Today our little girl was baptized in the very same church as her brother back in 2014. It is also the same church were I was baptized all those year ago in 1987. As I have written in the article “Our Son’s Baptism” the church is called the Finnish Seamen’s Church and was founded 1966 in Hamburg. We decided to have Nathalie’s baptism in the same church as it just seems to be already a tradition in our family by now.
Unlike at our son’s baptism the church was rather empty this time as we were to only people there. The only guests besides my parents were my brother and his girlfriend. Back in 2014 another family had their child’s baptism and they were a big big family. This time it was for us much more relaxed and obviously much shorter. Only when it came to the singing part is sounded a bit weak as all of us are suffering under the common cold thanks to Nathan who brings back home all kind of craziness from kindergarten.
We expected the worst behaviour of our daughter as she just loves to complain and cry whenever she gets bored with something. However we were blessed with a little angel for this day as she smiled during the whole ceremony and was watching the reverend with big eyes when she was playing the piano and singing. Apparently our little Nathalie loves church songs as she never cared at all about my or my wife’s music! After the ceremony we had just like three years ago some bread, coffee, Karelian Pirogs and Pulla. Nothing fancy but enough for us and in Finland everything is usually pretty low-key.
So what is now the complete name of our daughter? Her official name is Nathalie 逸诗 (Yishi) Amalia. The first name here again is something English and German speakers shouldn’t have any problems with, the second name is obviously her Chinese name and the third one is her Finnish name which we took from her great-grandmother from my mother’s side. In comparison our son’s full name is Nathan 逸然(Yiran) Antti. You can see they are very similar and Antti was actually the name of my mother’s Uncle.
What naming ceremonies/ traditions do you have?
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Today we drove once again to Hamburg but this time not because of another visit at the Zoo but for our little boy’s baptism. We chose a little church in Hamburg because I was myself baptized in that church nearly 27 years ago. Back in the day my parents decided on that church because it is the Finnish Seamen’s Church and I am myself 1/2 Finn and 1/2 German. Now that our little son was born we thought it was just right that he would be baptized in the very same church as me and besides he is also to part Finnish!
The church was built at Ditmar-Koel-Strasse 6 in 1966, in the same street are also the Norwegian, Swedish and Danish Seamen Churches (sorry if I forgot other churches but I never paid too much attention which other ones are located there).
It is a pretty small church in the corner of few other buildings so some people even miss it passing by. Within is a small coffee shop where you can buy all kinds of Finnish little items and food stuff. I have to add that the prices are not even that high, sure higher than normal food etc in Germany but still mostly cheaper than in Finland itself. One of my favorite parts in the church building is the parrot named Tseki which is probably just a “Finnishnized” version of Jacky. One of the things you don’t expect in your everyday church is most likely the sauna…
Our day at the church
The main ceremony at the church started at 11am and the church was packed (okay, it is a really small church and we weren’t more than 30 people in there…). Besides the main church service there were two baptisms on the program, one for a young boy (he had surely a lot of family with him) and one for our little baby. I don’t have much to say about the whole event as it was in my eyes a standard Lutheran (Finnish) church service but for my mother-in-law it was something new as she his herself catholic and besides that only witnessed church services in China. Everything was going on without any issues, little Nathan slept throughout the whole service and the only sound he managed to produce was a little fart…
After the service was done we left the church and went to the coffee shop in the same building. My parents had a little cold bread table ordered so we had time to relax a bit with coffee/tea, bread, pulla and some muffins. It probably does not sound like a very exciting day but we liked it as we prefer to keep things simple and it was an excellent way to get body and mind away from the ever going on renovation work in our apartment. Besides, it was very nice that everything went so smooth this day as we had some little drama the two weeks prior to the baptism as one of the papers necessary for the process was missing. Not any paper but the BIRTH CERTIFICATE itself vanished somehow so we had to get some certified paper from the Finnish resident registration office asap to Germany which was not as easy as it sounds now but in the end we managed everything just fine and the pastor received all necessary documents couple of days before the deadline.
Some information about the Finnish Seamen’s Mission on wiki and the website of the church itself in Finnish language…