At the same time, though, Steve and his wife are not alone in their understanding that baptismal names traditionally had to be the names of saints. Where do I start if I am looking for a saint's name? If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. This article has been viewed 86,243 times. I could have a Catholic be a godparent and move three years after the baptism to another state. Note that the first part of the canon didn’t actually say that the name had to be a saint’s name; it merely said that the name … In English-speaking cultures, a person's Christian name is commonly their first name and is typically the name by which the person is primarily known. What should the child be called? You can choose a baptismal name by researching the lives of saints and picking a name that reflects a Christian life. This is done because of the absolute necessity of Baptism. What other name can I choose that starts with F? What names have the same meaning as Jehan? The baptism itself will probably look essentially identical to the baptism of a baby at any Catholic parish; but the Lutheran minister’s intention is to baptize the baby as a Lutheran, and the Lutheran parents’ intention is of course to raise their child as a Lutheran—and that’s what makes the child a Lutheran, rather than a Catholic or a Baptist or anything else. Note that even under the old law, a child could receive a first name that was not the name of a saint—but he always had to have a middle name that was. It is the pastor’s duty to find out. If he and his Catholic wife had a son, the father might naturally want to have him baptized “Stanton” as well. Is there conceivably an innocent and legitimate reason for giving such a name to a Catholic child? While it goes without saying that it is laudable for Catholic parents to choose a saint’s name for their child, it is not actually necessary. The parents would be required to choose another name instead. Baptism is defined positively in the one and negatively in the other. The previous law would lead the Catholic priest to balk at baptizing the baby as Stanton, since it is not a saint’s name. Why Would a Catholic Cleric Desecrate an Altar? Or do they regard the whole baptismal ceremony as an empty tradition or even a joke? Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” The Catholic Church believes that a baby is born into this world with sins from past generations, as is Judaism, a baby is born sin-free. Since I was not named after a saint, is it necessary to choose a baptismal name? For Confirmation you choose the name of a saint. We saw in “Are Women Required to Cover their Heads in Church?” that the law currently in force in the Catholic Church took effect in 1983, under Pope John Paul II. If they were to persist in their offensive choice, the baptism simply could not take place. According to the revised Catholic Church Canon Law, it is no longer mandatory that the child receive the name of a saint. These are words that every Catholic should know as well as he knows his own name. It replaced the previous code, promulgated by Pope Benedict XV back in 1917. Perhaps if we all raise our children as committed Catholics, names like “Ashley” and “Jennifer,” “Curtis” and “Todd” may some day in the future indeed be the names of saints. When (and How Much) Can a Bishop Tax a Parish? Get the proven playbook to heal a broken heart. If a second godparent is … By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Kate Towne. Baptismal names are used only by Catholics, and it is often the same name that parents give their child when they are born. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. [Canon # 874.2] - … Wait for the sacrament of Confirmation to select a new name, if you prefer. The name is often the name of a saint, but it does not have to be. Nowadays, however, it is no longer required to have a saint’s name as a middle name, although of course the child’s parents might very well choose to add one. But if the father insisted, the work-around was simply to add a second name, and baptize the child with a full name like Stanton Joseph, or Stanton Michael. What Happens When a Religious Who’s Vowed Poverty Becomes a Bishop? The white garment symbolizes the white garments Jesus wore when he was placed in the tomb after his death on Good Friday. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches in paragraph 1240 that a proper form for administering baptism is “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” But for some Protestants, such as Oneness Pentecostals, this Trinitarian formula doesn’t match what the Bible has to say about baptism. The previous law would lead the Catholic priest to balk at baptizing the baby as Stanton, since it is not a saint’s name. While baptismal names are no longer required to be the names of saints or angels, the church will likely not agree to baptize a child with a name that defies its teachings. If the information on this website has helped you, please consider making a contribution so that it can continue to help others. To create this article, 9 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Why is Google hiding the posts on this website in its search results? Refusing First Holy Communion to Children Who Are Ill-Prepared, Ecclesia Supplet: Making Invalid Sacraments Valid, Invalid Baptisms and Unaccountable Clergy. 1) at least 16 years old 2) practicing Catholic with good standing in the church 3) not of the same gender as the second godparent 4) have received the sacraments of baptism, eucharist and confirmation. But nowadays, we often see notices in our parish bulletin announcing the baptisms of newborns, and neither their first nor their middle name is a saint’s name! Thus it’s quite possible for a Catholic priest to baptize “Ashley” and “Jennifer,” “Curtis” and “Todd.” Even if there may be no canonized saints with these same names, there is certainly nothing unchristian about them. This is why in practice, children were occasionally given baptismal names like “Christian,” “Grace,” and “Faith.” Strictly speaking, these might not be saint’s names—but as they obviously described concepts directly related to the Catholic faith, they were traditionally considered equally acceptable choices. All rights reserved. When Catholic parents choose a name for their newborn child, they understand that they are also choosing a baptismal name. There are also books of baby names that have specific sections on religious names. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. This accords with a venerable Catholic custom always insisted upon by the Church, and now reaffirmed as a law in the new Code of Canon Law. When I had the Sacrament of Confirmation I had it at a different Church than my friends from school. You will find names and descriptions that may inspire you. Holy water is poured on the forehead to represent the burial of sin, and resurrection and rebirth through water. I had to choose a name, but my friends didn't have to. % of people told us that this article helped them. We can see that within these broad parameters, the current law on this matter is quite general. Rather, since it is worded in the negative, we are only told what sorts of names may not be given to a child at his baptism. Let’s say that for generations, the eldest son in his family had been given this name. A Catholic may act as witness at a non-Catholic baptism, but not as a sponsor. For about two centuries (from the late 1700s through to the early to mid-1900s) the Irish favoured a precise convention for naming their children that can suggest what names to look for in a previous generation. It is prescribed by the Church's newest ritual, as when the celebrant asks the parents or sponsors at infant baptism, "What name do you wish to give the infant?" When Catholic parents have a child, they may choose a saint's name as the child's given name, and present that name at the infant's baptism. Now the only requirement is that pastors make sure the child’s name is not “foreign to a Christian mentality.” This article has been viewed 86,243 times. In fact, the canon does not specify that at baptism a child must receive any particular sort of name at all. Specifically, a baptism administered with the formula “We baptise you …” instead of “I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” is not valid because it is the person of Christ through the minister who is acting, not the assembly, the congregation said. A person being baptized in the Catholic Church is expected to dress in white to symbolize purity of faith and the cleansing power of Baptism. Note that the canon does not specifically require that the child’s name be a saint’s name. Here just some of the names that begin with F that you can choose from: Felix, Fabius, Festus, Faith, Fara, Flora, Faustina, Fedele, Francis, Fergus, Fina, Fiorentina, Finnian, Finlay, Filippo, Fernandez, Fernando, Fransis, Francus, Francisca, Francesca, Francesco, Frances, Felicity, Foster, Felicia, Florentine, Florentina, Florence. 855) "In Baptism, the Lord’s name sanctifies man, and the Christian receives his name in the Church. 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