So you’ve decided you would like to have a naming ceremony for your baby or child; you’ve booked the venue and found a celebrant who will be coming to meet you in a few days. Now you’ve started to wonder “what exactly is a naming ceremony?” In a nutshell, it can be whatever you want it to be, that’s the beauty of having a celebrant-led ceremony.
Here’s a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Who would you like to include in the ceremony? Do you have ‘Godparents’, mentors or supporting adults that you want to have a special role in the life of your child? Are there close family members or friends that you would like to involve? Do you want them to make promises or vows as part of the ceremony?
- What part of your story and the story of your child’s life so far would you like to include? Do you have some anecdotes about your child’s birth and life so far? Would you like to share a funny story or two which demonstrates something of your child’s character?
- Does your child’s chosen name have special meaning to you? Why did you choose this name?
- Are there any poems, songs or readings that are meaningful to you which you would like to read yourself or have the celebrant read for you?
- Would you like the celebrant to share some words about the responsibility of parenting or the importance of the wider family or community of friends in the life of a child?
- As the naming is the key element of the ceremony, how would you like this to be marked?
- Are there any rituals that you would like to include, maybe a commemorative certificate, naming ribbon, unity candle or a gift box. I’ll be expanding on some of these elements in future blogs, so look out for those.
- Do you want guests to bring anything with them or to do anything during or after the ceremony? This might be bringing their favourite children’s book so you can build a library for your child, bringing a small gift for a time capsule, blowing bubbles during the ceremony or signing a guest book. The sky’s the limit here so do have a think about what would make the ceremony meaningful and memorable for all concerned.
I hope this has given you some ideas to help you start planning your bespoke naming ceremony. Talk these ideas over with your celebrant and ask if they have any others. Once you’ve done that, your celebrant will be able to craft a unique, beautiful ceremony to mark this most special occasion.