Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Name Days

I've been asked to explain what name days are. They are most common in Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions, although the Latin rite also celebrates "name days" or "saint days". Every person has a patron saint. Some of these are visible with a child's name, while others come when a child is confirmed and chooses a saint to model their life after (most often, children will choose the saint of their birth name, for example, Peter's name is Peter Nicholas and his Confirmation name is Nicholas; my name is Carol Michele and, while my patron is St Michael, I chose the Confirmation name of Brigid). Like birthdays, name days are celebrated, although usually not with much frivolity, as it's a more solemn occasion. These are just other days throughout the year when a person is celebrated, although it is more of a reminder to emulate the person's patron saint in holiness, etc, versus celebrating the day that one was born into the world.

We wont throw a party or anything for Bobby and Maya's name days. We will, perhaps, get them a small gift (religious in nature) and maybe have a cake (I dont really need reasons to make cake...) All of our children have religious names (for Bobby, it is Robert and for Maya, it is her middle name, Eirene). Interestingly enough, our daughters also share the names of Goddesses (Gaea, Sophia, and Eirene are all the names of ancient Goddesses).

I hope this makes some sort of sense? If there are specific questions, I can try to address them.


Leah said...

I think that is a very cool tradition to keep up. I don't know much about Catholicism, so I found this very interesting. :-D

Anonymous said...

I am such a bad Catholic....I was confirmed and don't remember Confirmation names etc. :(

addingtothepack said...

I think that's a wonderful tradition.

I have been reading but not commenting -- I am so glad that the babies continue to thrive!