a baptism service with about 4 other families.

teamcullen Fri 02-Oct-09 22:02:43

I think though, if you are getting him baptised in the hope to get him into an ajoining faith school, expect a few questions into why you have waited so long, do you attend churh etc..

In my experience, priests dont like the explanation "I want DC to be baptised so they can go to your school." Especially if the school is over subscribed.

LauraIngallsWilder Fri 02-Oct-09 22:08:38

Jumpjockey - baptism and christening arent exactly the same thing!
Sorry to be pedantic though

A christening is the parents choice to dedicate their baby to God frequently by parents whose children who never visit the church again

A baptism is an adult (or sometimes child's) decision to show their faith in Jesus in front of witnesses by being dunked in water - ie full immersion, either in own clothes or as I did in a white baptismal dress!

yahoo answers

Children in families whose parents chose to be baptised as adults are normally dedicated as babies/children not christened or confirmed

MaryBS Sat 03-Oct-09 07:26:58

Laura you are using this thread to project your own beliefs on the op. I was baptised as a baby, and fully accept it as a valid baptism.

Similarly the Yahoo answer that you quote is biased against infant/child baptism. It is not a balanced answer.

(sorry Op, for responding on this).

catinthehat2 Sat 03-Oct-09 07:51:25

Yahoo answers <snort>

SingleMum01 Sat 03-Oct-09 17:56:23

Oh well, it was something I would have liked, asked my DS today if he'd like to be christened. After explaining what it is he said although he believes in god, no. So that's that then!

LynetteScavo Sat 03-Oct-09 18:30:21

I didn't ask my DC's...I just took them along, with a promise of playing in a pub garden afterwards, and a big slice of cake. grin.

DS1 was 9, and can be extemly "willful". I did consider mentioning to the priest he has behaviour problems when he was anxious, but I didn't, and all three of my DCs giggled and grinned through the ceremony.

But then if I consulted my DC's on what they were going to do, our lives would consist of them playing in the garden 24/7, and never going to school or swimming lessons.grin

stepaway Sat 03-Oct-09 19:31:02

that definition of baptism you gave is actually very narrow. (That is more of a description of what happens in a Baptist church.) In the Church I attended not Baptist), all newborn babies were baptised (so were not making a decision themselves) not Christened.

mathanxiety Sat 03-Oct-09 19:43:36

Agree with Stepaway regarding the yahoo answers definition..

Depending on the denomination, there may be some preparatory classes required for a 7 yo (7 being the 'age of reason' in the eyes of some). They may ask what kept you away until now, and want to know if you'll be attending the church or making an effort to have the baptism 'stick' by helping the child form a moral outlook. I can't see any church turning you away because of age. smile

Jajas Sun 25-Oct-09 19:22:34

Sorry to resurrect this thread again but I did a search and it is perfect for my question and plus only a few weeks old.

My father (a devout Catholic all his life and now 76) has just begged me to have our children baptised (age 7). I am completely flumoxed as I'm a lapsed Catholic and really not interested in anything to do with it but it would obviously make him very happy. I didn't realise until today just how much it means to him but would feel so hypocritical for me to go along with it as I'm not a believer?

If I do agree with it (providing that I can convince the children to go and see what it's all about too) what would the 'lessons' etc entail and how long do you have to attend? Please tell me that they wouldn't have to be immersed in water as neither they or I would will be willing to go through with that I'm sure.

Argh what to do?!

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