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. It’s 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.
Can the baptism I receive from Baptism Canada be used to enroll my child in a Catholic school?
It is always advisable to contact your local Catholic school board to determine its requirements for admission. In some cases, they will accept a non-denominational baptism certificate, such as the ones we issue. In some cases, it is the Catholic baptism of the parents that is required.
The only way to obtain a Catholic baptism for your child is through the Catholic church.
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 a baptism/christening is a religious ceremony, a sacrament of the church, whereas a naming ceremony, while very spiritual, is not religious in it's content.
What are the fees for your service?
It all depends on where you reside 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 to provide a good environment for their child. Additional friends and family may pledge their support to the parents and child. There may or may not be blessings, prayers, readings, music.
Who can hold a child welcoming ceremony?
Married or unmarried parents, single parents, same-sex parents, adoptive parents, legal guardians, from any cultural background -- all may access our services. We have also had ceremonies arranged by grandparents.
What beliefs must the parents hold?
There is no pressure on anyone to explain their own spirituality or lifestyles. The parents do not have to join any church or organization.
Where can the ceremony be held?
Most are held in homes or other suitable venues like a hotel, hall, restaurant, etc. Some even hold the ceremony in a park or other natural setting.
What decorations are needed?
None, but many people have candles, flowers, and a decorative small container of water (if water is being applied to the child during the ceremony). 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 celebrant (either a lay officiant, minister or chaplain) from within your community will be pleased to perform a ceremony for you.
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.
Is there a certificate/record of the event?
Yes, a beautiful 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 it 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 or baptism ceremony can be held in conjunction with a marriage ceremony. Your celebrant can likely provide both ceremonies.
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 family'’'s own selection of words, poems and readings from the wide selection provided on this website or from other resources.
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 the ceremony. We accept a Credit card or e-transfer 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!