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Christening etiquette

(34 Posts)
treesntrees Thu 03-Oct-13 10:48:17

Am I being unreasonable to expect people attending a christening to behave as politely as they would like visitors to their home to behave. The church is the house of God and the second home of those who attend regularly. If the christening takes place during a normal service it is not appropriate to chatter among yourselves. Unless you are the child's parents or God parents it is not obligitary for you to attend the ceremony. You can meet up at the knees up venue afterwards. If you would like to attend the ceremony and don't know the procedure ask someone who does, or better still attend a service the week before so you have some idea how to behave. Finally please take your used tissues, crisp packets etc home with you. Someone has to clean the church afterwards and it is usually a small team of volunteers mostly in their sixties, seventies and eighties.

ananikifo Thu 03-Oct-13 10:57:43

YANBU. I can't believe people would eat crisps during a christening, let alone leave the bags in the church afterwards!

redexpat Thu 03-Oct-13 11:20:08

I suspect you already know YANBU.

CeliaLytton Thu 03-Oct-13 11:30:35


EastwickWitch Thu 03-Oct-13 11:32:47

Crisp eating during a church service?
That is bizarre & very rude.

MissStrawberry Thu 03-Oct-13 11:34:54

I agree.

We went to a Christening where the Godparents were late and the woman was dressed really casually and not appropriately at all imo.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 03-Oct-13 11:35:02

Well obviously I agree with you.

I think people have forgotten how to behave in public - it's like we've gone back to Georgian times with all the pissing in public, picking their teeth, hoicking the nuts and norks...

People are grotesque sometimes.

fluffyraggies Thu 03-Oct-13 11:35:45


Can i add to that that it would be nice to see folk dressing with a little more respect to the venue while in church.

I'm not religious, but can appreciate there's a time and place for dressing up like you're going out for a night on the town, and that Church isn't one of them.

YDdraigGoch Thu 03-Oct-13 11:35:52

Sounds like they think they're at the cinema or something! I would only invite people I know would behave. But it sounds like you're not the person holding the christening - are you the church cleaner or something?

SunshineMMum Thu 03-Oct-13 11:46:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

littleomar Thu 03-Oct-13 11:51:39

why don't churches accept that christenings are going to attract a more diverse range of people than normal services, including small children, and schedule them separately? the last one I went to was close on two hours - I can grit my teeth for that long but my three year old can't. I have removed my (appropriately dressed) children from various churches when they've been unable to behave but people getting all catsbum about children behaving like children doesn't seem particularly Christian to me.

SunshineMMum Thu 03-Oct-13 12:09:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tavv Thu 03-Oct-13 12:11:51

YANBU to hope people would behave politely and not take the church's hospitality for granted.

However the church is there for everyone, no matter who they are or how they behave, so a warm welcome should be extended to all.

FrauMoose Thu 03-Oct-13 12:13:26

Not sure that Christ was alive today he'd be subscribing to the more repressive middle-class codes of behaviour, housekeeping etc that get confused with Anglicanism. The records indicate he was a guy who liked a party. Much more, 'Suffer the little kids and their parents - however they happen to be dressed - to come to me.'

nickelbabe Thu 03-Oct-13 12:14:44

we had one a few weeks ago where the entire party (and we're talking about 25-30 people here) left after the hymn following the baptism part.

HairyGrotter Thu 03-Oct-13 12:15:15

I behave politely in any public situation, couldn't give a flying fuck if it's a church or not, it should be a universal knowledge of behaviour in public places, not just for the religious venues hmm

badbride Thu 03-Oct-13 12:15:30

You didn't happen to have a visit from this lot, by any chance OP? grin

2tiredtocare Thu 03-Oct-13 12:16:12

My sons christening was around two hours, far too long for the little children to stand so they all went outside to play with the Sunday school helpers

meditrina Thu 03-Oct-13 12:18:52

YANBU. Irrespective of your personal beliefs, if you agree to attend a religious ceremony, you need to conduct yourself in a way which does not impinge on those who are worshipping. That's just basic consideration (if you strongly disagree with the religion, then do not go).

So for a christening, you don't chat (except during the hymns) and you definitely don't leave litter.

You can arrange a private christening, but most churches hold them in a main service because it is a formal welcome to the Church community. Most people can conduct themselves to an adequate standard for an hour or so, and most churches have a Sunday School, crèche or just a bit at the back for smaller children who would find that hard.

jackstini Thu 03-Oct-13 12:19:59

Have people lost all common sense? Is this not obvious??

Yes, churches should be accommodating - ours offers to have Christenings as part of the (1 hour long) family service or as a separate (20 mins ish) service - whatever suits the family best

People should dress in what they feel comfortable in, but not with cleavages down to their navel, skirts up to their bum cheeks or men in vests

It is rude to chatter during anyone else speaking as part of a service - quite disrespectful to the family whose Christening (or wedding, or funeral or concert....) it is

It is rude to east noisily for same reasons above

It is wrong to leave litter anywhere - churches have bins, people have bags

Mandy21 Thu 03-Oct-13 12:20:23

I'm a regular church goer and I agree wholeheartedly that Jesus would welcome anyone and everyone and would absolutely love children to become part of the church. We have a corner in the Church that has books, puzzles, toys etc, and a big rug and children can play etc. There is a line however - its a service, an act of worship, so if your child is particularly noisy or upset for more than a couple of minutes, you have respect for the other members of the congregation and take them out. Similarly eating crisps?!! There is a difference between expecting a welcome at Church (which is right in my view) and ignoring that you're in a Church (wrong!). But have to say – 2 hours for a christening?!!

Tavv Thu 03-Oct-13 12:21:53

Children have only just been mentioned on the thread though, it started off as the behaviour of adult visitors to christenings.

Sure, Jesus "liked a party" now and again, but he was also thoughtful, reflective and considerate, so not just a party-goer. There's a culture in some churches that assumes all "young people" will enjoy a certain type of music and noisy worship etc. when this isn't necessarily the case.

I agree children should be made welcome and to feel comfortable in church, and this has been the case in most of the churches I've attended, whether Anglican or various other denominations. I've seen colouring tables, bags of toys and books that can be taken into the pews, chidlren wandering freely around the church to see what interests them, percussion instruments for them to join in the songs etc.

However providing children's activities does take someone to set them up and many churches already struggle to find enough volunteers to cover everything that needs doing.

treesntrees Thu 03-Oct-13 12:23:34

Littleomar I have never attended a christening that takes two hours but have heard that services in some (new age?) churches do last a long time. I know some churches are unwelcoming but honestly ours isn't. The priest states at the beginning that he understands that children will become restless but hopes the adults will keep quiet during the service. Like many churches we provide crayons and pictures to colour in and there is also a box of soft toys to play with. Christenings used to be held separately but the modern thinking is that a new child is being welcomed into the church family so the christening is held during the normal service so that the church members can welcome the child. The service in our (High) church lasts 45 minutes. The behaviour of the children isn't the problem as usually they are quite well behaved as they are interested in what is going on and also the unusual (to them) building, no it is the rude behaviour of the adults who should know better.
Yes I am one of the cleaners but I really love a christening despite my complaints.

treesntrees Thu 03-Oct-13 12:33:26

Badbride not yet but we did have one guy who thought he was meant to take something from the collection plate and asked how much he should take. Honestly.

WilsonFrickett Thu 03-Oct-13 12:41:55

I do agree and see how it can be frustrating to have the service spoiled (and crisps? Really?) but we live in a secular society now. People don't automatically know how to behave in church. Because they don't go to church.

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