Sir, - My son recently decided to hold
a naming ceremony for his new baby, and I was, at first, quite
upset. My wife and I would have much preferred a church baptism.
Since attending a baptism at a local church, we have changed our
minds. My son and his partner were absolutely right to organise a
simple ceremony that featured the child as the focus of the
The deciding factor was the way
baptism has been tacked on to the general service as an
afterthought, mentioned once at the start of the service, and then
totally ignored until it featured as an add-on just before the end.
No thought was given to the choice of readings: the Old Testament
verses referred to David's sexual assault of Beersheba and the
orchestrated murder of her husband! The sermon totally ignored the
child and parents, and the whole procedure seemed impersonal, and
showed a marked lack of interest on the part of the church. Time, I
feel, for some training sessions and information sheets for
incumbents and churchwardens.
Is this really the way in which the C
of E wants to greet and welcome new members to the family of
Christ? Unfortunately, my experience of baptism in a variety of
churches shows that it is. Lumping the rite of baptism on to the
end of the Sunday service has allowed lazy and slipshod practice
that takes little or no account of the individuals and families
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