Naming Ceremonies

 
A Naming Ceremony (sometimes called a Name-Giving or a Baby Naming Day ) is a highly personal and meaningful event, and a wonderful way to formally welcome your child into the supportive community of family and friends that will nurture your child as he or she grows. Naming ceremonies are suitable for natural or adopted children of families of all kinds, including heterosexual parent families, same-sex families, single-parent families and families where the adults are the guardians of the child.  A variation on a naming ceremony can also be used to embrace a step-child.

There is no age limit. You can hold a baby naming ceremony for a young baby, at any time during the child's first year, or, as is very common, in conjunction with the child's first birthday celebrations, or when the child is older. Each age has its special characteristics. A naming ceremony can also be held in conjunction with a wedding ceremony, a commitment ceremony, or a reaffirmation of vows. A naming ceremony can be held to complement a church baptism, as part of the christening celebration at home, and as a means of formally welcoming the child into the family and the community, or to celebrate other situations such as fostering or the creation of new family relationships through marriage.

I provide a range of different types of Naming Ceremonies for babies and children
  • Baby Naming Ceremony
  • First Birthday Naming Ceremony
  • Naming of older children
  • Adoption Naming Ceremony
  • DIY Naming Ceremony  - a professionally created ceremony without the expense of having a celebrant conduct it
Naming Ceremony Packages
More information about Types of Naming Ceremonies
NB I am fully vaccinated for the protection of your child
and other children attending the ceremony.
I create each ceremony specifically for the occasion, so each is a personal celebration of the birth or adoption of your child that gives you an opportunity to express your personal values and your commitment to parenting your child in front of your family and friends. The ceremony is extremely flexible. It can be structured as you wish, and include readings, rituals and personal recognition of anyone you wish. If you are a single parent, non-parent guardian, or a same-sex couple, you can be assured that the ceremony will be sensitive to your needs and situation.


What will be included in the ceremony?

 
I accept full responsibility for the creation and stage-management of your ceremony, but only as your facilitator. I will be honest and straightforward in giving you my best advice, but it is your ceremony so I will do nothing to disempower you or compromise your right to make your ceremony uniquely yours. When you do me the honour of choosing me to be your celebrant, I can guarantee that you will have a naming ceremony that is
  • personal
  • inclusive
  • relationship-strengthening
  • light-hearted in the appropriate places
  • authentic to your beliefs and values
In preparing for a naming ceremony I will spend time getting to know your family to ensure I create a ceremony which perfectly reflects your needs, your beliefs, your values and  the unique qualities of your child and your child's heritage. As with all ceremonies I create and conduct, I will ensure that the ceremony is inclusive and participatory, and that, in addition to the godparents/mentors the ceremony includes all significant family members - parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters of the baby, for example, and friends. Part of ensuring that all significant family members feel included is presentation of thank-you certificates which include a photograph of the child.

I will provide you with resources and information
  • Your godchild your godparent responsibilities: a guide to share with those you have chosen to fulfill this important role in your child's life
  • Guidelines for arranging a naming ceremony in a private home/garden
  • and much more.....

Creating a custom-created naming ceremony takes commitment, creativity, knowledge and time that goes far beyond the visible half hour of the actual ceremony.  The invisible hours (10+ on average) include:

  • Communicating with you by phone and/or email.
  • Providing you with information and exploring with you ideas and opportunities to ensure that your ceremony fits with the overall style of your child's naming day celebrations but also provides substance.
  • Preparing and completing all the certificates
  • Creating the first draft of the ceremony and reworking as we finalise it.
  • Creating and printing the keepsake copy of the ceremony
  • Travel to and from the ceremony venue
  • Briefing the godparents, grandparents and readers
Creative use of symbols such as candles, wishing stones, trees, mementos, gifts,  items of family significance, together with innovative inclusion of references to your child's ancestry and cultural background will be a feature of the ceremony. You will receive a beautifully presented keepsake copy of the ceremony and a naming certificate tailored to the number of godparents, guardians, mentors (you choose what you wish to call them) and to your family situation.

Unless you specifically request religious inclusions I assume that the ceremony will be secular. However, if you wish to include some religious references or contact you may.  This may be a good compromise where you yourselves are not religious but someone important to you is. Or it can be a way of acknowledging dual religious or cultural heritages within a largely secular  (non-religious) ceremony.

Some background information on Naming Ceremonies

 
Naming ceremonies are sometimes called secular christenings. A naming ceremony is ideal for parents who have no religious convictions. However, where parents believe that children should choose their own spiritual path and values when they are mature enough to do so, or where the family belongs to a denomination that does not believe in infant baptism, having a naming ceremony allows you to joyfully welcome your child into your family and have a religious christening or baptism at a later date if you wish.

The ceremony itself performs no legal function (but then, neither does a christening). It does not replace your legal obligation to register your child's birth with the Registry Office in your state. Nor is the appointment of guardians as part of the ceremony legal and binding. But it does perform a very important social function.
  • It can help you clarify how you want to support your child as he or she grows
  • It is a joyous expression of welcome, both to the family and to the wider community
  • It provides an opportunity to share the wonder, joy and pride you feel
  • It is a reminder of the great responsibility involved in raising a child
  • It is a formal mechanism to appoint godparents (defined in modern dictionaries as someone who acts as a godparent or is a sponsor or protector) and honour other significant adults, such as grandparents, who will have important roles in the nurturing and supporting the child
  • It provides you, as the parent(s) with an opportunity to acknowledge your gratitude to  family, friends, and particularly godparents (also called guardians, sponsors,  mentors, guideparents. life guides or any term you choose) for their involvement in your child's life
  • It provides a formal opportunity for significant adults to commit to supporting and nurturing the child and each other.
more information on Types of Naming Ceremonies
more information on Naming Ceremony Packages
Printable Summary of Naming Ceremony Packages (fees & inclusions)
my blog post about First Birthday Naming Ceremonies
my blog post about The Gift of a Good Name