Naming Ceremonies are becoming increasingly popular as a way of celebrating a child, often not long after it has been born but sometimes years later, as an alternative to a christening. If one or more parents are not religious they may feel that a christening or baptism is not for them. Or they may feel as we did, that they want their child to be able to choose whether to follow a religion in the future, not being at all religious ourselves. It felt wrong for us to introduce our child to a religion that we, ourselves, do not follow and will not promote as he grows up.
Parents are often under pressure from the older generations within their families to have a christening as it is traditional and families often want to mark the occasion and introduce the child to the wider family. Naming Ceremonies can be a great compromise for parents as it can tick that box for their families who want to something to celebrant the child but also can be tailored to include acknowledgements to traditions or religions followed by the family.
The good thing about having a naming ceremony is that you can literally do this anywhere, and even at home. The day can be entirely led by the parents and family and can be tailored to suit the child or children as joint naming ceremonies are also being more popular.
Most Celebrants are experienced in crafting naming ceremony scripts and will work with parents to include anything that parents and families may want included. This can include religious references, songs, poems, special readings and even symbolisms, such as a balloon release or the planting of a tree. Parents can make personal and joint promises to their child for their future and they could even write these themselves if they wish to totally personal the day.
Naming Ceremonies are about officially announcing the name of the child to the world and can also be a time to appoint “godparents” as they are known as part of a christening. During naming ceremonies parents often opt for terms such as “guideparents” or “supporting adults” to describe the special people they have chosen to help shape and build the future of their child. Whatever the parents decide to call them, these individuals can also make promises to the child to always be there for them and to support them into adulthood. Grandparents and any other special people in the child’s life can also be included in these promises and this would entirely be up to the parents to decide.
Parents can choose to sign a certificate and also have significant others sign too to create a reminder of the day. This can be framed and treasured forever, along with, the first lock of hair and the first tooth!
Although these ceremonies have no legal status the promises made form lifelong commitments to the child and to the parents and should be taken as seriously as any made within a religious setting. However, naming ceremony should be happy occasions and there are many ways in which you can ensure that the day goes smoothly.
At naming ceremony there are usually many children as guests and it is important to consider them and what they will be doing to amuse themselves whilst the adults are enjoying the occasion. Similarly, the food that you serve will need to be carefully considered so that you cater for small ones as well as the adults.
Parents may want to consider entertainment for both adults and children or providing party packs for the children so that they can amuse themselves. Parents sometimes opt for a venue that has a play area or hire a bouncy castle to amuse children.
However you choose to celebrate, the day should be about the child and the parents and your hopes and wishes for your child. It should be a day totally personalised that you can look back on and treasure as one of the milestones of your child’s life….but before you get carried away planning a beautiful day do not forget to legally register your child’s name at the Register Office!!!!