What is a non-religious christening?
There are old traditions and new traditions when it comes to celebrating the arrival of a baby and in today’s world, there’s even more freedom than ever to create a personalised event that has special meaning to you.
Sometimes, couples feel pressured to hold a traditional baptism to please their families, especially if some relatives belong to a particular church or religious community. But if such a formal ceremony makes you feel uncomfortable, thankfully there’s another alternative – a humanist naming ceremony.
Regardless of your faith or religious membership, the arrival of a baby is a momentous occasion in anyone’s life and it’s natural to want to celebrate the event with close family and friends. A humanist baby naming ceremony will still allow you to declare your commitment to raising the newest member of your family and pledging your dedication to their welfare as well as formally introducing your bundle of joy to your nearest and dearest. The only thing missing is the religious content or church setting.
A Humanist baby naming ceremony can be held in the home of a family member or close friend or increasingly it is being held at a licensed function venue such as a hotel, manor or golf club. Attendees still shower the new arrival with special gifts that mark their entry in the world and act as a keepsake for the future and a certificate will be presented to the new arrival mark the special occasion.
The ceremony itself is led by a Humanist celebrant – a person who performs secular humanist celebrancy services for a broad range of occasions including weddings and child namings. A baby naming ceremony will allow you to personalise your day, choosing the best words that express your love and hopes for your new arrival and can last as long or as short as you wish. There is also an opportunity to involve loved ones by appointing ‘Special Friends’ and ‘Guide Parents’ to become a supportive influence and role model as your child grows.
Celebrants are experienced at performing such occasions and can help parents create the perfect day by offering suggestions for readings, poetry and music as well as practical tips in staging a non-religious event.
Like weddings, photographs are a hugely important part of any baby-naming or non-religious ceremony and the location for your celebration needs careful consideration to ensure you make the best of the setting you have available. This is why many parents are opting for hotels and golf clubs with manicured grounds and natural scenery for their non-religious christening, in addition to the fact that such venues are experienced at catering for large groups of people.
There is a wealth of resources available online to help you prepare your baby-naming event and provide you with information on the etiquette of these types of ceremonies. The important thing to remember is that such occasions are very flexible and can be as formal or relaxed as you wish.