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Naming Ceremonies Explained

What is a naming ceremony you ask? Generally, it is a formal ceremony to welcome a child into the world. As a society, we are moving away from religious ceremonies and this has resulted in naming ceremonies becoming more popular. That said, the ceremony can most certainly include expressions of faith if the parents would like it to.

What happens during a naming ceremony? 

The common components of a naming ceremony are:

  1. The Child's Story - From their birth, their likes and dislikes and cute habits to their favourite things and people, the child's story is developed from a number of questions asked by your celebrant. It is an important part of the ceremony as it paints a picture of your little for your guests.

  2. Formal Giving of the Child's Name - This component will include the meaning of the child's name, if the name hold special significance (eg. named after family member) and the reasons behind the choice of name.

  3. Responsibilities of Parents and Parents Promises - What does it mean to be a parent? Parents make a pledge to their child to love, support and nurture them. Promises may be made with vow style promises, poems, verses, readings or letters.

  4. Appointment of Godparents - While "godparent" is the term used in christenings, it is still the most popular choice in naming ceremonies. Devoid of religious responsibilities, it describes the person chosen to support and watch over the child. Other common terms used for this role include sponsor, guideparent, mentor, sparent, and guardian.

  5. Godparent Promises - As with the parents promises, this can be in any form.. They might read a poem, answer “we will” to promises, say their own personal promises they have written or read something written for them.

  6. Readings/Poems - Many parents choose readings and/or poems to be included in the ceremony and this is a great way to include family and friends.

  7. Symbolic Rituals - The most popular ritual inclusion is the lighting of a candle however there are many other options that can be considered including wishes or advice jars, tree plantings, balloon release or a time capsule.

  8. Presentation - The child is "officially" named and presented!

Optional additional components of a naming ceremony may include:

  1. Family Promises/Sibling Promises - An extension of the parents promises, you may wish to include the child's siblings and express family promises or, the child's siblings may pledge their own separate promises to their little brother or sister. This is a great way to include older children and make them feel like an important part of the day.

  2. Acknowledgement of Significant Adults - Grandparents, aunties, uncles - anyone who is considered a special person in the child's life may be acknowledged during the ceremony.

A naming ceremony is a fun way to bring family and friends together to honour and celebrate and formally introduce your child, affirm what is most important to your family and have those you love offer their support in your child's life.


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