Name giving ceremonies have an age old history and feature across many cultures. A name giving ceremony is not a baptism or a christening, although it is sometimes referred to as a ‘secular christening’.
A name giving ceremony conducted by a celebrant is a fulfilling and significant experience for everyone involved. It is an opportunity to celebrate the gift and uniqueness of your child – whatever his or her age – or to welcome a new baby into the family.
A name giving ceremony responds to the cultural and community needs to welcome and acknowledge the child as part of the family. It also reminds all concerned of the responsibility involved in bringing up a child, and to recognise and appoint those who will have an important role in the child’s development.
A naming ceremony is an opportunity to share with extended family and friends the wonder, love and pride parents feel for their child.
Why have a name giving ceremony?
- Many parents choose a name giving ceremony to announce, welcome or celebrate the arrival of a child.
- Perhaps older children may not have had a formal name giving when a young child.
- Perhaps it’s a blended family and two families wish to have a union with the step children involved.
- Perhaps an adult has legally changed his or her name and wishes to celebrate it.
- Perhaps an adult has experienced a change in circumstances (eg divorce) and wishes to return to maiden name.
Name giving ceremonies
We can assist you to create a name giving ceremony that is meaningful, creative and unique for the special child / children in your family.
Every name giving circumstance is unique and so each ceremony is also different, individually created in response to an individual story, your wishes and needs for special ceremony.
We look forward to being part of your name giving celebration.
We conduct ceremonies that are personal, meaningful and relevant to each child and each family. By incorporating special poems, readings, music and rituals, the whole family can be involved. The words of the ceremony are chosen to reflect the values of the parents and the family. Parents’ input is both important and encouraged. Verses can be written and read by parents, siblings, sponsors, guardians and grandparents.
A personalised Naming Certificate is presented at the conclusion of the ceremony, as well as a copy of the ceremony as a special memento of the day.
Please contact us to make an appointment to discuss your naming ceremony in more detail.
We look forward to making your naming ceremony day a very special and memorable occasion.
Creating a Naming Ceremony
The following are suggested elements that could be included in a naming ceremony. These are optional. The ceremony can be created to created to reflect your individual requirements to personalise it for the particular child / person.
Introduction and Welcome
The celebrant welcomes the gathering of family and friends and explains the purpose of the ceremony.
Pledges and Promises from Parents and Godparents
Usually the parents and Godparents offer their pledges and promises for the upbringing and support of the child.
Usually some kind of ritual is included, in honour of the naming of the child. eg a naming candle could be lit, a tree planted, or a time capsule sealed.
The celebrant, parents, grandparents, Godparents or siblings may offer readings within the ceremony.
Giving of gifts
Special gifts may be given to the child by family members or others (eg grandparents or Godparents) and are usually accompanied by readings or words to explain the significance of the gifts.
The parents, Godparents and celebrant usually sign a naming certificate to symbolize the naming of the child.
There is usually a joyous conclusion to the celebration. This could be blessing, special reading, song, or a toast to the child.
Some questions it is useful to ask in preparation for a naming ceremony are:
- Do you want to give particular parts in the ceremony to family members (eg siblings, grandparents) or friends?
- Do you want the child to have sponsors / Godparents / mentors?
- What commitments do you want to make to your child?
- What values do you want to express through the ceremony?
- Do you wish to include any family traditions or acknowledgments of your background?
- Where will you hold the ceremony? In your home, park or garden or hall?
- When will you hold it? On your child’s birthday? An anniversary? At an appropriate time when the family and friends can get together?
A CHILD LEARNS WHAT HE LIVES (Traditional verse)
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.