Naming ceremonies existed in human culture long before Christianity or other major religions came on the scene. This is a celebration to welcome the new child into the world, recognize their place here and the birth of new life.
Naming ceremonies are a wonderful way to acknowledge your gratefulness and appreciation that you have been blessed with children. They remind all concerned of the responsibility involved in bringing up a child, and recognise and /or appoint those who have an important role in the child's development.
I love the African saying
It takes a village to bring up a child !
Naming Ceremonies can take place at any time in a person's life and can occur with siblings at the same time.
Parents may choose a first birthday or another age they feel is significent in the life of their children.
Some women choose a naming ceremony after they have been divorced and are going back to their maiden name. The celebration represents a new beginning.
Included in the days celebrations there can be activities which create keepsakes for the child:
- A Wishing Tree...each guest writes their name and a blessing or wish for the child. You may choose to have each guest read their wish out loud or just tie onto the tree for all to read.
- Balloons can be released and each person says a wish as they let them go.
- A Wishing /Blessing box may be provided with cards printed with the child's name and space for guests to write their blessing.
The children love to read these when they get older and the cards can even be used as a part of an 18th or 21st celebration.
As with other ceremonies, except marriage, you are not bound by any legal requirements and can include whatever is significent to you, the parents.
This is a basic structure for a Naming Service.
Introduction.... includes a welcome to family and friends and an explaination of the philosophy and relevance to the parents of a Naming Ceremony.
Naming Services are not necessarily "non-spiritual" ceremonies but may occur because parents believe that their child will choose their own spiritual path as they grow older .
Readings.... you may choose one or two here . This is a great opportunity to involve others in the celebration.
I have many resources at your disposal from which you can choose.
Acknowledgement of Grandparents.... they may be given a certificate or their significent role spoken about.
Godparents-sponsors-guardiens-mentors.... parents may choose to appoint 2 people to play an important role in the child's life. These adults are asked publicly if they will accept this role and they publicly respond. They may be given a certificate.
The Naming.... The child's full name is announced and the celebrant asks all present to agree to call the child by their given name.
A Final Declaration.... or Statement re the child's future and possibilities and everyone's commitment to play a part in his growth.
Presentation.... of the Child
Signing.... and Presentation of Certificates to Godparents and /or Grandparents