Are aethiests welcome at Christenings?

(9 Posts)
OddSockMonster Sat 12-Oct-13 21:32:03

We went to the Christening of a friend's baby a couple of years ago at an RC church.

We sat quietly in the congregation, and joined in at the appropriate parts of the service but kept quiet at bits about god.

Except at those moments, the priest would glance up and scowl at anyone not properly joining in.

I've never come across this at any other Christenings, was it just this priest making us feel unwelcome, or should we somehow not have been there?

heather1 Sat 12-Oct-13 21:38:33

Most priests have more on their mind that keeping an eye on their congregations during mass/church services. Maybe it was your imagination or he has a nervous tick or a habit or something.
The most annoying thing for them is overly loud children who can disturb trains of thought during sermons or prayers from memory.

Annunziata Sat 12-Oct-13 21:51:58

Unless it is a really tiny church, they can't tell who is joining in and who isn't.

sweetiepie1979 Sat 12-Oct-13 21:52:37

That's not my experience Of priests Heather and a bit of a massive sweeping statement!
When we had dd christened the priest had my nieces and nephews stand with us and hold cloths and oils etc and got them iinvolved. We had guests who were not Catholic they were all sorts of religions and a few atheists. Priest said I realise most people here aren't Catholic( including dh) but this is about welcoming dd into the world our world and we are all agreeing to protect her and look out for her as long as we are in her life. I think that was welcoming to everyone which meant That they did join in for my sake. One friend who I have is so anti religion and very vocal about it marches etc calls the pope a paedophile etc I just didn't. Invite her she didn't ask why I didn't say I'm sure she knew.

Weird. People come from all denominations and religions to major life events like Christenings/weddings/bar mitzvahs etc . Most priests/vicars/rabbis/immans would be understanding and welcoming.

So either you were being paranoid and he really wasn't actually scowling at you, or he was an exception to the general rule.

heather1 Sat 12-Oct-13 22:00:15

Hi sweetie, I was referring to Mass as opposed to the Baptism. I agree priests are usually very welcoming to all at Baptisms. That's been my experience at my Ds's Baptisms anyway.
In Mass on the other hand my experience has been the priest is concentrating on what he is doing and will not generally be noticing the congregation, apart from the sermon I suppose. We have had people falling asleep in sermons and snoring! And the priest just carried on as normal no glaring or anything. Just my 2 pence worth.

sweetiepie1979 Sat 12-Oct-13 22:07:54

Yes well then I'd probably agree with you then Heather sorry for jumping x

As a priest who does baptisms in the C of E I can guarantee that we don't know who is atheist, agnostic, or any flavour of religious practice. What does irritate me, because it is rude, are those people that chat all the way through the service or giggle behind their hands or snear openly when the priest is talking.

I now ask at the beginning of the service for mobile phones to be switched off, I point out where people can join in if they wish and I get them to practice the bits where they say they are supporting the children/babies and families as that is why they are there.

OddSockMonster Sun 13-Oct-13 08:03:00

DH and a couple of friends noticed and mentioned it afterwards too so it wasn't paranoia or my imagination. And everyone was being very well behaved, respectful adults and quiet children as we'd taken them for a run round beforehand.

I've never encountered it before or since and we've been very welcomed to all other Christenings and other church events so we just put it down as a one off. There was definite eye contact at specific 'God' bits of the service though.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now