The Name–Giving Ceremony
To be honest, I had never been to a naming ceremony before I did my training to be a civil celebrant.
But when I started writing my first name-giving ceremony, I soon realised what a delightful occasion it could be.
Why? For a start, the ceremony can take place anywhere – at home, in the backyard, a restaurant, or in a park.
Also, it is non-religious and without any legal standing. That removes the need for solemnity or unnecessary ritual.
Above all, a name-giving ceremony is a joyous opportunity for family and friends to get together to celebrate the gift of a new baby.
The child will receive a Name Giving certificate and godparents too (if desired).
The ceremony can follow a similar format to a wedding ceremony:
- Background on the family or birth of the child
- Recognition of other siblings if appropriate
- The meaning of the name
- Blessing or gift giving ritual
- Acknowledgement and promises by the parents/grandparents/guardians/godparents
- Naming of the child
- Additional creative flourishes (see below)
- Presentation of the certificate
- Releasing balloons (particularly if the ceremony is outside!)
- Gifting the baby a message with guest’s photo for a keepsake box
- Planting a shrub or small tree
- Releasing butterflies
- Lighting candles
- Gifting a family heirloom
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