Rites of Passage

Christening

Rites of Passage

There are days that stand out in our memories. Our first day at school. Birthdays and the celebrations that go with them. Getting a job, or witnessing the birth of a child. Usually they are significant because they mark something special – an achievement to be proud of, a blessing to shout about, or a new phase of life.

Christians may describe their faith as a journey with significant milestones along the way. These are known as rites of passage. Baptism is one of the most important of these: an outward sign of entering into the Christian faith. Some Christians are baptised as babies and then confirmed in the faith later in life. Other Christians practice ‘believers’ baptism’, being fully immersed in water when they are old enough to make the decision to follow Jesus for themselves. Whenever a Christian is baptised, it is a special and significant event.

Other key rites of passage include weddings and funerals. For Christians, a wedding is more than just a party with friends. It is a ceremony before God to make solemn promises to love and cherish a partner with His own divine love for life. Funerals are equally solemn occasions, where friends and family commit those who have passed on to the eternal love of God and give thanks for their life.

In this section you will find articles on each of these rites of passage and more. You will find out about the different ways different Christians celebrate each of these occasions, as well as the symbols and themes they share in common. Perhaps you can begin by finding out what a ‘dedication’ is? Or why rings are given as part of the marriage ceremony?

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Rites of Passage Articles

Baptism and Confirmation

An Interactive Introduction to Baptism and Confirmation

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Baptism

Baptism and Confirmation

An Interactive Introduction to Baptism and Confirmation

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What is baptism? Why is water used in baptism? Why are Christians baptised? What is infant baptism? What is believer’s baptism? What is confirmation? Find out the answers to these and other questions in this introduction to baptism. For further teaching resources on Baptism, dedication […]

Confirmation Video

What happens when someone is Confirmed?

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Confirmation Video

What happens when someone is Confirmed?

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Watch this clip to see what happens when someone is confirmed.

Christian Funeral Videos

What does a Christian funeral look like?

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Christian Funeral Videos

What does a Christian funeral look like?

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Watch these videos to take a glimpse of what a Christian funeral might be like. Discover also a Christian’s belief about God and death.

The Roman Catholic Sacraments

What are the seven sacraments?

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The Roman Catholic Sacraments

What are the seven sacraments?

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Catholics have seven sacraments or ceremonies that they believe God can bless people through. Baptism Penance / Confession Eucharist / Communion Confirmation Matrimony (marriage) Holy Orders (ordination) Sacrament of the Sick Most Catholics are baptised when they are babies. During the ceremony adults will make […]

Christian funerals

What happens at a Christian funeral?

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Christian funerals

What happens at a Christian funeral?

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For Christians, a funeral service is a way of saying ‘thank-you’ to God for the dead person and to celebrate their life, as well as saying goodbye. The funeral may take place at a church, or there is a chapel at the crematorium or cemetery […]

Marriage

What is Christian marriage all about?

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Marriage

What is Christian marriage all about?

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A couple’s wedding day is often called ‘the big day’. But it represents the beginning of something much, much bigger – life together as a married couple. The Bible talks about marriage as a man and a woman becoming like one person. What this means […]

Weddings

What happens at a Christian marriage ceremony?

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Weddings

What happens at a Christian marriage ceremony?

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Confirmation

What happens when someone is 'confirmed'?

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Confirmation

What happens when someone is 'confirmed'?

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When a baby is baptised, parents and godparents make promises for them. Once they are old enough, they can decide for themselves if they wish to live as a Christian, and make their own promises in the confirmation service. Confirmation happens in Anglican and Catholic […]

Believer’s Baptism

What happens during believer's baptism?

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Adult Baptism

Believer’s Baptism

What happens during believer's baptism?

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Getting married is a sign of being serious about a relationship with someone else. In the same way, getting baptised is a sign of being serious about a relationship with God and being committed to living His way. Before the baptism service, most churches have […]

Believers’ Baptism Films

Why do some Christians decide to be baptised as believers?

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Believers’ Baptism Films

Why do some Christians decide to be baptised as believers?

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A person may choose to be baptised once they have decided for themselves that they want to live as a Christian. This is known as believers’ baptism. Believers’ baptism can be celebrated in a number of different ways. One way being that the person would […]