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What are the Alternatives to Christenings?

What are the Alternatives to Christenings?

When a new baby arrives many parents want to celebrate the birth with their family and friends. Often they will want to have some sort of occasion to do this – particularly if the family lives some distance away. Many people still follow the traditional route of a christening in a church, but there are alternatives for those who don’t.

There are many reasons why parents do not want their baby to be christened. These include; the parents are multi-faith; the parents think the child should have the choice when they are old enough; the parents are not married; or the parents are atheist/agnostic. Often, however there is an expectation from the wider family that there will be a church service.

Church Blessing or Thanksgiving Service

Christian denominations have differing views on christenings and baptism. Some, like the Baptists and Society of Friends do not have baptisms of babies, and have blessing ceremonies to welcome the baby into the congregation. Others, such as The Church of England and Methodists, offer a thanksgiving service for the birth of a child. These are much more informal than a christening and can be held at the place of worship or at home. If you want your child to be welcomed into a Church you will need to speak to your local clergy to discuss what is required.

Naming Ceremonies

Naming ceremonies are non-religious and can be performed by a Registrar in a Town Hall, Registry Office or other registered venue. The humanist society also provided celebrants who will perform a ceremony at a venue you choose. The ceremony is offered regardless of whether couples are married or their faith. You choose the words and poems: this can include reasons for choosing the name and a commitment to care for the child. You can also have supporting adults, who will affirm their commitment to the baby. Whilst you will receive a commemorative certificate, the naming ceremony is not legally binding. The major non-Christian faiths in the UK all welcome babies to the faith at a naming ceremony within their place of worship.

Planning the ceremony

However you choose to welcome your baby into the world you will need to invite people to it. You will need to speak with your local religious leader, the registrar or a celebrant to agree a suitable date and venue. Once that is planned you can send out the invitations. With our range of bespoke cards you can choose a design you like and add all the appropriate wording. We also have a selection of guest books, which make a lovely keepsake for your child, and thank you cards.