As a professional Celebrant, I am delighted to be able to conduct different types of ceremonies, but one of my favourites has to be a Naming Ceremony.
As a parent of an amazing 15-year-old daughter, I wish I had been able to welcome her in such a personal and meaningful way, but sadly, I didn’t even know naming Ceremonies existed back then!
But as this trend is becoming much more popular, I always feel privileged to be able to work closely with families to compose and conduct a truly unique welcoming for their new arrival.
The purpose of a naming ceremony is for you, as parents, to state your commitment and love to your child, as well as any hopes for the future.
Naming ceremonies are happy, personal and relaxed occasions and are a perfect way to honour not only different traditions and beliefs, but members of your family and close friends too.
There are many choices for the content of the ceremony, which can include:
- Symbolic Gestures (such as candle lighting, memory box, message book, hand and foot print casting).
- Parent’s promise
- Guide Parent’s promise
- Poetry and Readings
- Signing a certificate as a keepsake of the day.
What happens at a baby naming ceremony?
Baby naming ceremonies typically last around 20 to 30 minutes. The naming day celebrant will welcome your guests and invite you and your child (or children) to stand in front of your guests. You may also include ‘supporting adults’ who act as your child’s mentor or ‘god parents’.
Depending on the structure you have already planned with the celebrant, the ceremony will include a reading and a formal commitment to your child which includes a promise to love, nurture and support them. After the promise has been made, you can choose to have another reading, perhaps from the supporting adults.
Symbolic gestures, favourite poems and music all add to making the ceremony meaningful and memorable. Some parents like to include a section which explains why name was chosen and what it means.
The naming ceremony then finishes with the celebrant asking everyone involved in the ceremony to add their signature to the Record of Naming Certificate which is then presented to the parents. Baby naming ceremonies are usually followed by a family party and cake!
It’s also nice to talk about Mum and Dad, share a little of their story and their hopes and aspirations for their bundle of joy.
For more information see our naming day page.