On 30 Mar 2008 at 20:00, Derek Pratt wrote:
Sounds fascinating! As an Anglican Priest I aways correct families
for "Christening" of their child by saying "Yes we can baptise him/her
pleasure" I have always presumed that Baptism was the theological correct term
while "christening" is wrong term - but why I don't know!
The 1662 Book of Common Prayer has these rubrics in the service for private
baptism of children:
"But if the Child were baptized by any other lawful Minister, then the
Minister of the Parish, where the Child was born of christened, shall examine
and try whether the Child be lawfully baptized..."
"And if the Minister shall find by the answers of such as bring the Child,
that all things were done as they ought to be: then shall not he christen the
child again, but shall receive him as one of the flock of true christian
From this it is clear that in Anglican usage "baptism" and
synonyms, though "baptism" is clearly the
I think this is a peciliarity of English, where "christening" seems to have
been used as an informal or slang term for baptism -- rather as in English
the term "Easter" is used, whereas others use Pascha, or some variant of it,
though that doesn't affect genealogy. Most other languages us "baptism"
or some variant of it, though North Sotho uses "kolobetso", which doesn't
seem to be derived from the Greek "baptizo".
The genealogy of English-speaking people will probably at some point make use
of the baptism registers of the Church of England, and so it should be borne
in mind that in the Church of England (and hence other Anglican churches),
baptism and christening are synonymous, but the rite is recorded in a baptism
register, not a christening register.
The Mormons, however, use "baptism" to refer to their own rites, and
"christening" to refer to the rites of other religious bodies, and genealogy
programs like PAF (and several others) were designed for use by Mormons, and
so treat "baptism" and "christening" as if they were separate rites.
The confusion thus engendered has led to long debates in the
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