Friday, 12 August 2011

For Christ(ening) sake!


There is a tradition of sorts in this country that once a baby is born, friends and family of the new arrival need to get together and “Wet the baby’s head”. Personally I just think its people looking for the next excuse for a party! The more common way to do this is a christening.

For those that don’t know what is entailed in a christening, the below is an explanation from the Church of England’s official site, which can be found here;
What is baptism?
In baptism, you as parents are: thanking God for his gift of life, making a decision to start your child on the journey of faith and asking for the Church's support.
For your child, baptism marks the start of a journey of faith, which involves turning away from all that is evil, turning towards Christ and becoming a member of the local and worldwide Christian family.

People are also given the title of ‘Godparents’, which means if the parents for whatever reason are unable to care for the child, they promise in front of the lord to take care of the child as if it was their own. The ceremony normally takes place in the church normally frequented by the parents of the newborn.  People still have this even though they themselves are not religious, which I find VERY hypocritical.

This is where it becomes clear this is not something I would like to do for Benjamin.

With regards to religion, I would consider myself an Agnostic Atheist. I don’t believe in god, but I don’t disagree that it isn’t a possibility. So the reason for not wanting a Christening is not based on a religious belief but why would I want to enter my child into a belief that I don’t hold myself?

I do, however still want to celebrate my son’s birth and the beginning of our new family.

There are, with most things, an alternative to religion. You can have a civil ‘Naming Ceremony’ where friends and family get together, say a few words and celebrate the new arrival.

Either scenario still seems a little odd to me.

What did you do to welcome and celebrate your new arrival into the world?




5 comments:

  1. Celia Hansley-Wilkinson7 December 2011 20:15

    We had many an argument over this - daddy wanted a Christening 'cos he has one', I say no, because I don't go to church and nor does he. I won out in the end, as he didn't start attending church every Sunday to prove that he was really all that bothered. I've been to a few humanist naming ceremonies recently though and think they are nice, though really not for me. Those I know and love met our boy in his first weeks without need for a ceremony, and he had a lovely first birthday party :)

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  2. Let's see. My first son was born. We brought him home from the hospital. I got the in-laws from the airport. Then we all came home and took a nap. In that order. No party. No celebrations. Just a fever-pitch volley of phone calls to and from loved ones for a few days. Never felt the need to proclaim anything before anyone. I'm a dedicated daddy and I didn't need something to tell anyone that I was. They already knew. And my actions continue to bare that out.

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  3. Had all of mine Christened. Yes a good excuse for a good knees up, mildly religous myself and keen to bring the children up with a faith until they decide for themselves. Whatever their religous belief my children do all have a special bond with their godparents.

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  4. We're not religious in any way shape or form so munchkin wont be getting the holy water shampoo.
    I was, however, christened as it was the done thing back then (70s) and I'm pretty sure all my grandparents would've frowned upon it not happening. As if in some strange 'baby who knows what's what' kinda way I apparently spat my dummy into the font whilst being christened.

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  5. We did a Humanist naming ceremony for both our kids. We're not religious, so I wouldn't have a religious ceremony for them. The Humanist celebrant put together a beautiful ceremony each time, we had a couple of readings, and we have selected "guide-parents" who made promises as part of the ceremony.

    I'd highly recommend it if you're looking for something non-religious but still ceremonial :)

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