Classic christening or modern naming ceremony?

Many new parents celebrate their child's birth with some kind of name-giving ceremony for family and friends. Religious or not, classic or modern. Regardless of what you choose, the important part is that your child's first party should be an unforgettable affair.

3 min read

Classic christening or modern naming ceremony?Photo:Preggers

A christening is a tradition that goes far back in history, and in actuality symbolizes the child's entrance into the church. Most parents still choose to christen their newborns, but more and more choose to skip the church and religious parts to focus completely on the child and their name. The type of naming ceremony says something about the parents, as much as the choice of the name itself. Will you serve afternoon tea or a dinner buffé? Will the child get a traditional name or will they have one that stands out? Today a christening is more of a personal party for the baby, often with accompanying entertainment.

Personal touch

Mixing aspects from both the personal and the classical is popular today. Embroidering the child's name on a christening gown or naming day clothing is lovely and personal. If there is not a christening dress in the family, you might find a vintage christening dress online, use tablecloths with grandma's embroidery, inherited fine china or maybe odd cups from a flea market. Charming parcels, sugary biscuits and delicious cakes together with coffee and champagne set the tone.

Traditional christening

A traditional christening in a church follows a certain set of events. It starts with the church bells ringing and everyone sits down. The christening party - the parents, the godparents and the child - walk down the aisle to stand in front of the priest. The christening service starts with a psalm.

Someone, often a parent or godparent, reads the story of Jesus and the children from the book of Mark and the priest then asks the parents what name they have chosen to give the child. One of the parent's answers with all of the child's given names. The priest goes to the child, lays a hand on its head and prays, a plea for God to protect the child. After the prayer, certain priests perform three signs of the cross: One on the child's forehead, one on their mouth and one over their heart.

Someone then pours holy water from a jug into the christening font, and then the congregation stands up and reads the Christian creed. The parents then confirm that they want the child to be christened and the priest then addresses the child with all given names and pours the water onto the child's head three times. The ceremony ends with a prayer for a fruitful future and the congregation sings a psalm or another worship song.

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