*Christening is the naming ceremony, Commissioning is placing
a warship in active service
Christening ceremonies were and are meant to bring good luck
to the New Ship, and those who sail on it. Christening a new ship or naming
ceremony's goes back to the early days of sailing ( ceremonies involved in naming
and launching ships are based in traditions thousands of years old.) in the
early rituals ship christenings of the Vikings were marked by the spilling of
blood. In the Middle Ages, religious shrines were on the ship and a libation
of wine was offered as the vessel hit the water as a substitute for the earlier
blood sacrifice. The wine was poured on the deck appease King Neptune for good
luck and a safe voyage. Ancient seafaring peoples, rimming the Mediterranean,
launched their ships with rituals having religious overtones. These practices,
varying inform as nations and cultures evolved through the centuries, have carried
over to the present christening and launching ceremonies. The current tradition
throughout the world has been that women christen ships, but it has not always
been this way early ceremony's were performed by officials or local religious
The traditional christening ceremony includes the smashing of
a champagne bottle across the ship's bow. And Saying something like:
SPOKEN OUT LOUD
"I name this ship ___________ and may she bring fair winds and good
fortune to all who sail on her." Or
"I name this ship ___________, may God bless her and all who sail in
The ship then makes a dramatic launch into water, In ways of the Old
it is ok to pour the Wine or Champagne in the water from west to east. These
traditional ceremonies can be great fun for you and your family's the more
people the better, just be sure to bring enough champagne
Superstition or not the Titanic was never christened! And the
USS Arizona was Christened with water rather than wine or champagne. Good examples
of bad luck, God Bless Their Souls.
Renaming a boat or a ship is considered to be very unlucky. But
if you have to do it there is a a procedure and ceremony. According to legend,
each and every vessel is recorded by name in the Ledger of the Deep and is known
personally to Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea. therefore, the first
thing we must do is to purge its name from the Ledger of the Deep and from Poseidon’s
(1) you must prepare the vessel: you must remove all physical
traces of the boat's old name.
(2) Take the old log book ashore, along with any other papers that bear the
(3) Check for offending books and charts with the name inscribed.
(4) Sand away the old name from the lifeboats, transom, top-side, and oars.
Yes, sand it away or replace. Painting over is not good enough. King Neptune
can see through the paint.
(5) If the old name is carved or etched, remove it dig it out and fill it sand
it and then paint over.
*This not the ceremony just the prep work
*DO NOT put the new name anywhere on the boat before the de naming ceremony
is carried out. That's just tempting fate.
*You have to perform the Denaming Ceremony at least 24 hours (a day and a night)
before the Renaming Ceremony
There are a few denaming ceremonies depending on your belief in
superstition You pick the one that suits you best
(1) The Superstitious Ceremony was to write the soon-to-be-exorcised
name on a piece of paper, fold the paper, and place it in a small cardboard
or wooden box. Burn the box. Scoop up the ashes and throw them into the sea
on an outgoing tide. If you live on a lake, do it at night and only during
a new moon. River dwellers should send the ashes downstream.
(2) Vigor's Denaming Ceremony
SPOKEN OUT LOUD "In the name of all who have sailed aboard this ship
in the past, and in the name of all who may sail aboard her in the future,
we invoke the ancient gods of the wind and the sea to favor us with their
"Mighty Neptune, king of all that moves in or on the waves; and mighty
Aeolus (pronounced EE-oh-lus), guardian of the winds and all that blows before
"We offer you our thanks for the protection you have afforded this vessel
in the past. We voice our gratitude that she has always found shelter from
tempest and storm and enjoyed safe passage to port.
"Now, wherefore, we submit this supplication, that the name whereby this
vessel has hitherto been known (_____), be struck and removed from your records.
"Further, we ask that when she is again presented for blessing with another
name, she shall be recognized and shall be accorded once again the selfsame
privileges she previously enjoyed.
"In return for which, we rededicate this vessel to your domain in full
knowledge that she shall be subject as always to the immutable laws of the
gods of the wind and the sea.
"In consequence whereof, and in good faith, we seal this pact with a
libation offered according to the hallowed ritual of the sea."
(3). SPOKEN OUT LOUD
I bid hail !! Aeolus and Poseidon !
And seek your benefaction upon this vessel ,
May the name she carried before, be gone as the winds of yore,
Having served the former master with honor.
I now, with deep respect, petition you royal beings ,
To give this vessel's new hailing and her next voyages, your kindnesses.
* It is said that you must wait 1 Day to allow the name purge
from the Ledger of the Deep So start the process on Saturday and Do the renaming
ceremony on Sunday
Finally the Renaming Ceremony:
Oh mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all
ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage,
implore you in your graciousness to take unto your records and recollection
this worthy vessel hereafter and for all time known as (------ new name------),
guarding her with your mighty arm and trident and ensuring her of safe and
rapid passage throughout her journeys within your realm.
In appreciation of your munificence, dispensation and in honor
of your greatness, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court.
(At this point, one bottle of Champagne, less one glass for the master and
one glass for the mate are poured into the sea from West to East.)
The next step in the renaming ceremony is to appease the
gods of the winds. This will assure you of fair winds and smooth seas. Because
the four winds are brothers, it is permissible to invoke them all at the same
time, however, during the ceremony; you must address each by name.
Begin in this manner:
Oh mighty rulers of the winds, through whose power our frail
vessels traverse the wild and faceless deep, we implore you to grant this
worthy vessel (------ new name-------) the benefits and pleasures of your
bounty, ensuring us of your gentle ministration according to our needs.
(Facing north, pour a generous libation of Champagne into a
Champagne flute and fling to the North as you intone:) Great Boreas, exalted
ruler of the North Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in
the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge
of your frigid breath.
(Facing west, pour the same amount of Champagne and fling to
the West while intoning:) Great Zephyrus, exalted ruler of the West Wind,
grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful
endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your wild breath.
(Facing east, repeat and fling to the East.) Great Eurus, exalted
ruler of the East Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the
pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge
of your mighty breath.
(Facing south, repeat, flinging to the South.) Great Notus,
exalted ruler of the South Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers
in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge
of your scalding breath.
*SAILBOATS: First time out with the new name on the boat, luff
up into the wind and drift to a complete stop, then allow the boat to sail backwards.
This represents "backing over" the old name. Sailing backwards is
hard - requires a good breeze, some waves usually help, and a fair amount of
skill. But the goddesses and gods that are concerned with these matters are
not easy to impress! If the boat is a fin keel type with a separate rudder,
you should be able to stabilize in backwards mode and do it for at least a few
boat-lengths. For a full-keeler, the spirits will most likely be appeased with
a half-boat-length or so. Under no circumstance should you do this under power!
*If the boat is a powerboat, you will have bad luck with the new
name until you have run aground three times.
*Don't insult the gods with a presumptuous name they will accept the challenge
to disprove the name...