Frequently Answered Questions
We hope we have answered all of your questions. Click on any question below for more information. If your question is not answered below, do not hesitate to contact us..
What is a Welcoming Ceremony?
A Welcoming Ceremony is a very special way of celebrating the birth of your child and welcoming the new arrival into the family and the wider community. It is also ideally suited to mark and celebrate an older child into the family, particularly if there has not been a celebration previously. It is also ideally suited to welcome and celebrate an adoptive child into the family or to embrace stepchildren into a new family. A perfect way to bond a family unit.
It's also an opportunity to declare before family and friends, your promises to be as good a parent as you can, and for adult friends or relatives to confirm their special relationship with your child.
Catholic Schools and our Baptisms?
Can the baptism I receive from Ontario Baptisms be used to enroll our child in a Catholic school?
As we understand at the present time, the short answer is 'yes' under the following conditions:
The Catholic Church recognizes all baptisms as legitimate. Having said this, it is not really about the Baptism. It is about the parents. Here is how it works.
First. If the child's parent or parents are baptized Catholic, (either one of the parents, Mother or Father), then the child is automatically accepted into the school whether or not the child is baptized at all.
The parent must show proof of their own Catholic baptism if the child is not baptized Catholic.
To repeat: a child is automatically granted admission into a Catholic school if:
- A child is baptized Catholic
- Or if one of the parents is baptized Catholic
In both these cases these children are enrolled first. Then all others if space allows.
In other words the Catholic school will allow any child in baptized or not if one parent has been baptized Catholic and can prove it.
Second. If a child is baptized but not baptized Catholic and neither of the parents is Catholic, then the child is placed on a waiting list. Only if there are vacancies, are the non Catholics accepted.
Although they don't receive the sacraments, these children are part of all religious classes and celebrations. Once enrolled their enrollment is permanent until graduation.
It is in this context that I say the Catholic schools recognize a non Catholic Baptism such as ours.
Having said all this, policies and procedures do change. It is always best to confirm this information with your local Catholic school to see if this policy is still in place.
What is the difference between the Baptism and Naming ceremonies?
It is most important to understand that there are two kinds of child welcoming ceremonies. One is called a Baptism (or Christening) and the other is called a Naming ceremony.
The main difference is that the Baptism / Christening is a religious ceremony, whereas the Naming ceremony, while very spiritual, is not religious in it's content.
Is there an advantage between the Naming ceremony and the Baptism ceremony?
Not really it just depends on your needs. Its like the difference between a church wedding and a civil wedding. One is civil the other is spiritual.
There are, however, some religious school boards that require a child to be Baptized before allowing the child to be enrolled. These schools do not recognize Naming ceremonies as valid for such a purpose.
If you are in doubt and want to keep your options open, what can you do?
We offer a combined Naming and Baptism ceremony. That way you receive a Baptism certificate. Please see the first ceremony at: Baptism Ceremonies. It is a combined Naming and Baptism ceremony and our most requested ceremony.
The nice thing about the Baptism ceremony is that later in life should your child make a personal decision to unite with a faith community of the child's own choice, your child will be able to present themselves as a fully Baptized person.
What are the fees for such a service?
It all depends on where you reside in the Province of Ontario and whether travel is involved. Our fees range are on average $330.00 depending on date, time, community and travel requirements. We will advise you on an exact price upon booking our services.
What happens during the celebration?
The child receives a name, a distinct identity. The parents pledge themselves to provide a good environment for their child.
Who can hold a child Welcoming Ceremony?
Married or unmarried couples, single parents, gay parents. All may access our services.
What beliefs must the parents hold?
There is no pressure on anyone to explain their own spirituality or lifestyles. The parents are not asked to affirm anything they do not believe or to involve themselves in any organization.
Who can arrange a Ceremony?
Any parent or legal guardian can arrange a ceremony, whether married or not, from any cultural background, with or without any spiritual beliefs.
Every ceremony is unique and offers the flexibility to meet the individual needs and wishes of the family. Ceremonies can be specially compiled using the family's own selection of words, poems and readings from a wide selection provided.
Where can the ceremony be held?
Most are held in homes or other suitable venue like a hotel, reception venue, etc. Some even hold the ceremony in a park or other natural setting.
What decorations are needed?
None but most people have candles, flowers, and a small container of water. Some place memorial pictures or special pictures of baby.
When are ceremonies performed?
The ceremony can be held at a time convenient to all concerned.
Who performs the ceremony?
An experienced Ontario Baptisms Celebrant, (either a lay officiant, minister or chaplain); all are highly trained and qualified ceremony celebrants who will be pleased to perform your ceremony. We usually request the Celebrant closest to you to conduct your ceremony.
What age should the child be?
Any age is acceptable - there is no minimum or maximum age.
Is there a rehearsal?
Not normally. However you may consult with your Celebrant by phone and email if you have questions for clarification.
How long is the ceremony?
It varies. Budget anywhere from 15 minutes to a half an hour depending on the number of options and changes you make to the ceremony.
What does the celebrant need from you on the day of the celebration?
Usually they will need the final draft of the ceremony 5 - 10 days prior. Then just a few words with you prior to the ceremony to go over last minute details and a small bowl of water for the ceremony.
Can we involve family and friends in the ceremony?
Absolutely! The Ceremony is the perfect opportunity to declare your promises to your child before family and friends. It's also the perfect opportunity to involve relatives, such as grandparents, and maybe other adult friends, as Supporting Adults, allowing them to confirm their special relationship with your child and share their promises at the ceremony in front of you and the guests.
Can I include my other children?
A Welcoming Ceremony is not just for babies; children of any age can have a Ceremony. You may wish to include your older children in the Ceremony as well as your new baby.
Can we have religious references in the ceremony?
Yes, some families do include religious references and this is no problem, although if you require a fully religious ceremony, we would suggest you consider a Baptism ceremony
Is there a Souvenir Record of the event?
Yes, a beautiful souvenir Certificate is presented at the conclusion of the ceremony.
I have two children / twins, do I pay an additional fee?
There is an additional administration fee of $20.00 for each additional child. Each receives a ceremony certificate.
Do you have feedback from families who have had ceremonies?
We gather feedback after every ceremony to satisfy requirements of our working standard policies and we do have some wonderful feedback from families and guests.
Can we organize a Ceremony on short notice?
Usually the answer to this is yes, but is dependent on the availability of the Celebrant and venue you have selected.
Can we hold a Ceremony at the same time as we get married?
Yes. A Naming Ceremony can be held after the marriage Ceremony has taken place.
Do these Ceremonies have legal status?
Unlike birth registration where you receive a copy of the birth certificate, which is a compulsory legal requirement, these ceremonies are simply a celebration that you as parents choose to do as a public gesture of love and commitment to your child.
The certificate may in some cases help your child enroll in certain schools later in life.
How do I make my ceremony unique, personal, and meaningful?
Every ceremony is unique and offers the flexibility to meet the individual needs and wishes of the family. Ceremonies can be specially created using the familys own selection of words, poems and readings from the wide selection provided on the web page.
I would like to arrange a Ceremony, what should I do?
Simply call us at 1-800-545-3681 or fill out the Contact Form and reserve your date and time. We request a deposit for half the final amount; the balance to be given to your Celebrant on the Day of Ceremony. We accept a Credit card or cheque to make your deposit.
The welcoming ceremony had a personal quality, with the beautiful poem and readings, that made it special for us as parents. The extra TLC you added to the ceremony made it extra special. You were warm and friendly, organized and thoughtful and we would have you back anytime! Thanks again for a wonderful memory!