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The difference between a Christening and a naming ceremony.

celebrant-led wedding ceremony

What are the differences between a Christening and a naming ceremony?

A Christening is typically held in a church, officiated by a priest or a member of the clergy, and is designed to celebrate the beginning of the child’s journey in their faith. This type of celebration is one where the family members usually belong to and attend regular services at their local church.

A naming ceremony is a much more personalised celebration. Instead of celebrating the beginning of the child’s journey in their faith, it celebrates their birth. Attendees often include the nearest and dearest friends and family, who will be a part of the child’s life and support system.

Who can have a naming ceremony?

Naming ceremonies are typically held for children. This could be a new-born baby or an adopted child joining the family. Some people even hold them to celebrate the joining of families for step-children.

Can we add religious content into a naming ceremony?

What your naming ceremony looks like is entirely up to you. If you wish, your ceremony can include religious reading, symbols and traditions. The role of your celebrant will be to get to know you and the children in the time leading up to the ceremony, to make it a truly personal experience for the whole family.

You can also choose to have a humanist naming ceremony, which typically does not include religious content. Instead, it celebrates the child and their joining of the family.

How about if we wish to have godparents?

An alternative option is to appoint guide parents. A guide parent is still someone you invite to have an enduring supporting role with your child, and they are the non-religious equivalent of a godparent. During the naming ceremony, they can make the promise to your child that they will always be in their life to offer love and support.

Can we hold our naming ceremony in a church?

Whilst this is less common, it is still possible if you wish to conduct a naming ceremony in a church that is meaningful to your family.

If you want to hold your naming ceremony in a church, it is down to the discretion of the church in question. Your celebrant will be happy to conduct your naming ceremony at whichever venue you choose.

What is the celebrant’s role in a naming ceremony?

Every naming ceremony script is written from scratch by a celebrant. This is why leading up to the ceremony, the celebrant will spend time getting to know the family and the child, to provide a truly personal experience. It is their responsibility to create a meaningful ceremony that perfectly encapsulates the child’s life so far and the parent’s hope for their future.

During our naming ceremonies, you will celebrate the beautiful union between family and life. Your ceremony will be totally personalised to you and your child, announcing to the world that you are officially naming and welcoming them into your family. We will work with you to write your personalised ceremony and tell the story of your child and their special role in your family and the hopes and dreams for your child's future.

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