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christening worries

(35 Posts)
jo82 Fri 11-Apr-03 00:04:39

i am planning to have my ds christened next month, have started making arrangements but i really dont know what i should be doing.

could anyone outline the basic sequence of events for me (service, party (do you have a party?!) who i should invite. my parents are useless and i really dont know what the protocol is. thanks.

Soxwasher Fri 11-Apr-03 09:07:52

It is all a matter of choice. OUr kids were baptised in the morning service and we had immediate family and God parents back for a simple lunch. My sister had an afternoon service , invited 60+ and hired a village hall and we all went back for tea. It is completely up to you. My dd is being confirmed next month and we are havig our church friends and family back for drinks after the service (40+) but then just 7 of us - the 4 of us + grandparetns are booked in for a pub lunch at 1.30pm.

Most people have a christaning cake - M & S do nice ones. And most people have Godparents - 2 of the same sex as the child and one of the other - so 3 in total. But even that is not written in stone - my husband is a vicar and some couples have no godparents, we had a married couple for each of our children andsome people have 4 or five. I believe that the important thing is that they can honestly say that they will be praying for your child - thats the most important thing. And lets face it most Godparents start off well and fizzle out a bit!

They can wear anything you like for the Christening - some have family heirloom gowns but most put there children in a modern, neat outfit - whatever you would put them in for their birthday or something. But don't put them in it until just before the service and don't forget to take some spares!

I think that is all you need worry about. I think the simpler the better personally - don't do anything so taxing that you don't enjoy the day!

Ghosty Fri 11-Apr-03 09:24:09

Our vicar helped us out with our DS' christening ... at our church they are normally held during the 'family service' which is every 4th Sunday. She (the vicar) just told us what hymns etc would be sung that day but gave us the option of choosing a special one if we wanted it. We had 3 godparents (like soxwasher described) ... basically my oldest bestest friend, and two close mates of DH's. They have all been brilliant so far ... one of them admitted after the service that he didn't really like babies but he has remembered every birthday and christmas since even though we now live in NZ.
We are not really religious as such (do not belong to a church now ... haven't found one I like in NZ yet) but we felt it was an important thing to do and we light DS christening candle every year on the anniversary of his christening.
We didn't have a 'party' ... just a pub lunch for anyone that fancied joining us after ... The christening cake was the top tier of our wedding cake which my mum re-iced ... it was really tasty even after 3 years!
DS wore a nice little outfit ... not a traditional one but something special (a weeny pair of dungarees and a waistcoat in beige linen ... a wee bit expensive ... designer darling...) which he wore again a few weeks later to his grandfather's wedding and to a friend's wedding ...
We wanted as relaxed as possible as few of our friends are 'churchy' and we wanted as possible to come without feeling uncomfortable...
All in all it was a special day for me, DH and DS and we had a good time ! HTH!

Ghosty Fri 11-Apr-03 09:26:46

PS .. in terms of who to invite ... we invited all our close mates and relatives ....

Furball Fri 11-Apr-03 13:25:48

We had Ds christened when he was 11 months, which was last July. He wore a smart short sleeved shirt and pair of shorts as luckily the weather was great. BHS, do wedding stuff, so they have smart shirts and trousers I think at quite a good price. Or theres M & S. You don't say how old your Ds is?

Afterwards everyone went to the pub next door, where they laid on a simple buffet, I think for about 30 people = £100 - bargain! and we bought an iced fruit cake from M & S, which I stuck Ds' Christian names on with chocolate letters (from sainsburys) and some small marzipan animals (also sainburys' and it looked fabulous.

Getting back to the service, the vicar came to our house a few weeks beforehand along with godparents, to discuss what goes on (it was held during a normal Sunday service,) what will be said, so we would know what was going to happen. We also were allowed to choose all the hymns.
Maybe you could contact your vicar and discuss it with him?

With regards to guests, we invited who WE wanted and not because Great Aunt Fanny would be upset IYSWIM. (We did the same at our wedding - Well it was our day/party!)

I think the day is for your son and if you don't wont all the shannigans, then you don't have to. It's a bit like organising a wedding, you (supposedly) are in charge and can have it as big or small as you want.

Good Luck - Lets us know what you decide and how it goes.

Mo2 Fri 11-Apr-03 13:36:43

Anyone had older children christened, or 'blessed'?
When DS1 was born we hadn't decided if we wanted to, but now DS2 is here we've decided we'd like some sort of event (i.e. a celebration of them both) at the time of his 1st birthday in August - possibly christening too, but DS1 will be 3yrs 8 months by then....
Anyone done anything similar?

Gem13 Fri 11-Apr-03 13:43:34

Just to be awkward... did you want a Christening for your son for the welcome to the church or something to celebrate his arrival?

We wanted the latter but wanted to mark it in a more formal way than 'just' a party - especially as our immediate relatives live in opposite ends of the country and would have to stay in hotels.

Our local council holds 'Naming Ceremonies' now which are performed by the registrar in a non-official/legal way. We had 'supporting adults' (same as godparents) who had to make promises (you can choose these from a selection) and we also made promises to our DS.

It was lovely and everyone seemed to enjoy it. We had a small party afterwards and DS just wore smartish clothes (we got dressed up and my mother wore a hat!).

So, this doesn't answer your question but I hoped it might help others.

Good luck and enjoy your day.

Gem13 Fri 11-Apr-03 13:45:53

Mo2 - you can have both children 'done' at a Naming Ceremony...

BTW - it can also be performed after the parents wedding ceremony (kill 2 birds - one big party!)

Mo2 Fri 11-Apr-03 13:47:17

Too late - we've been married 7 years in 2 weeks time!!

Claireandrich Fri 11-Apr-03 20:23:32

We had DD baptised when she was 20 weeks old.

She wore an ivory christening dress and hat from Next as we don't have a family one. My grandparents had also got a pair of lace booties from Italy to wear on the day. For the service you also need something white to drape over the baby. We had a white shawl but it can be anything.

We had a baptism service of our own, no other babies and not part of the service, so very personal. The service was at about 2pm I think. We had a couple of readings, which family or friends were allowed to give for us, but no singing. We had 4 godparents, 2 married couples. I think that your godparents have to be baptised themselves, and as ours was catholic one of the godparents had to be catholic too.

Afterwards we had a party in a local function room, with a finger buffet. We also had a christening cake.

We had quite a lot of people there as I have quite a large family. We also invited lots of friends. For many it was the first time they were seeing Dd so it was also an excuse to get together.

Not sure about other churches but you don't pay for a catholic baptism. BUT, you are kind of expected to give a donation to the church. We were told the amount is up to you but as a guide the notes given to us suggested the amount it would cost for sunday lunch.

HTH

Claire

jo82 Sat 12-Apr-03 23:40:09

all the information is great have discussed it with ds dad (were no longer together) and have agreed to ave a christening at the local church with family and our friends (not all of our parents friends!!) . we would like a reading of a poem that my brother has written and are going to chose two godparents each. have discovered that we have family gown which my great nan wore and all subsequent members of the family which is great and should still fit him (he'll be 5 months).

were gonna have a lunch party afterwards cos a lot of people will be tavelling down specially) above a local pub with a small buffet and im going to make the cake and all the invitations to cut down on costs.

it should be a fantastic day. its also a great excuse for everybody to finally meet each other, the two sets of grandparents havent met yet so im really looking forward to it. thanks for all your help.

Claireandrich Sun 13-Apr-03 20:34:46

Hope you all have a great time!

bobthebaby Mon 01-Dec-03 08:18:52

Resurecting this thread, as it is to do with christening etiquette. I live in NZ and my parents are over at the moment. DH's parents live here and our ds is being christened in 2 weeks. His parents church are hosting the christening, but won't do it as part of the service as it is to near Christmas (?) even though in their "guide to Christenings" they say it is important to do it as part of the service. They've only just let us know this.My FIL used to be a minister and so has "volunteered" (read decided) to perform the service. Hope he's better than our wedding for which I "obeyed" as he read the wrong service.

Anyway, PIL have gone on holiday and come back just before the service. As we will be the only ones there can I decide about hymns etc. and just let them know, or would that be rude? At the moment it seems to be "their" christening rather than anything to do with me or my parents - who after all have travelled a long way to be here.

CnR Mon 01-Dec-03 08:39:45

DD's christening was done on its own and not part of a service. We actually didn't have any hymns but did have some music playing on entry/exit. The readings were also chosen for us - don't know if this is part of the christning service or if the priest chose - but we got to have 2 people read out parts of the service. We chose dads who weren't involved elsewhere.

This isn't much help I guess but I hope it all goes well and you enjoy your DS's christening day.

StressyHead Mon 01-Dec-03 09:51:58

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roscoe Mon 01-Dec-03 10:11:45

Have you asked ds what he thinks? He might not want it anyway and so you won't need to worry about the BM etc.

Hulababy Mon 01-Dec-03 10:17:03

Stressyhead - you could have a naming ceremony instead and have that as a big celebration of your DD being here. Your Dh may be more in favour of that as it is non-religious. I am sure other MNs know more about these than I do though.

StressyHead Mon 01-Dec-03 10:19:16

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Hulababy Mon 01-Dec-03 10:22:13

If DS doesn't want to be christened or actually blesed, etc. why not ask him to play a part in the celebration - maybe do a reading or something, or host his own table at a reception afterwards.

Jimjams Mon 01-Dec-03 10:26:58

could you make ss a godparent? (I know it s bit unusual- but would make him part of the celebrations)

StressyHead Mon 01-Dec-03 10:32:30

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StressyHead Mon 01-Dec-03 10:33:15

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ThomCat Mon 01-Dec-03 10:38:57

Re older people being baptised - when I had Lottie baptised I also took my confirmatin at the same time and my close friend who was Godmother was baptised and confirmed at the same time too. It was just the 3 of us 'being done'(!) and it was on Easter Saturday, evening mass, so it was a wonderful service and all felt incredibly specail.

Marina Mon 01-Dec-03 10:42:02

StressyHead, I think Jimjams' idea is lovely, but I have a horrid feeling the priest will expect him to be baptised first (if you are C of E). Maybe he could hold the lighted candle that you will be given for dd at the end of the christening - we went to one a while back where the two much older brothers were given this job and were delighted (not often allowed to play with fire!)
I agree, ask him if he'd like to be baptised and then he can share a special day for you all. As a Christian, you don't need to worry about baptism "alienating" your agnostic dh in any way, or obliging him to come to church etc. I know quite a few families where only one parent's a Christian and the family is welcomed at church both with or without the non-believing partner. I guess the Christian thing to do if you go ahead is to invite his birth mother too, but only you know whether she will spoil the day for him or all of you...
Bobthebaby, that's a bit mean of dh's parents' church. Dd is going to be baptised on Advent 2 during the service (along with about 100 other babies by all accounts ). OK, so you're not really allowed flowers, but Advent is a lovely time to baptise a baby. It's the church's New Year and the season of hope and anticipation. Personally I would go right ahead and choose music because this is a way your parents and you can have an input to the baptism. If their church is anything like ours you might find that the Director of Music has the final say in any case! I'd get a toe in the door and speak to the person in charge of music straightaway. After all, the choir needs some notice so they can practice, don't they?

StressyHead Mon 01-Dec-03 12:48:11

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