Welcoming a first or new child into your family is one of life’s major milestones and a wonderful emotional and uplifting time, full of hope, joy and meaning. Children always bring new experiences into our worlds, but in themselves they are travellers in time, and have within them the seeds of the past, as well as the ability to shape their future.
Historically the arrival of a new child was celebrated by not only the family but the wider community, usually with feasting and partying and also giving the child the name it would carry through life. Many cultures take naming very seriously, and may choose names that link to the family history, such as giving a number of names, including family or ancestral names. Some cultures make offerings of precious gifts at the same time, and wish the child a long and successful life, placing sacred objects around their cradle, and also might present gifts of jewelry to symbolise good luck and beauty.
We have all probably attended a religious naming ceremony where the child is baptised and offerings and prayers are made. However, increasing families who are not particularly religious will ask a Celebrant to create a personal Naming Ceremony, during which we will welcome everyone, appoint Guide Parents who will support the child and Parents. All will promise to support this new child and in particular the Parents, Grandparents and Guide Parents will make their own individual promises to love, listen, support and guide the child throughout his or her life.
The Naming Ceremony can include poems, readings, songs and music and also include siblings who might give the new baby a toy, or a gift. One of my sweetest Naming Days was when the baby’s little 5 year old brother said he wanted to make a speech, which he did off the cuff and told everyone how much he loved his new sister who he said was beautiful! For a moment or two my ceremony script seemed to be a little blurred…..!
Guests can also get involved and be included in several ways. One lovely way is when we have a Pebble Ceremony – guests are asked to write a word onto a pebble that will be kept in a large bowl in the nursery and which baby can be told about in due course! The words I often see written are “love”, “health”, “happiness”, “laughter” or qualities such as “persistence”, “humour”, “compassion”, “selflessness”.
A Naming Ceremony can include blessings and religious or cultural rituals and I have often created a blended ceremony for families who themselves might have different religious faiths and backgrounds.
It is a Ceremony based on unity, family, community and most of all created to express the love, joy and gratitude we feel for this new little person in our lives.
For more information about an exclusive Naming Ceremony call me on 07800 543 426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org