Royal christening comes despite drop in baptisms - New York News

Royal christening comes despite drop in baptisms

Updated:

By: Herb Scribner, Deseret News

Baptisms, which have been on the decline, might be making a comeback after Tuesday's royal christening.

Prince William and Kate Middleton baptised their son, and future monarch of England, Prince George yesterday in a private ceremony with the royal family, according to the Associated Press.

The 3-month-old future monarch was christened with “water from the River Jordan at a rare four-generation gathering of the royal family in London,” reported the AP.

Prince George was dressed in a replica lace and satin christening gown made for Queen Victoria's daughter, which was used in 1841, the AP reported.

“He arrived at the chapel in his father's arms with his mother by their side, and appeared to wave at his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, although it was really a case of William moving his son's hand up and down,” according to the AP.

The baptism was “low key and intimate,” The Christian Science Monitor reported. William and Kate kept the proceedings “normal,” the Monitor said.

Seven people were asked to be George's godparents. The Queen and her husband Prince Phillip also attended, “along with Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, Prince Harry and other royals. Kate's parents Michael and Carole Middleton and her sister Pippa and brother James were also there,” according to the AP.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby talked about the baptism in a YouTube video on Tuesday, and explained why it is an important moment in a person's life.

“God's love is offered without qualification, without price, without cost, to all people, in all circumstances, always,” he said in the video.

This comes despite baptism rates sliding in recent years.

The overall number of baptisms of people of all ages in the Church of England has dropped from 266,000 in 1980 to 140,000 in 2011, according to the BBC. Among infants, about 30 percent were baptized in 1980 and about 10 percent were baptised in 2011.

The Religion News Service reported the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee “tallied 314,959 baptisms in 2012 - a low not seen since 1948.”

The drop is being associated with a rise in secularism, more interfaith marriages, fewer marriages officiated by clergy members and misunderstandings in the church, RNS reported.

Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, told RNS the SBC had 6 million members in 1948, but now has about 16 million members, which makes the drop a concern for his group.

“It's a sad situation,” he said.

But Rainer said he's found the youth are beginning to take interest in religion, despite what some studies suggest. He did say, though, he is an optimist.

"So it all might turn around," he said. "I’m standing on prayerful hope."


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

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