How many names do you give to children at baptism?

How many names do you give to children at baptism?

How many names is advisable to give to children at baptism? This is the question to which all parents seek a clear answer, but which cannot have a single ideal solution for all. In ancient times, families used to baptize their newborns with at least two first names to accompany the family name. Currently, moms and dads prefer short, strong names, easy to pronounce and remember.


On the one hand, if a child receives a single name at baptism, he will benefit from his short size advantage, easy to remember and pronounced by colleagues and teachers. On the other hand, the first name helps to identify the name as a whole and to comply with all the criteria that the parents wanted from the beginning: holy name, traditional name, taken from the family or with a special meaning.

So, how many names is ideal for giving children to baptism and why?

Religious perspective on baptismal names

If you were to consider the religious perspective of the optimal number of names to give to the baby at baptism, the right path is a single holy name, the closest calendar to the date of birth of the child.

The Church is of the opinion that parents who give two or three names to the child do not understand the uniqueness of the human person and their unspoken unity, splitting the child's identity into two different value units.

Priests argue that when a man has a single name all his personality is concentrated in it, taking over the qualities expressed by the first name in question. In the situation where the child has more than one baptismal name, such as Ion Constantin, the other first name remains superfluous, more precisely "a scriptological ballast", which makes the life of the wearer difficult, it does not bring them any advantages.

The position of the Orthodox Church is a firm one: if the elders could not decide for themselves to bear more baptism names, they can do good to the children by baptizing them with one name, not necessarily by the Saint. In no case, the church does not allow babies of Orthodox religion to receive names of Catholic saints, Protestants, sectaries, artists or pagan names, taken from peoples who do not believe in Christ.

Priests also do not encourage the names of animals, birds or gods for the baptism of newborn babies.

More baptismal names, a way of compromise

Most parents who chose more than one christening name for their children justified their decision as a compromise, for various reasons:

  • the first name desired with the presence has no biblical links, and a holy name is important for Romanians;
  • the tradition of taking the name of the nose / nose could not be ignored and was respected by the second name;
  • the final decision could not be reduced to a single first name;
  • the first name sounds better next to the surname with a second name;
  • strong pressure from grandparents and other close relatives;
  • the birth on a special day, which "required" the marking of the event.

How many baptismal names are too many?

While it may not be a rule for a child to bear a single first name, no matter how vehement the position of the Orthodox Church may be in this regard, we can say with certainty that more than two first names are ... too many.

With a family name and 3 more names (however melodious they would be spoken together), the child will suffer in the future:

  • it will be difficult for her to say the full name;
  • the registration of the name in official documents will be a chore;
  • bureaucratic errors have a high chance of occurring throughout life;
  • full name recommendation will be almost impossible every time;
  • the sense of identity will also be confused and oscillating.

As for choosing the second baptismal name, it is recommended:

  • not to be of the nickname;
  • not to form a combination of mismatched syllables with the other surname / surname;
  • not to suggest ridiculous things;
  • it should not be difficult to write;
  • not to have diminutive sound or meaning;
  • not to favor jokes by abbreviation or rhyme.

How many christening names do you think is ideal for receiving a baby after birth? Tell us how you baptized your baby and why you chose this option with your family, in the comments section!