A naming ceremony is:
- a non-religious celebration of a new, precious and unique life
- a welcome to baby into your world of family and friends
- an occasion to formally name your child
- an opportunity to share your hopes and dreams for your child
- a ceremony which reflects your cultural and spiritual beliefs
- an opportunity to formally appoint godparents / guardians
- an opportunity to strengthen family and community ties
- an opportunity to share some of your family's traditions and create new ones
- can include any personal touches
- never too late ……older children may have a naming ceremony
Celebrate your child's unique and precious life in a naming ceremony
A Naming Ceremony conducted by a Civil Celebrant, is a secular or non-religious celebration of the new birth and an opportunity to welcome your child into your world of family and friends.
While the baby is the focus of the ceremony, there are many people who help to shape the growing child's view of the world and their place in it.
A Naming Ceremony is the perfect opportunity to recognise the important roles that parents and the wider community of extended family and friends play in a child's development.
A Naming Ceremony is especially created to reflect your own personal, spiritual and cultural beliefs. I’m delighted to work with families to incorporate significant welcoming traditions from other cultures to reflect the parents' belief systems.
Honour special people in your life by asking them to read a verse - the more you have others contributing to your ceremony the more personal and meaningful it is for you. I have plenty of resources - words, verses, and ideas and of course you may have some of your own that you would like to include.
The Framework for a Naming Ceremony
The ceremony starts with a welcome to all your guests and an explanation of the Naming Ceremony. You might include a thank you to friends or family members who have been especially supportive during your pregnancy, the birth and the early - very exhausting - weeks!
About the Parents
The closest people to a new baby are his parents so we first look at the parenting role. This is where you both might thank each other for your child and then share your hopes and dreams for him, and make promises to him eg. these can be as simple as 'we promise to love you and provide you with a safe and happy home, to help you to grow to be the best you can be, to give you the opportunities to recognise your own special gifts and to make the most of them' etc. I have many examples of words you might like to adapt to suit your own beliefs.
If there are older siblings, we talk about the importance of the family and the opportunities for all the children to be good friends and to care about each other as they grow.
About the Grandparents
Then if it is appropriate for you, the grandparents make up the next circle of supports and so you can acknowledge their role and invite them to play a part in your child's upbringing. All families are different but even where there are 'complicated' family arrangements we can usually find a way to include everyone in a respectful way. And grandparents too, might like the opportunity to share their feelings about their new status and role as grandparents.
The Appointment of Godparents / Mentors / Special Adult Friends
Everyone understands the role of a godparent and so if you wish, you can still use this term even though it is not a christian religious ceremony. The godparents make special promises to your child to last a lifetime. I have several examples for you to consider but many godparents like to write their own promises and read them to their godchild during the ceremony - a very moving moment!
About the Community
Then there is the wider circle of the extended family - aunties, uncles, cousins and the community of friends. Again, you are acknowledging the positive role that all the important people in your life can have in supporting the family as you raise your child and modelling the attitudes and behaviours that the family values and making sure that your child grows up feeling safe, secure and loved.
The Naming Candle
Associated with the appointment of godparents is the lighting of the Naming Candle.
The light of the candle represents the potential that lies within each child and symbolises the light that will guide them through life.
The warmth of the flame represents the warmth of the love and friendship of the family and community of friends.
The Naming Ceremony
This is the opportunity to share with your guests the reasons you chose the names, and their meaning if that is appropriate for you. There are several ways the official naming can be done - you can involve your guests, ask the celebrant to name your child or, by far the best idea is for you - as parents - to do this.
The Signing of the Naming Certificate
By the parents, the godparents and the celebrant.
The Closing Blessing
Usually a verse read by the celebrant to complete the ceremony.
Baby is presented to your guests.
To make your ceremony unique and memorable - ask me about specially decorated naming candles, the wish box, magic bubbles, the horoscope and the toast.
Some letters of thanks:
Thank you so much for the beautiful ceremony you conducted for our son Hugo's naming day. We are very glad that we made the effort to formally welcome Hugo to the world. As we are not religious, a naming day at our home, surrounded by our family and friends was the perfect choice for us. You were just as professional and personable in putting together Hugo's naming day as you were for our wedding ceremony two-and-a-half years ago. We hope to have you back for another ceremony one day in the future! Warm regards, Gemma, Daniel and Hugo
We are very grateful and pleased with the wonderful service for Alana's Naming Day. It was one of those very special days for us and you made it extra special. Everyone commented on how beautiful and 'moving' it was especially how you presented the ceremony, the history, story and especially the candle lighting. Thanks so much. With much appreciation and best wishes, Michael and Aileen
Thank you for creating two beautiful naming ceremonies for our boys. It was your warmth, attention to detail and genuine interest in our family that called us back to you and makes us recommend you to others. Regards, David, Sarah, Harry and Bailey
I just wanted to thank you once again for your services on Sunday. You were absolutely wonderful and another reason why Emily's day turned out to be so perfect. I have had many people tell me they loved your service and popular comments were that you had 'the most beautiful voice' and that they 'could listen to you for ages'. So Merrilyn, thank you. You are truly lovely. With best wishes to you, Caroline
Thank you for creating a very meaningful ceremony for Lila's Name Day and first birthday. We had a wonderful day and it was everything we had hoped for. Love, Karen, Wayne and Lila