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To think not wanting to go to a Christening doesn't make me some kind of monster?

(203 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Mon 13-Jun-16 22:19:10

I have a friend who I've known about 10 years, we aren't particularly close and see each other maybe once a month.

She had a baby girl about 2 months ago and there is a planned Christening for next month. I am not a religious person at all, I have been to a few Christenings in the past and found them very uncomfortable and so they aren't events that I go to anymore.

Anyway, I was sent a text message yesterday with the proposed date of the Christening and asked if I could make it? I asked her if I was obliged to come as I generally don't agree with them and feel uncomfortable attending them and to cut a very long story short she has hit the roof.

I have told her not to take it personally but she seems to take it as though I'm snubbing her daughter.

She tells everyone she is a Catholic and she has been Christened herself but she does not lead a religious life herself and she hasn't been to Church in about twenty years.

When I was engaged a while ago she told me that if I got married in a Church she wouldn't attend as she would thing it so wrong that I would step into a religious building and partake in a religious ceremony when I do not have a faith. I reminded her of this tonight and asked why am I now suddenly allowed to be in a Church and partake in a religious ceremony when she was quite nasty about the concept when I was engaged? She has now gone quiet.

I honestly don't think that me declining to go based on my own beliefs about religion is such a huge deal? I absolutely wouldn't expect people to come to a Christening of my child if they didn't have a faith or any religious beliefs or if they simply felt uncomfortable about the Ceremony in general.

At the last Christening I attended the whole Congregation had to join in with prayers and then stand up and recite phrases about how we would help raise the child and teach him how to follow in the Lord's footsteps and show him the righteous path of life etc and I felt very uneasy about it.

I have absolutely no problem with anybody having a faith or belief in a religion but I do resent being expected to participate in it and then getting laid in to when I say I don't want to.

I see on here, when Weddings are talked about, that we receive invitations and not a summons therefore declining the invite is perfectly acceptable so surely the same applies for Christenings?

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Mon 13-Jun-16 22:23:15

You should probably have just said you were busy that day. Would have saved a lot if hassle.

19lottie82 Mon 13-Jun-16 22:25:47

Seeing someone once a month makes them a good friend in my book, especially as one of you had a new born.

Ultimately it's up to you if you want to attend, but if I'd just had a baby and one of my friends said they didn't want to go because of the reasons you'd given, I'd take it as a snub.

Your friend invited you because she wanted you there, would it hurt you to make the effort to attend for an hour or so, or even just the prey afterwards? You don't have to agree with someone's faith to respect it.

AllPizzasGreatAndSmall Mon 13-Jun-16 22:26:03

So why didn't you just decline the invitation?

You didn't need to ask if you were obliged to go or say you don't agree with christenings; you should just have said "thanks for the invitation but sorry I won't be able to come".

alltoomuchrightnow Mon 13-Jun-16 22:26:28


DustyCropHopper Mon 13-Jun-16 22:27:27

YANBU to not attend but I think maybe you would have been better to just say you can not make rather than asking if you were obliged to attend etc. keep it simple and just say you are unable to attend. If she then pushed further say that as a no religious person it doesn't feel appropriate for you to attend, rather than going into how you don't agree with them as that makes it sound like you do not agree with her having her daughter christened.

LadyNicholasdeMimsyPorpington Mon 13-Jun-16 22:28:10

I don't like catholic Christenings either. (Don't mind people who like them, but as a non-religious person, I find them a bit boring, and they go on forever..)

On one hand you should go as it will mean a lot to your friend.

On the other hand...I don't know. You can't really get out of the awkward now. In hindsight you should have said you were going, gotten ill on the day but send someone along with a wonderful present and an apology on your behalf.

But then again, she's your friend and should understand you don't want to go!

CurlyhairedAssassin Mon 13-Jun-16 22:29:53

I'm another one uncomfortable with Catholic christenings. I've been to one and really wouldn't want to go to another. Lots of talk of purgatory and Mother Mary claiming the child yadda yadda. If I would have walked out without hurting people's feelings I would have. It was family so I couldn't get out of it.

In your place, I would have just said that I could not make the church ceremony but would be able to arrive in time for the party afterwards. And take usual present and card. So you've made an effort for your friend, cooed over the baby etc

piddleypower Mon 13-Jun-16 22:30:33

YANBU. My DH turned down the invitation to be a godparent as he said he wasn't religious, and it was taken quite well by the parents, who I think even respected him for his honesty. But he did make a point of talking to them quite carefully in person and saying he was so touched to be asked, will always do all he can for the child, he respects their choices etc.

I probably would have just turned down the invitation - asking if you are obliged to go and saying you generally don't agree with christenings might have come across as a bit critical.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 13-Jun-16 22:31:07

If I'm honest I'm very surprised she invited me.

About a year ago my very best friend had her son Christened, which I didn't attend, and my friend from the OP knew this and knew about my thoughts surrounding Christenings.

I was going to suggest me coming to the after party instead but I thought that would be pretty rude and a bit cheeky really.

If I had told her I wasn't available, she would have asked why, I would have had to lie to her and I don't like doing that to my friends. I would rather just be honest with her as that's how we always are with each other.

Lilacpink40 Mon 13-Jun-16 22:31:37

She has a very young DC, give her some time to calm down. Perhaps see if you could go to ther party after the Christening and take a gift?

MrsJoeyMaynard Mon 13-Jun-16 22:32:13

YANBU to not want to go, but was it really necessary to tell her why exactly? I think a lot of people would struggle not to take those reasons personally.

It would surely have been better to just say you couldn't make it and leave it at that?

Jackiebrambles Mon 13-Jun-16 22:32:43

I get you. I'm not religious at all and I really don't like christenings. They too make me uncomfortable.

However, I have been to those of my best friend's children. Mainly because it's a nice occaison to squish the baby, get a gift and socialise with my friends who live in different cities.

The worse bit is when you are supposed to shake hands with your pew neighbors and say 'peace be with you' <shudder>

Lilacpink40 Mon 13-Jun-16 22:32:48

Crossed posts!
Be honest about the after party and say you'd love to see her and her DC then.

AnnaMarlowe Mon 13-Jun-16 22:34:29

The problem is that you weren't very diplomatic. Your friend has an 8 week old baby and is probably sleep deprived and hormonal so it taking a bit to heart.

From her point of view you don't live and value her and her child enough to put your feelings aside for one hour, one Sunday morning.

I'm not saying that you are wrong, just that she will be hurt.

My DH and I were hurt that a previously very good friend of ours declined our babies Christening (for what we thought wasn't a very good reason). We never said anything to him but the friendship hasn't recovered and we don't see him now.

CalleighDoodle Mon 13-Jun-16 22:34:41

Yanbu not to want ago but your response to her was really bloody unreasonable. Honestly, you were very rude.

Go to the party afterwards. She probably would not have noticed your absence at church anyway. So sounds a but like you were making a point and using the line of honesty as an excuse to be rude.

Lilacpink40 Mon 13-Jun-16 22:34:51

BTW my DCs were baptised and I have no problems with any comments on here and wouldn't have minded anyone not attending if they didn't want to.

0hCrepe Mon 13-Jun-16 22:35:17

I don't see what you've got a problem with. You don't have to join in prayers and it's not about your beliefs it's about theirs. It would be hypocritical for you to get married in church but not for you to attend someone else's ceremony- big difference. You're not a god parent are you?

Iggi999 Mon 13-Jun-16 22:36:45

Don't assume she will remember the story about your bf's child's christening from a year ago. I don't think you should go, but unfortunately the phrasing of your reply was one likely to make someone take umbrage!

NicknameUsed Mon 13-Jun-16 22:37:00

I agree that your response was rather rude. Just saying that you don't agree with christenings implies that you don't agree with her choice to christen her child.

You might have said that you felt uncomfortable going to church as you aren't religious.

Sometimes you have to dress the truth up a bit more.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 13-Jun-16 22:37:34

But I genuinely believe if I had just told her I couldn't make it she would take that as a snub, as why wouldn't I attend the Christening of a friend's child? To just say I wasn't coming and not give a reason, would in my eyes give the impression I didn't care about our friendship.

I thought explaining my reasons would make her realise my non-attendance wasn't in any way a reflection on how I feel about her or her child and she would understand why I didn't want to come.

LadyNicholasdeMimsyPorpington Mon 13-Jun-16 22:38:06

Jackie Agreed, shaking hands is the worst bit. I accidentally spinned round and turned my back on the priest as he approached me to shake my hand.

OP, she knows the drill. Stand your ground and say you would love to attend after party if you are still welcome. If your not, meh. Don't worry. Just ensure she knows she's been uninvited her to your future churchy wedding.

TheNaze73 Mon 13-Jun-16 22:38:10

I think your response was more unreasonable than anything else.

Namechangedemon Mon 13-Jun-16 22:38:29

Sounds like you are still a bit resentful about her attitude to your wedding tbh. So now you've done a similar thing back to her.

What happens next depends on how much you value the friendship I suppose. I went to the christening of my friend's daughter recently because I valued my friendship over feeling uncomfortable in a church for half an hour.

jomeara Mon 13-Jun-16 22:39:11

No, I think you're right in saying what you did. It's not snubbing her daughter. I am due to get my daughter christened soon, and if someone didn't want to attend because they don't agree with them, then i5 wouldn't bother me at all!! As long as they weren't offensive about it, I can't see an issue! Love that she has gone quiet now after you've reminded her of the past. Silence due to the fact that she's been pulled up on her stupidity! Good. Long may that silence continue!! If she gets in touch again, unless it's an apology, I'd ignore it!!

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