Naming and formally introducing a baby or child is a hugely important ceremony for parents, for the child and for the wider group of family and friends. Increasingly, modern families are finding that a church service doesn’t feel right for them; as a growing number of us are not regular church goers or, perhaps, do not believe in any religion at all. A Naming Ceremony is a great alternative to a church christening and is a very special way of welcoming your child to your family and wider community. They are also very beautiful and meaningful ceremonies – and are always lots of fun!
What’s the difference between a Naming Ceremony and a Church Christening?
A Naming Ceremony is completely different to a church christening in that a church service focusses on welcoming the child to the church, whereas a Naming Ceremony is all about welcoming the child to the family and wider community. It focusses on the relationships between the parents and the child, as well as including other key people in the child’s life. This doesn’t mean though that you can’t include a religious element within your ceremony. I’m happy to include any religious content you wish; the most important thing is that we create a ceremony which is right for you and your family, and one that is reflective of your own values and beliefs.
Are Naming Ceremonies for older children too?
The child or children can be any age and so a Naming Ceremony is also ideally suited to welcome and celebrate an adoptive child into the family or to embrace stepchildren into a new family.
What happens during a Naming Ceremony?
We will work together to create a completely unique event for your family, which will include what you want it to include. A Naming Ceremony is an opportunity to declare before family and friends, your promises to be as good a parent as you can, and for other adults, children, friends or relatives to confirm their special relationship with your child. As an alternative to godparents some parents choose specific adults to become mentors, sponsors or guardians to their child or children. Grandparents can also play a key role in the ceremony.
What wording is used to describe the event and people taking part?
The choice of language used to describe the ceremony, the roles of important people and the overall tone of the event, is yours. If you prefer to call your ceremony a ‘Welcome’ and have ‘Guardians’, that is fine. If you prefer to call it a ‘Baby Naming’ and have ‘Mentors’, that is also fine. You can even choose to keep with the traditional words of ‘Christening’ and ‘Godparent’; the choice is yours. A Naming Ceremony is a unique occasion for everyone to feel involved as they pledge their love and support for your child’s future development. You can opt for the ceremony to feel very traditional or to be very informal and lots of fun, with activities that involve many adults and/or children.