Jump to content
Arkivverket

Baptism or Christening


Jay Hagfeldt

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

I was wondering if someone could help me to understand how one should regard baptisms in Norway?  Should they be regarded as a christening event, or a combination of christening and baptism?  Was the child officially given a name at the time of baptism?  What were the roles of the witnesses at the baptism?

 

I'd like to hear you thoughts on this topic.

 

Best Regards.

Jay Hagfeldt

Link to post
Share on other sites
David Widerberg Howden
30 minutter siden, Jay Hagfeldt skrev:

Hi,

 

I was wondering if someone could help me to understand how one should regard baptisms in Norway?  Should they be regarded as a christening event, or a combination of christening and baptism?  Was the child officially given a name at the time of baptism?  What were the roles of the witnesses at the baptism?

 

I'd like to hear you thoughts on this topic.

 

Best Regards.

Jay Hagfeldt

I have also wondered about the difference. Usually the ceremony is where the child for the first time is officially "given" a name, we had a centralized statechurch until 2012, but still most are still members. The first freestanding churches was established in the 18th century, but they never got much impact in Norway, it was illegal to preach outside the church withouth permission from the local priest. And one of the most important preachers Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771-1824) was arrested a number of times for preaching withouth permission. But in the later part of the 19th century several freestanding congretaions was established, a few of these had conflicting views on christening, but most still had the same christening. In 1906 the Pentecostal movement was established in Norway. 

 

Outside the cities the children was expected to be christened within 8 days and in the cities within 4 days, it was punishable to not christening your child and because of that many children also got christened at home and later confirmed in a ceremony at the church. But in 1814 it was decided that a child had to be christened within 9 months.

 

So generally a norwegian ceremony is a christening which both gives a child the official name and make you member of the church. As a witness at the ceremony you promise to take care, pray for and raise the child in the christian faith. The witnesses that carries the child are called Godparents: Gudfar/Gudmor and sometimes the witnesses get special duties like taking care of the child in hard times. Today a child is usually given a name at birth or within 6 months, so it is no longer officially given for the first time at the christening, though you become a member.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks David for your insight.  I wasn't aware of the legal obligations to be christened.  In your opinion, can the terms christening and baptism be used interchangeably?  

 

Regards.

Jay

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ivar S. Ertesvåg
1 time siden, Jay Hagfeldt skrev:

I was wondering if someone could help me to understand how one should regard baptisms in Norway?  Should they be regarded as a christening event, or a combination of christening and baptism?  Was the child officially given a name at the time of baptism?  What were the roles of the witnesses at the baptism?

The first help could be from yourself: clarify the distinction between (your use of) the terms christening and baptism.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ivar,

 

My understanding of christening is giving a child a name.  My understanding of baptism is the physical baptism of a child.

 

Regards.

Jay

Link to post
Share on other sites
David Widerberg Howden
14 minutter siden, Jay Hagfeldt skrev:

Thanks David for your insight.  I wasn't aware of the legal obligations to be christened.  In your opinion, can the terms christening and baptism be used interchangeably?  

 

Regards.

Jay

Well Im not sure if they are easy to distinguise within the Norwegian Statechurch as the general ceremony is both a namegiving and baptism. When they performed emergency baptisms at home or at the hospital it is clearly a baptism, but the official confirmation at the church is more of a christening. I dont think we really distinguise between christening and baptism in Norwegian, though the ceremony for members of pentecostal congregations etc. where you need to be a christian first is called "voksendåp" https://difference.guru/difference-between-baptism-and-christening/ I think the most correct would be "christening" on the ceremony and "baptism" as the physical part of pouring water over the child or adult.

 

Though children officially are given names before the ceremony now, we still regard the ceremony as a "confimation" of the name and that the parents wants the child to be raised in the christian faith, thus become a member..

Edited by David Widerberg Howden
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again, David.  That explanation helps immensely.  I've seen records where a child was hjemmedøbt and later 'confirmed' in a church setting.  Often those records list the person who baptized the child in the home.  

 

Ha det bra.

 

Jay

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ivar S. Ertesvåg
2 timer siden, Jay Hagfeldt skrev:

My understanding of christening is giving a child a name.  My understanding of baptism is the physical baptism of a child.

 

 

Ok ...  "christening" originally means to make Christian/introduce into the Christian church. A few denominations distinguish between this and the baptism.

 

In Norwegian, "kristning" has been used as a synonym to "dåp" (the word is related to English "dip", which is also he meaning of the Greek word "βάπτειν" (baptein), leading to English "baptize").

The Norwegian church has only one term, "dåp". The ritual, at least since 1688 ("Forordned Alterbog udi Danmark og Norge", p.323), assumes that the candidate (usually a child) has a name before the ceremony.

 

Thus, the child get the name by the parents, usually before the baptism.

 

The role of the withnesses:

In the ritual, towards the end of the ceremony the clergy says (in the 1688 "Alterbog", p. 332)

to the withnesses that you are to testify that the child is baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. If the parents pass away before the child

reaches mature age, it is your duty to teach the child Christendom.

In addition (although not mentioned in the ritual), since the written records was limited and with no backup (in case of loss),

the withnesses also could testify who are its parents etc.

The "Alterbog" was revised in the late 1800s, but the content in this respect is about the same.

As far as I know, the content will be similar in most Christian denominations represented in Norway.

Edited by Ivar S. Ertesvåg
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Ivar S. Ertesvåg said:

 

Ok ...  "christening" originally means to make Christian/introduce into the Christian church. A few denominations distinguish between this and the baptism.

 

In Norwegian, "kristning" has been used as a synonym to "dåp" (the word is related to English "dip", which is also he meaning of the Greek word "βάπτειν" (baptein), leading to English "baptize").

The Norwegian church has only one term, "dåp". The ritual, at least since 1688 ("Forordned Alterbog udi Danmark og Norge", p.323), assumes that the candidate (usually a child) has a name before the ceremony.

 

Thus, the child get the name by the parents, usually before the baptism.

 

The role of the withnesses:

In the ritual, towards the end of the ceremony the clergy says (in the 1688 "Alterbog", p. 332)

to the withnesses that you are to testify that the child is baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. If the parents pass away before the child

reaches mature age, it is your duty to teach the child Christendom.

In addition (although not mentioned in the ritual), since the written records was limited and with no backup (in case of loss),

the withnesses also could testify who are its parents etc.

The "Alterbog" was revised in the late 1800s, but the content in this respect is about the same.

As far as I know, the content will be similar in most Christian denominations represented in Norway.

Thanks Ivar, especially for the explanation of kristning's synonym, and also the role of the witnesses.  

 

Best regards.

Jay

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.