SAN DIEGO -- Guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) held a christening ceremony July 1 for the family of the ship’s weapons officer, Lt. Thomas Adams.
Adams and his wife watched proudly as their daughter was christened on the ship’s forecastle continuing a centuries old tradition of baptizing babies in a ship’s bell.
According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, the custom originated in the British Royal Navy and was adopted by the U.S. Traditionally, the child is baptized under the ship's bell or the bell is filled with water and used as a christening bowl for the ceremony.
The christening ceremony was led by Lt. Travis Coffey, Lake Champlain’s chaplain. Many of the ship’s officers were on hand to observe the ceremony along with the Adams’ and the daughter’s godparents.
“Conducting dedication ceremonies on board U.S. Naval warships is an important part of our heritage,” said Lake Champlain’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Chris Cegielski. “Lake Champlain has a rich history and by adding the Adams' name to the ship's bell we have added another important event to it.”
In keeping with Navy tradition, the child’s name will be inscribed on the inside the ship’s bell as a record of her baptism and a testament to the life of faith that is ahead of her.
“Not only did this ceremony tie one of our own crew to this great ship, it also re-emphasized the importance of how much our families are tied to mission success,” said Cegielski. “It was an honor to be a part of it.”