Bestowing A Forever Name
A Naming Ceremony is an ideal way of welcoming a baby or young child into the world and your family. Whilst it has no legal standing, it is a warm, personal and optimistic celebration of a new life for those who might not want a traditional Christening Ceremony.
There is no age limit on a Naming Ceremony - it can be held for a newborn, toddler or even older children. A Naming Ceremony is a wonderful celebration held for the arrival of an adopted child, a foster child or, when a new family comes together, it can be the perfect way to welcome step-children into its midst.
The name that you have chosen for your child is very important - its meaning can be included in the ceremony as well as the reason why it was selected - perhaps in memory of a lost loved one.
Typically, naming ceremonies also include readings and poems, music and even dancing, as well as the specific promises that are to be made to the child.
Siblings and other children should not feel excluded as they can also take an active part in various naming ceremony elements such as the Unity Sand ritual. There can also be the presentation of a special gift to the child or children as well as a Commemorative Certificate. Hand prints and - if the ceremony is being held at home - a tree planting can be incorporated as a way of marking the occasion.
As with all bespoke ceremonies - no two naming ceremonies are alike. Whilst there are no restrictions as to the order or the elements included, it should be remembered that after 45 minutes the minds of children - and many adults too - tend to drift!
The parents are free to select the ideal location and time for the ceremony and also which of their friends and relatives are to play key roles. They can also decide on the pledges they wish to make to their child; as well as the commitments and declarations they will ask from the other ‘Supporting Adults’.
Whether referred to as a ‘Supporting Adult’, ‘Life Mentor’ or “Significant Person’, all have a similar role to Godparents in a traditional Christening Ceremony. In a Naming Ceremony, there is no fixed number of Supporting Adults, but it is usual for them not only to promise to give help and guidance to the child, but also - if needed - to be a support to the parents. Everyone should feel comfortable with what they commit to. The Supporting Adults might also like to take an active role in the ceremony by contributing a reading, piece of poetry or a story.
Grandparents are frequently included in the naming ceremony and you can involve as many other relatives and friends as you like to share in this happy occasion. You might even like to put together a time capsule, memory book or record video messages as a souvenir for your child to enjoy when they grow up.
As a Family Celebrant, I can help you compose and deliver your own perfect Naming Ceremony for your baby or child. A ceremony which not only publicly gives your child his or her name, but also truly celebrates their arrival as a new person into your family and community of friends.