I am a very lapsed Catholic. DH is confirmed CoE, but neither of us has any religious beliefs or go to church. We had a civil wedding.
DS is 6 weeks old, and there is still enough Catholic in me to want some kind of celebration for him. We would both feel uncomfortable with a church service and feel that this is inappropriate for us.
We recently went to a Humanist funeral, which was lovely. Very spriritual, peaceful and absolutely appropriate for the bereaved family.
Please tell me your experiences of Humanist/Civil equivalent of a baptism/christening - as attendee and as "host". I am feeling that this could be what we want. It has to be "worthy" enough to convinced my family to come along - RC, a CoE Canon and an Evangelical pastor. And do I have to call it a naming day? Surely that was the day we registered him?
Humanist celebrants often do baby /'welcoming to the world' ceremonies. They can include music, readings, pledges made by 'guideparents' (sorry but there are not that many short, neat terms for the secular equivalent of 'godparent' ie someone who promises to be there for the child in a back-up parent sort of way). I am a humanist celebrant BTW so I know a bit about it (though do weddings mostly). All humanist ceremonies are written specifically for the people involved: a celebrant will make suggestions about structure (and write and deliver the ceremony) but it's all about what you want it to be. Have a look at the BHA site to find out more about it and also to look up a celebrant near you.
I went to a "baby naming" ceremony - in fact have been to two. The first was organised by a type of registrar (I think most areas do them now - ask at the registry office)
The second one was more informal, with various family members making verbal contributions/reading poems etc.
Personally we had a "dedication" which is what some Christians do. In the CofE generally children are baptised/christened. We felt strongly that we want our dds to make their own minds up, but the dedication was our way of saying that we hoped to bring up our children as Christians until they are old enough to make their own decision.