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Baptism is a special ritual that welcomes a child into life. With a Christening theme, you can make the baptismal celebration unforgettable and unique. I helped create my godchild’s baptism with a whale Christening theme. Read here how we creatively implemented it!
The whale, which lives in the water, is perfect as a symbolic animal for the baptism. Naming the child introduces the child as a person to society.
There is nothing easier than drawing a whale. Have you ever tried?
No? Then go ahead! There are no limits to your imagination and the recognition effect is usually great! Then you can face the christening whale-like, with calm, strength and composure!
Design the invitation cards with the whale motif and a photo of the child on it (e.g. by dressing the child with a whale motif).
For the table decoration matching the christening theme whale you need empty baby glasses, Windowcolours in blue, white, black and grey, raffia string in blue, bird sand, tea lights.
Draw a whale in simple shapes on the glasses, write the name and the date of baptism. The whale can swim in the water and spray a fountain of water. Fill the finished jars with bird sand and tea lights and add a bow.
You will need: print canvas, acrylic paints, stamp pads in desired colours, Stabilo pens.
Paint a whale on the canvas and have guests make the water fountains with their fingerprints. Have the guests write their name to go with their fingerprint. The picture can be hung in the nursery later as a memento.
You will need: sheet music with lyrics, yellow clay cardboard for the sun, moon and stars, brown clay cardboard for the mountain and tree with branches, green clay cardboard for the leaves/tree top, old packing boxes for the animal masks/animals, water or acrylic paints for painting, scissors/cutter, rubber string, colourful cloths.
Make sure you also represent a whale when singing the 5th verse 😉
Hold the animal masks in front of your face or tie them on. Distribute the celestial bodies in the audience. In the first verse, the audience lifts the stars up so that everyone can see them.
The mountain and the tree are each held up by one person in front of the altar in stanza 4. At stanza 5, the animals come forward and the birds fly by holding the cloths in their hands and swinging their arms up and down.
You will need: the text printed out, a ship, a figure, e.g. from Playmobil, an inflatable swimming whale for the reading and as a gift for the person being baptised, inflatable swimming whales as decoration in the church and later for the other children to take home.
Stand in front of the congregation with your utensils. Put the reading on a stand, the ship, Jonah and the whale on the floor and start your reading. For the part of Jonah and the whale, act out the story of Jonah being on the ship and being thrown into the water. The ship is gone and the whale comes. Jonah disappears into your fist. Then Jonah is spat out again by the whale and you open your fist again.
At the end, you turn to the person being baptised and give him your swimming whale and ask the other children to come forward and also pick up a whale from the decorations in the church and take it with them. Find out beforehand how many children will be taking part so that there are no disappointed faces when the whales are distributed.
you have chosen a whale as the symbolic animal for (name of baptised child)’s christening.
(It has decorated the invitation card to the baptism, accompanies us in the church as a rubber animal and we will encounter it in the decorations in the rectory.
But what does the whale mean to us?)
The whale is a large and powerful animal that lives in the water, indeed cannot live without water. Adults say it is the largest mammal on earth. So the mama whale is the biggest mama, giving her baby whales milk to drink from her breast.
We associate qualities like calmness, serenity and strength with the whale, but we also have respect because some whales can be very dangerous.
Dear congregation, can you also tell me where the whale appears in the Bible and in connection with God?
Exactly! In the story of Jonah and the whale, which we have all heard about.
In this story, God told Jonah, “I want you to do a job for me!”
But Jonah didn’t even think about doing that task for God!
Instead, he wanted to travel to another city and do something completely different.
But there was a storm on the sea that would not end and Jonah and the sailors were all afraid of falling into the water.
Then Jonah had a guilty conscience. He suspected that he was to blame for the storm and jumped into the water.
This was very dangerous for him and he almost sank in the water and drowned.
But suddenly a huge whale came and swallowed him. He stayed in the whale’s belly for three days and three nights. And then on the third day he was spat out by the whale on the beach and was saved.
Like Jonah, we feel the same way again and again. Sometimes we don’t want to do what is expected of us, but what we feel like doing. (Especially the children know exactly what I am talking about…)
So I realise all too late, “My decision out of lust was wrong and the consequences are sometimes bad not only for me but for others too.”
But at that moment, when we realise this, God is with us and sends us help and strength.
God sent Jonah the whale to help and save him.
I wish you, dear (name of baptised child), always such a divine whale by your side to help you and give you strength.
I wish you a heavenly whale who forgives you and shows you that he is always with you, just as on earth your parents, (your brothers and sisters) and all the people who love you, forgive you and are with you.
(Now I want all the children to come forward and get a whale…)
Of course, you can freely adapt all these ideas and also relate them to another baptism theme of your choice.
On Abenteuer Freundschaft you will also find more christening party ideas, as well as ideas for unforgettable family celebrations. Plus lots of tips on activities with kids, with friends or as a couple.
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