My message to them would be: What a treat, what an amazing gift, what wonderful times that you will have. There'll be great times and tough times there always are with children. Through christening, you're bringing God into the middle of it all. —Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
A few short months ago, Prince William and Duchess Kate debuted their baby boy, Prince George, to the world on the steps of a London hospital. Excitement for Prince George's birth mounted long before he was born, fueling economic boosts and serving as a cause for celebration among many nations.
Now, three months later, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, the future ruler has been christened. In a new YouTube video, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby explained the process of a christening and shared counsel with the parents of the newborn.
"We celebrate first of all the joy of the parents. It's a wonderful thing, having a baby. All babies are unbelievably special, not only royal babies," Archbishop Welby said in the video posted on the Lambeth Palace YouTube page.
Archbishop Welby spoke of the "extraordinary reaction all over the world" after Prince George was born, explaining the importance of the event because Prince George will one day be the head of state. Archbishop Welby then noted that the baptism of the baby should be celebrated for a different reason.
"All through Christian history, being baptized meant you joined the family of the church, and that's what it means today. What a family. Almost 2 thousand million people around the world, that's an extraordinary thing. It means as a Christian you go almost anywhere around the world, and you'll find those to whom through baptism you're related."
The celebration for Prince George is about a gift from God, Archbishop Welby said. He added, "Baptism is, at its heart, about the gift of God, about God's gift of life — just ordinary physical life — but also the offer of spiritual life to all of us, of life forever."
When considering what advice to share with William and Kate, Archbishop Welby laughed about the amount of advice they have most likely already received.
"My message to them would be: What a treat, what an amazing gift, what wonderful times that you will have. There'll be great times and tough times — there always are with children. Through christening, you're bringing God into the middle of it all."
William and Kate have previously expressed their excitement about parenthood. Just after exiting the London hospital, Kate shared her thoughts.
"It's very emotional. It's such a special time. I think any parent will know what this feeling feels like," she told journalists.
Toward the end of the YouTube video, Archbishop Welby welcomed any who felt inspired to be baptized to follow through with their feeling and to visit with a local congregation.
"The great good news is that God doesn't care who we are. God's love is offered without qualification, without price, without cost to all people in all circumstances always."
The YouTube video was published on Tuesday, Oct. 22, and as of Wednesday morning had more than 11,000 views.