While the Church of England – the largest Christian denomination in the United Kingdom – is stopping short of calling its newly instituted blessing for “transgenders” a second baptism, priests are being directed to offer baptism-style ceremonies for those announcing their new sexual identity.
In a newly issued pastoral guidance, clergy are being told to call men by their new female names, and women by their new male names. The guidance declares, “For a trans person to be addressed liturgically by the minister for the first time by their chosen name may be a powerful moment in the service.”
“It should be noted that the giving or adoption of a new name has a long history in the Judeo-Christian tradition as may be evidenced from Scripture,” continues the new guidance. “In some Christian circles, for example, it is customary for candidates to adopt an additional or saint’s name at their Confirmation.”