Home / Lifestyle Articles / Christening And Naming Ceremonies

Christening And Naming Ceremonies

Christening And Naming Ceremonies

Written by:

For many families, a Christening or naming ceremony forms a significant part of welcoming a new baby into the world. If you’re considering one for your child but don’t know where to start then here is our guide to organising the perfect ceremony.

What’s the difference?

A Christening or baptism takes place in a church and welcomes the baby into the religion. The ceremony will be conducted by a vicar or priest and will follow a standard format where the parents and godparents promise to bring the child up in the Christian faith.

Naming ceremonies are popular with parents who wish to hold a gathering and make promises to their baby without having them baptised into a religion. These are usually performed by civil or Humanist celebrants and can take place anywhere you choose. Many people love the idea of having it at home while others opt for a hotel or village hall. Both type of ceremonies normally take around 20-30 minutes.


Both religious and secular ceremonies provide the opportunity to choose adults to guide your child as she grows up. For baptisms these are called godparents, civil ceremonies refer to them as supporting adults and Humanist celebrations call them guide parents. If you’re having a religious ceremony you may need at least one of your chosen godparents to be a practising member of that religion so it’s best to check with the church before you ask people. When choosing godparents it’s important to consider how much of a role they’ll play in your child’s life. If you don’t see you or your child keeping in touch with a person for more than a few years, it’s probably best to choose someone else.


Christening And Naming CeremoniesWhile the important part of a Christening or naming ceremony happens during the service, most people organise some sort of social gathering for afterwards. This can take place at home or you may decide it’s less hassle to hire a hall for the occasion. As new parents you’ll inevitably be short of time and energy so keep things simple and accept help wherever it comes from. You may decide to hire a caterer or get everyone to chip in and bring something along for a buffet.


Traditional white Christening robes are lovely but they can be expensive if you don’t have a family one being passed down. If you’d rather opt for a more modern look, it’s perfectly acceptable to clothe girls in dresses and boys in trousers and a shirt or jumper for the ceremony. For church ceremonies you might be asked to provide a white shawl or garment for the baby to be wrapped in as part of the service. You can buy Christening outfits in most department stores. Alternatively, online shops are great for finding something a little out of the ordinary.

How to organise a ceremony

Your first port of call should be to check that all the important people in your child’s life will be free on the date you have in mind. Grandparents and godparents in particular should be consulted. The next step is to speak to the minister or celebrant to book the date. Some churches will require you to complete a short baptism course beforehand so it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Once you have the church or celebrant confirmed you can book somewhere for the social element of the day.







About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

View all posts by