civil naming ceremony as opposed to religious christening

(62 Posts)
LylaLils Wed 02-Jan-13 14:15:58

I was christened RC and even went as far as confirmation in my teens. This, I was fully aware, so I could get into a good college. My father is Muslim and I grew up fully aware of the hypocrisy of religion as I saw it and still see it. My partner agrees and thus we do not want our baby involved in the church. Much to the dismay of family and friends who say we're jeopardizing our boy's future, as all the best schools are faith schools.

We're sticking to our guns though. We were thinking of having a civil naming ceremony instead. I wondered if anyone else here has had an experience of one of these? What was the cost? How did it go? Did you have to chose "godparents"? Did you regret not getting your child christened...in regards to the consequent schooling?

Also, any ideas of how to answer well meaning but interfering relatives? When they go on about not christening our boy? The only way I can think of answering involves insulting the church and therefore, them.

Thanks xxx

weegiemum Argentina Sat 05-Jan-13 06:08:24

Dh and I are Christians (actual go-to-church ones!!) but we didn't have a "christening" or baptism as we'd rather our children made up their own minds (and we both had a bit of a theological wrangle about baptism in early adulthood. The dc were dedicated but it was a simple 5 minute part of our normal Sunday service, no fuss.

sashh Sat 05-Jan-13 05:47:35

and a whole bundle of minor gods that became saints with their special days as the church expanded and took over previous days of celebration.

Not just the minor saints, the maddona and child image is pagan and (I could be wrong) Celtic.

FarelyKnuts Australia Sat 05-Jan-13 02:04:36

She looks at the photos and video of the day now at 3yo and loves that there was a party about how important she is to us and how lots of people wanted to come to see her and share her special day. What's bad about that? It makes her feel important smile

Welovecouscous Fri 04-Jan-13 22:34:39

Frog I don't think there is anything wrong with gifts - they can be a really lovely part of ceremonies and I also love giving them at christenings and other events smile

The reason we said no gifts at all was because DS was 3 months at his naming ceremony and as he'd been a long time in the conceiving we'd been showered with gifts by kind family and friends in the past few weeks. There is such a strong convention of taking a gift to a christening and we didn't want our lovely guests to feel any need to give again.

Just mentioned our no gifts rule to show ceremonies are about more than just presents.

Welovecouscous Fri 04-Jan-13 22:30:39

Knuts that's a very nice way of putting why it IS for the baby.

FarelyKnuts Australia Fri 04-Jan-13 21:57:15

Piccaddily I strongly disagree with your horribly sneering comments.
We had no gifts at my DD's day, and a charity bucket for those who felt they needed to give something. Our DD being young (10 months old) at the time means yes she is unlikely to remember it, but it is part of her story and will be something she is aware happened for her. That all her community came together to celebrate her arrival in the world.

AngelsWithSilverWings Fri 04-Jan-13 20:06:49

Just wanted to clarify that my DC's were still babies at their adoption ceremonies so they had no idea what it was all about.

It really was a celebration of us becoming parents after 10 long years of trying and an opportunity to invite our friends and family to share a special day with us.

I don't really see any difference between arranging a naming ceremony or arranging a big party for a first birthday. Some people really go to town with baby's first birthday. I know people who hired caterers and were popping champagne open all afternoon! ( funnily enough it was another couple who struggled to have a baby and eventually did through IVF)

I don't understand why people are getting so upset about a couple wanted to celebrate the birth of their baby with a naming ceremony. How can that possibly offend anyone?

vix206 Fri 04-Jan-13 17:36:59

Piccadilly you are either a troll, or someone who has a real chip on their shoulder. Or both.

My DS loved his day. And he wasn't a newborn he was a toddler by the time his naming day came around, and he still remembers it when we look through the photos. You make a lot of assumptions wink

JakeBullet Fri 04-Jan-13 16:53:50

Actually Piccadilly I don't agree with you either. A ceremony (religious or not) does not have to involve gifts. My DS was baptised (aged 9) as he expressed a wish to do Holy Communion classes (Catholic school with 40% non Catholic pupils) so needed to be baptised. I specifically told people they did not need to bring gifts and thankfully most didn't although one or two did bring little gifts such as prayer books (DS's face was a picture grin ungrateful little sod)

For a baby there is a long history of welcoming ceremonies the world over, they don't have to be religious and I've been to one or two humanist ones which have been a lovely "we are welcoming baby Ellie/Rose/James/Elliot to the world", yes I took a gift but this was because they were small babies.....it wasn't much, just an inscribed poetry book they would get more out of as older children. At one of them the parents wrote their own words and it was beautiful.

Personally speaking I think a naming ceremony is a lovely idea...it's not about having "a God shaped hole" (and I say that as a Catholic). It's about each person having their own views and ideas. People ARE spiritual beings ....but that spirituality does not have to have to take the form of religion unless someone wants it to.

Even if its just a party to celebrate then its fine....a nice celebration of a new family. Nowt wrong with that smile

CrunchyFrog Fri 04-Jan-13 16:39:46

I'l be having a funeral. I demand that I be celebrated. And none of your old religion, either. A good quality, entertaining funeral including country music, whiskey and a damn fine time. I'm quite sad that I'm going to miss it, actually.

My body won't be there, though, it's going to medical science. Whether they want it or not.

Just to be clear, DS2 did get gifts, and we were the centre of attention, of the people who love, care for us, want to celebrate us and enjoy being together. It was a GREAT party. Is it just me that loves getting special gifts for such occasions for the important people in my life? I really enjoy finding something personal and lovely for the people I love to welcome their children into the world. Not keen on lists, and never would do one myself, but love personal presents.

Weddings, now, I think they're bollocks. But hellos and goodbyes are pretty important to me.

PiccadillyCervix Fri 04-Jan-13 16:36:55

Sounds like your friends and family want you to have a christening which isn't the same at all. Your headline was civil naming ceremony as opposed to religious christening and then you asked how it was received.

I answered your op honestly and then responded to further comments. If you wanted everyone to come on and say, aw it's your little bubs day! there is a site specifically for that here

Hope you and bubs have the bestest day eva! (hugz)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

<hides weird netmums thread, and wonder wtf has happened to mumsnet lately>

LylaLils Fri 04-Jan-13 14:57:39

Cervix, it is my friends and family who are insisting I do something to welcome my little one into the world. Most of them accept it won't be religious but they still want to be able to celebrate his arrival. So that puts to bed your pathetic theory. See also the price of funeral wreaths which isn't technically a gift but something you are obliged (and want) to give. Either you're a troll, or someone who really needs to lighten up.

Ellie, that's really kind of you, I will message you as soon as I get a min (he's about to wake up!) Also will check out website.

Cous..Lovely idea that my boy will have something to remember relatives who have passed away.

He's awake, bye for now

PiccadillyCervix Fri 04-Jan-13 14:43:58

NO, I wasn't the one who said because they are my friends they must feel exactly as I feel. That was several other posters. Don't be ridiculous. I said your friends won't be able to say otherwise....becuse they are your friends.

Do I think funerals are a waste of time? Yes, me and dh have discussed that I won't be having a funeral for him and he can do whatever he likes for me as I won't be there to see it. Although last I checked funerals wern't a gift giving occasion so I tend to not be too cynical about others having them.

EllieArroway Fri 04-Jan-13 14:42:16

Lyla

I'm in the process of setting up a website to write bespoke poems for people. Don't worry - not touting for business! But I'm always after a bit of practice, and writing stuff for naming ceremonies is the kind of thing I'm hoping to be doing.

Would love to have a go at putting something together for you (for free, just to be clear). You're under no obligation to use if it doesn't suit, but I'd like to try.

PM me some details if you're interested, then give me a few days. Have already written some private stuff for other MNers and they went down well.

Here's another of my efforts:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/a1639886-who-is-good-with-words

Welovecouscous Fri 04-Jan-13 14:38:26

We had a naming ceremony for DS and it was a great day. We had it at a lovely old hotel and they did us a very good deal on catering and we specified absolutely no gifts as so many people had already given us gifts when he was born.

The ceremony meant older relatives travelled a long way to meet him and I asked everyone to write a letter to him so he can see those when he is older.

We wrote our own promises to him and I have added those to his album.

I know it sounds morbid, but my mother's mother died when she was very small and I've always wanted DS to have written material showing him how much we live him just in case the worst happens as he is too little to remember us.

EllieArroway Fri 04-Jan-13 14:36:00

Picadilly Would love to know on what basis you feel justified on speaking on behalf of absolutely every friend of every person who has had a non-religious naming ceremony/event? How arrogant.

I suppose there's no point in funerals too? I mean, the dead person doesn't give a shite, and it's really just an excuse to dress up in black (so slimming!) and be seen dabbing delicately at our eyes with lace hankies, eh?

Your opinion is your opinion - but don't presume to tell us that it's the opinion of everyone else. It's not.

PiccadillyCervix Fri 04-Jan-13 14:25:11

No, trust me all the people saying "oh my friends don't think that way" are talking a load of shit. Precisely because they are your friends they will quietly go to your ceremony and not tell you they think you are being ridiculous.

With the exception of the adoption ceremony mentioned above where the children might actually know what is going on..it is a party for you.

Don't pretend it isn't, christ at least be honest. Your newborn does not give a fuck and if anything will be stressed all day by the change in their schedule and too many people. Why not have a first birthday for your baby instead? Something they can appreciate.

Wish people would just be honest.

LylaLils Fri 04-Jan-13 14:11:39

Haha its ok, sometimes it gets a bit heated and serious on here and I thought I'd just throw it in! Don't get me wrong, I've already asked my mum if she'll mind my son so I can have a drink but I won't be going mad...in the short 3 months he's been here I've learnt the hard way that its not worth the hangover. Can't believe your cousins refused to come cos no free bar though bloody hell.

Planting a tree is a really nice idea knutts, I may have to steal it! Also a book so everyone can write in it is a good idea.

I'm just looking forward to having all my friends and family in the same place at the same time, and I think its important for my son to know that we did something special for him.

The view that only children from religious families (I stress that they are children from religious families, as in my opinion, it is impossible for a child to be religious. It's something that is forced on them) deserve a welcome celebration, is frankly ludicrous, hurtful and harmful. And to insinuate that people only do it for the gifts is pathetic, and reflects only on the person with that view (I'm talking to you, cervix!)

vix206 Fri 04-Jan-13 13:31:01

Lyla hopefully you realised I wasn't having a crack at you about the piss up! We only had one couple say they wouldn't come. My catholic cousin and her husband who, when invited, rang my mum to ask if there was a free bar. When she said no, they said they wouldn't bother coming!! shock

FarelyKnuts Australia Fri 04-Jan-13 12:56:00

We had a naming day for our DD. Held it at a local Celtic gardens. We asked a very kind friend of ours to "officiate".
We had guide parents who read a relevant piece of prose/poetry about their commitments to our DD (that they chose themselves). Both my DP and I read a piece of prose/poetry about what it means for us to have her. Everyone there had balloons to release and we had a tree which was planted at the gardens as her dedication to the planet/earth etc.
It was a fabulous day, everyone wrote messages in her book to welcome her to the world and then we had a big buffet style party.

AngelsWithSilverWings Fri 04-Jan-13 12:43:36

Ceremony! I spelt it wrong twice - sorry!

AngelsWithSilverWings Fri 04-Jan-13 12:39:05

As an Atheist I was never going to have a christening for my DCs. My DC's are adopted and after 10 years of trying to have children I really wanted to have some sort of celebration to introduce them to our friends and family.

Luckily when you adopt the Family Court stages an Adoption Celebration Ceromony for you.We invited family and friends to attend and had a little party afterwards. We had this for both our DCs and both celebrations were wonderful. We even had celebration cakes made with the children's new surnames iced on them.

It was not about receiving gifts and many of the people we invited told us how honoured they were to have been included in such a lovely day. We also saw it as a way of thanking everyone for the all the support they had given us through our very difficult journey to parenthood.

I would celebrate the arrival of your children in any way you want to. A naming ceromony would be lovely.

Snorbs Fri 04-Jan-13 12:17:44

We had a naming ceremony for DS. It was a great afternoon. We asked a lentil weaving hippy druid friend act as non-denominational master of ceremonies but the theme of the whole thing was basically "DS, meet the world. World, meet DS." It all worked out really well.

We never got round to doing it with DD for a number of reasons and I've always felt that was a bit of a shame.

BardOfBarking Fri 04-Jan-13 12:09:10

We had a welcome party. It was in our garden and a chance for everyone to catch up together and meet the baby for those who lived further afield. We had sheriffs (we awarded them their sheriff hat and badge on the day) who we had specifically asked to be a significant person in our child's life and to care for them in the event of our deaths (jolly).

I read a small passage from the velveteen rabbit describing how having a child had made me feel old and haggard and somewhat less attractive (the baby sick on my shoulder a note in point) but utterly 'real' and we explained our name choices. Then we drank oodles of champagne and everyone signed a wish book for our child, offering their hopes for her future.

It was a happy day when our 2 families welcomed its newest member.
Enjoy yours

LylaLils Fri 04-Jan-13 11:33:05

Thank you all for your comments, I've loved reading your thoughts and what you did for your little ones. It's given me ideas and I've decided on having a little gathering for close friends and family. The Dr Seuss poem will defo be in there somewhere and I'll specify no gifts, especially no money or toys. If they really must bring something I'll ask for either food or drink donations (although not sure if that's a good idea, still deciding)

Everyone here has been really helpful, bar cervix haha what a killjoy.

Can I just say I was joking about the piss up?

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