Naming your baby is one of the most creative moments of your lives!
A naming ceremony is a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of a new baby or to welcome an adopted child or stepchildren into your family and wider community. To name and bless a baby is to energetically acknowledge the child’s entrance into the family, to welcome them into the family and community and acknowledging their given name.
It is an opportunity for parents, god/guide parents to declare, before family and friends, their promises to be as good a parent, god/guide parent as you can, and for adult friends or relatives to confirm their special relationship with your child. It is becoming popular to coincide the naming ceremony with a first birthday to make a combined celebration, or to signify the first birthday together with adopted parents at any age. The ceremony itself can take place anywhere, for example, in your house, back garden, favourite park, place in nature, restaurant or other venue.
There are many ways to make your child’s ceremony a very personal, meaningful, and unique event for all those involved. The ceremony would be designed especially for you and can take any form with the content structured around your own beliefs and wishes.
Ceremony Content and Structure
- Words of welcome and introduction
- Acknowledging absent friends and/or family members
- Prayers, Readings and/or poems
- Stories, songs, music, hymns, dancing or playing musical instruments
- Welcoming the child
- Meaning of the names
- Naming of the child
- Blessing the child
- Parents promises
- God/guide parent promises
- Grandparents promises
- Inclusion of siblings and/or other children present
- Presentation of gifts to the child
- Hopes for the future
- Closing words
Here are some ideas to get the best from your ceremony:
Parental Prayer and/or Promises
Think about the promises you wish to make to your child. Select promises that you really mean, and you could ask your God parents and grandparents to do the same. I usually have parents repeat this together after me (it should represent their vision for how they want to be as parents, and how they want to raise their child).
God/Guide Prayer and/or Promises
Choose your supporting adults with care, ideally, they should be people whom your child will see regularly and who will have a good and positive influence in the child’s life. Being asked to be a supporting adult is an honour, but it’s also a role that carries responsibilities, so choose the people you ask with care and talk to them about the promises they feel able to make. To honour the God/Guide parents, I could invite them to step forward and light a candle for the baby as they make their promises.
Grandparents Prayer and/or Promises
Ask Grandparents if they would like to be involved as they are likely to be important people in your child’s life. To honour the grandparents, I could invite them to step forward and light a candle for the baby and perhaps they read a prayer or poem.
You may like to mention friends and family who are not able to join you for the occasion or take a few moments in the ceremony to remember people close to you who have passed away.
Consider giving a special gift to your child. It doesn’t have to be expensive but choose something long lasting that your child can keep and treasure in years to come.
The family might like some way to anchor the ceremony so have fun with creativity and ways that might suit each family such as each person writing a blessing to the child on a prayer flag, blessing stones, cards. This might be made beforehand and then displayed. Rituals and symbolic gestures, can include:
- Anointing with oil and/or water
- Planting of a tree
- Balloon release
- Blessings, prayer flags or candle lighting
Modern day music can be included before, during and after the ceremony or a blessing chant for those who are comfortable with singing, it can be beautiful to close on a chant.
People are at the heart of everything that I do, so why not get in touch to discuss your needs and explore the possibilities.
Love and laughter,