The Gift of a Good Name

by Jennifer Cram Brisbane Marriage Celebrant ©  (09/12/2019)
Categories: | Naming Ceremonies |
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Fruits of the Earth Ritual. Silver Tray
                      containing white water jug, black pebble, white
                      dishes containing rice and salt, and a sprig of
                      rosemary tied with a blue ribbon
Names are important for many reasons, but one reason that has always given me food for thought is that a person's name is often the longest surviving indication that they ever lived.

Our names are recorded in many places. That TV program "Who Do You Think You Are?" demonstrates this. But what comes across very clearly is that our names survive far longer than the many facts of who we are. And if little or no written record about a person's life - who they were and what they did - remains, all that is left is the name.

Giving your child a good name is something to celebrate. Celebrating the gift of a good name with a naming ceremony is a wonderful way to acknowledge the person your child is, and will become. Not only does the ceremony celebrate your child's name, the way I create naming ceremonies means that you will have a keepsake copy of the ceremony that provides a rounded picture of the family your child was born into, the circumstances of your child's birth, and the reasons for the choice of the names.

A few facts about Naming Ceremonies


  • A Naming (or Name-Giving) Ceremony is not a legal requirement, nor does it make your child's name legal. You need to register your child's birth with Births, Deaths, and Marriages (The Registry Office) in the state in which your child was born.
  • During the ceremony your child is formally named, and the reasons you chose those names are shared.
  • While a Naming Ceremony is often seen as a substitute for a Christening or Baptism, there is no reason why you can't have both. A ceremony in Church that inducts your child into your faith and a naming ceremony held elsewhere (usually the home) to celebrate and welcome your child into the family and the community of friends that surrounds them.
  • A church christening follows a set liturgy. A naming ceremony reflects your personal choice, and I work with you to ensure that everyone important to you and your child is acknowledged and that the content of the ceremony and the promises you make to your child are personal to you.
  • You can include religious references in your child's naming ceremony if you wish. It does not have to be an entirely secular ceremony. If you wish to have a more religious ceremony, we can create a Dedication Ceremony.
  • You can appoint godparents (or call these supporting adults something else, such as mentors or guideparents). There are no restrictions or requirements. So you can choose whomever you feel is best suited to be a positive role model, mentor, and guide.   if you want to appoint more than two, feel free. They can take an active role in the ceremony, too.
  • You can include rituals, such as lighting candles, fruits of the earth blessing,  or a sand ceremony.
  • There are no age restrictions. While most naming ceremonies are held when the child is still a baby, or in conjunction with the child's first birthday celebrations, you can have a naming ceremony for an older child too.
  • If you have older children, I love including them in the ceremony as well.
  • You do not have to be a couple to hold a naming ceremony for your child.

Special reasons for having a naming ceremony


Because a naming ceremony celebrates the person and the gift of a good name, having a formal naming ceremony to acknowledge and celebrate in particular circumstances can be very affirming
  • to welcome an adopted child into the family
  • to celebrate and name a child born after many years of IVF
  • to celebrate and name a "donor" baby
  • to recognise a new name and celebrate a life of integrity for a person who is transitioning

Thanks for reading!

Jenny xxx Let's talk soon about how you can
                    have the best ceremony ever

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