A Naming ceremony is like a Christening or Baptism, only it is not religious. Many parents want a ceremony to mark the special event of the baby’s arrival with family and friends.The Naming Ceremony can include some words about why the baby’s name was chosen, about the family and special people in the baby’s life and about the little personality which is already emerging.
There may be a poem or reading which reflects the hopes and dreams held for the child. A wonderful poem is,
‘Children Learn What They Live’ by Dorothy Law Nolte
If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.
If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.
If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind.
One of the most important parts of the Naming Ceremony, is the promise of how the child will be supported throughout his or her life. The parents may talk about their love and the sort of person they want their child to grow into.
If there are godparents, mentors or other significant people there for the child, they may pledge the support they intend to provide.
As a civil celebrant, I make suggestions about what to say and do the speaking on behalf of others too.
We usually finish with the signing and presentation of a Naming Certificate. Of course this is followed by food, drink, celebration and presents!