In my role as celebrant I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of many beautiful Naming Ceremonies. It’s a tremendous privilege to play a part in a personalised and meaningful family ceremony.
What is a Naming Ceremony?
In basic terms, a Naming Ceremony is the symbolic introduction or confirmation of a new family member. Naming Ceremonies are often chosen as an alternative to christening. They are a non-religious way of celebrating the birth or adoption of a child.
Each ceremony I’ve attended has been gloriously unique, despite having acted as Naming Ceremony celebrant a number of times! I’ve collated six Naming Ceremony ideas from my celebrant experiences over the years.
1. Include a messages hub in your Naming Ceremony
A Naming Ceremony often gathers family and friends together to celebrate the arrival and official naming of your child. Typically though, the focus of all the celebration is too young to remember any of it!
Instead, have guests record a few words to camera, or write a note and take a photograph, for a memory box. You could ask for anecdotes about parents, family in-jokes, or words of experience and promises for future support. It’s something your child can refer to for years to come, as a reminder they are loved and special.
2. Consider songs or readings for your child’s Naming Ceremony
Whilst working with families as their celebrant for the Naming Ceremony, I’ve always been delighted at the sheer variety. Some people choose to include songs which communicate the love they have for their child. Others have particular music or readings which are important to them, and sharing them at the ceremony is a way of ‘passing them on’.
3. Combine your Naming Ceremony with a sand ceremony
Sand ceremonies are used to symbolise the blending together of family and friends. Each person adds their sand to the jar, demonstrating that they can now never be parted. Your child could add their own sand, or you could add it on their behalf as part of the Naming Ceremony.
4. Symbolise life and growth as part of the Naming Ceremony
Planting trees, plants, or even an entire garden demonstrates preparation for the future, and continual growth. It could also become a place to revisit as your child grows. Just make sure you have permission from the landowner!
5. Including guests in your Naming Ceremony
There are many ways to include your guests as active participants in the Naming Ceremony, if you would like to. This could include Guide Parents, rather like choosing godparents. They could make promises to care and guide for the child throughout life. Siblings could choose a favourite story to read aloud, or even sing a song.
6. Make an adventure jar
Ask guests to write an idea (or promise!) for a future adventure to share with the child. Suggestions might include days out, things to teach, or games to play. It’s something to look forward to sharing as the child grows, and a gorgeous keepsake.