A brand-new little person has arrived, turning your world upside as they begin the greatest adventure - life! Of course, you want to celebrate the start of this journey and mark it in some way, so how about with a Naming or Welcoming Ceremony? Naming ceremonies tend to be associated with babies, whereas a Welcoming ceremony is generally for an older child; perhaps a child who has been adopted or was unable to have a naming ceremony when they were born. Both ceremonies are completely unique and are a celebration of the child, their family, and circle of friends.
Just like a christening, there is nothing legal about a Naming or Welcoming Ceremony. However, unlike a christening, celebrant-led Naming and Welcoming Ceremonies are uniquely created for your child. You are not tied by specific content, so let your creativity run free! Perhaps theme the day around a favourite book or toy. Host it at a child-friendly place so that everyone feels comfortable and relaxed. If you are inviting lots of children, a good way to encourage them to feel part of the day is to have lots of mats or cushions and, during the ceremony, ask them to sit on the floor at the front. This means that they can see what's going on and be actively involved. Maybe they can all have bubbles to blow at the end, take part in a sand ceremony or promise to be a friend for life. By talking through your ideas with me, I shall create a wonderful and interactive ceremony that celebrates your child in the best way possible.
An often-asked question is around the term 'godparent'. There is nothing legally binding about godparents which means that you can call them whatever you like; S’parents, mentors, fairy godparents, supporting adults… the choice is yours! Their promises will be just as important and personal and will form the start of a deeply emotional and supportive bond with your child.
Parents often think that they have to choose between a religious ceremony and a naming ceremony which is simply not true. A religious ceremony focusses on the child’s relationship with their faith whilst a naming ceremony focusses on the child’s relationship with their parents, family, and social network. They have two very different remits so it is absolutely fine to have two ceremonies if this suits you best. There is also no reason why a prayer or blessing cannot be included in a celebrant-led naming ceremony. I am always happy to include religious and cultural elements if this is something you would like.
Naming and welcoming ceremonies have the child and their family at their heart, and as such they should reflect the uniqueness found within each wonderfully different family. It is a day of celebration so be creative, think big, and make the day yours because it is an important moment and will become a precious memory in your lives forever.
If you are thinking of having a Naming or Welcoming Ceremony and want to chat through your ideas, please do get in touch.