Having a child is one of the most profoundly important and life changing experiences. Many of us want to mark the birth of our children and welcome them into our families and our communities.
A naming ceremony is a gathering of family and friends to celebrate the birth of your child, to name them and to welcome them into your family and community. Naming Ceremonies can also be used to celebrate adoptive children and step children forming part of a new family. It provides an opportunity for you to make promises of commitment to your child in the presence of family and friends and to identify and acknowledge the role that other adults will play in your child’s life.
A growing number of parents want to celebrate the birth of their child but decide against a christening, either because they have no religion or where the parents are from different faith backgrounds. Naming ceremonies are becoming increasingly popular. You may want to blend your own spiritual and cultural beliefs to express how you feel about your child and your hopes for their future.
Rather than identifying ‘godparents’, in a secular (non-religious) naming ceremony you can identify adults who will be significant in your child’s life, support them, nurture and mentor them. You can choose what you call them, I have heard ‘guide-parents’, ‘odd parents’ and ‘mentors’ used. Some parents also publicly acknowledge the role that grandparents or siblings will play.
As part of the ceremony parents may want to say something to their child – to deliver promises, share hopes and aspirations or read a relevant poem. Those identified as your ‘significant adults’ may also want to say something about how they perceive their role and make promises to support and guide the child. I can suggest readings and assist you in articulating your promises and aspirations if required.
Your ceremony can take place wherever you choose.
'Thank you so much for a wonderful ceremony and for our lovely certificates
and the script too. We really enjoyed the ceremony and everyone said
afterwards how lovely it was, and how great they thought you were too!
We shall have to book you in for our next one next year! Thanks again
for such a wonderful service' (Alex &Andrew, 2015)