Organizing A Christening Without God

So, we are organizing a Naming Day for Ella. And by that I mean, I am organizing a Naming Day for Ella. As well as cleaning and tax, Joel is also allergic to planning any kind of event. We are all still waiting to celebrate his 30th and he is nearly 31.



In case you are not familiar with what a Naming Day is, it’s like a Christening except God doesn’t get an invite. Joel and I are religious, but not specifically religious. There is a part of me that is very Jesus-y. There is a section in the Bible which says, “He who does not love does not know God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8). God as Love I get. I dig God as Love. On Sundays, when we drive to the markets to buy our fruit and veggies, I always put on the Jesus channel, as Joel calls it. I love hearing people singing about worship and devotion and as I turn it up loud, Joel groans as though he is dying and looks out the window. It’s our Sunday thing. Never gets old.


However, I also think that there are a million different ways to kneel and kiss the ground, like Rumi reckons. So, God’s not invited to this one. We can’t invite everyone.


Since Joel and I aren’t married, I wanted to do something special for us. Ella has, after all, had a rather large….. influence… on our lives heading in the direction they did. She was a surprise, but she was the best surprise we could have ever received. Not like one of those clowns that pop freakily out of a jack-in-the-box. Definitely not a good surprise, those clowns.


So, there will be marquees. There will be a celebrant. There will be readings and speeches and we will welcome Ella into the world and bless her sweet little feet in a way that is ours. In fact, I’ve already written what I will be reading out. It’s beautiful. However, I read it to Joel yesterday to practice public speaking, and I had barely gotten to the second sentence before my voice caught in my throat and I was splattering my words out through tears.



So far, it’s not going well.

2 Responses to “Organizing A Christening Without God”

  1. Tanya

    I look forward to seeing you read with wracking sobs. A friend of mine asked me to read at her wedding. I was flattered. I warned her. I ALWAYS cry at meaningful events, that is my religion. I warned her that it isn’t a pretty little tear escaping from my eye. It can get away from me into something looking more like grief. She insisted. I made it to the second line – they were both really close friends – and the eye leaking got really out of hand. Insisting on finishing it, it turns out that crying at weddings is contagious because by the end quite a few of the rest of the small gathering were crying too, some with laughter but that was ok. If you do cry, you won’t be alone lovely.

    • rachwiley

      Hopefully I’ll be able to pull off ‘touching’ instead of ‘awkward’. I am doing a reading for a close friend’s wedding ceremony soon as well, so I definitely need to practice non-sobbing public speaking somehow.


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