Do you have Jewish and Catholic friends who just had a baby? With all the celebrations coming from a new birth it can be confusing about what it all means. If it’s an interfaith couple, you can be assured that you have some idea about what is going on with the below tips.

Unusually, after the first Sabbath when a baby is born in Judaism the father stands up to say a prayer in the synagogue to recite the blessings of the Torah, aliyah (a calling to the Torah). This prayer blesses the mother and the child. “Oh God, the soul which you gave me is pure. You created it, you fashioned it, you breathed it into me.” This also symbolizes the covenant between God and the Jewish people. It also rejects the belief of original sin. A child is born pure without sin. The boy is given a Hebrew and an English name.

Girls were not given a naming ceremony traditionally, but this has changed. Now daughters are given a simchat bat, and are welcomed into the world by loved ones for her naming ceremony. Brucha ha-ba'ah b'shem Adonai is recited leading the welcome ceremony as the baby is greeted. This means “Welcome in the name of the Creator.” Some interfaith couples entwine both the Christian and Judaism traditions. All Christian dominations share the baptism tradition to welcome infant into the church. In this setting a priest anoints the baby with holy water and oil. Water is also poured over the baby’s head three times dressed in white garments, as reflected on the purity of Christ. “I baptize you in the name of the

Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” The Catholic Church believes that a baby is born into this world with sins from past generations, as is Judaism, a baby is born sin-free. There also has to be a sponsor or godparent present for this ceremony. A godparent steps in if the child becomes orphaned, and or to be a role model.

 If you are still unclear you can find more information on the differences of these religions for a newborn at http://www.dummies.com.

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