What Is Proper Christening Etiquette?

When planning a christening ceremony, provide the church or officiant with information about the child’s name, names of the godparents and how many guests may attend. Many host families also send out formal invitations. If attending a christening, guests are expected to abide by the church’s customs, and it’s also customary to bring a gift.

Christening ceremonies are both joyous and serious business. For parents, the rite introduces a new child to the church community and welcomes him into the family religion. When a family chooses godparents, they are introduced in the church as well. Schedule the ceremony and send out invitations well in advance. Hosts should tell guests the church’s or officiant's traditions concerning dress, music and decorations and whether they’re accepting gifts.

Guests should do their best to abide by the family’s wishes regarding gifts and speeches and church or other religious traditions. For instance, even though most christening ceremonies are brief, it’s customary to dress in Sunday best. In addition, the officiant tells guests what to expect and helps them through any parts of the program they participate in. Guests should also ask questions about proper behavior if they don’t attend a church of the same denomination.