Does your new baby have a name yet? Would you like to cement this name with the Church, or hold a party to let everybody know?
With many families not being regular church goers, non-religious naming ceremonies are becoming increasingly popular. Mentors, who will provide a positive role model to the child, replace godparents. You can make the ceremony personal to your child and you can even write and deliver the service if you wish.
Naming ceremonies can take place in a variety of venues, for example:
- You home
- Hotel / restaurant / hall
- Registry office
A christening ceremony is a religious service welcoming the baby into the church community and making a commitment on the child's behalf, to the Christian faith. The parents and godparents make a promise to God, that they will bring the baby up in a Christian way.
Godparents are chosen for the child, they need to have been christened and there must be at least three of them, two of whom are the same sex as the child. You should choose godparents who will have a supportive role in your child's life.
Christenings usually take place in the parents local parish. It varies from parish to parish as to how strict the clergy are relating to the parent's church attendance. Some clergy will insist you attend church regularly before they will agree to christen your child. Some ceremonies take place during the Sunday church service. The church service is usually followed by a celebratory gathering, usually including a buffet or afternoon tea.
You may have a family christening gown that has been passed down through the generations or you maybe you want to buy one that you can pass down. Traditional gowns are long and white or cream. But there are more modern variations available now including dresses and suits. Many people have a christening shawl too.