Elizabeth's guide to
Name Giving Ceremonies
It is a fullfilling and meaningful experience for all concerned. Sometimes called a secular christening or a name ceremony, it is an occasion where a new birth is celebrated and a child is welcomed into the family. In doing so, family relationships are deepened and parents become more aware of their responsibilities. So too, do the grandparents and godparents/mentors/guardians.
Historically speaking, naming ceremonies go back to ancient Greek and Roman times. Renowned scholars tell us that a child was not a member of the family until he/she had been oficially welcomed into the family through a naming ceremony. It is not a legally binding ceremony.
The name giving ceremony is an excellent occasion for the cultural expression of joy, hope and acceptance. Many people do not believe in infant baptism or for whatever reason, choose not to access a house of worship at this time, so choose this cultural celebration and leave the child free to choose or not to choose baptism later in their lives. In fact, all naming ceremonies are performed on this principle.
Most ceremonies are performed in or around the home, a meaningful expression of nurturing, love and togetherness. It is also the most practical and often convenient place to have the ceremony. Informality is usually the order of the day. Often held at the weekend, usually late morning or early afternoon, followed by a buffet lunch or a BBQ.
Have you been spending your precious time searching for ideas, in desperation almost settling for the one example your celebrant had oered? I have done all the hard work for you and have compiled this collection of ceremonies to inspire you, for you to use or to adapt.
Every aspect of the ceremony should reflect you (both), your thoughts and feelings, beliefs and ideals, hopes and desires for your child. The ceremony is therefore totally personalized to suit every aspect of your being.
Simple but sincere and brief; more traditional to include poetry readings by the grandparents or godparents; a ceremony with a splash of spirituality provided by candles and readings; culturally rich with ritual maybe; or a ceremony to include your step-children?
Ceremonies have structure and if guidelines are followed a ceremony with interest, variation, good length and natural ow will be the end result.
The Introduction Acknowledgement of grandparents/great grandparents
A reading Acknowledgement of Godparent/s The Naming A cultural ritual A reading Conclusion/declaration Signing of the Certificates
Presentation of the child
I've created 6 unique ceremonies along with complete additional readings, poetry and cultural rituals in a valuable digital guide. They've been designed for you to cut and paste, to add new material to or for you to adapt.
A questionnaire is also provided to assist you in compiling a more personalized introduction.
1. Read and decide what you like and want, delete headings you don't want. 2. Consider your questionnaire answers and make a little owing narrative from them to include in the introduction. 3. Copy material (and adapt) whatever you want to use. 4. Include any of your own material 5. Paste it all under your headings. 6. Choose your font and print!
.......................................................................................and your ceremony is ready!
"I now ask the godparents to light their candle from the child’s candle. The lighting of the candle by godparents is a ceremonial acknowledgement by the godparents that they accept the responsibility associated with the role of godparent. The ame of the candle represents the light that will..........."
"I wish you......... good health and a head full of hair the enjoyment of many pleasures a peaceful world to live in. true friends and satisfying relationships. a creative spirit."
".......... now three months old, this child is a happy and smiley little man who loves to be read or sung to and to play with his toys with his dog brother and sister. He loves to eat and is growing bigger by the day. Even without words he is able to make very clear to those around him what he does and doesn’t like and is showing early signs of being a determined little boy.........."
"Your dad in particular, was so proud when he found out you were going to be a little boy. Your parents spent much time trying to decide upon a name for you. Your dad was keen to call you Enzo after his soccer idol........."
".......... this ceremony will in no way inhibit this child from seeking the truth during his life and any future commitments to religious or non religious beliefs. In fact, it is our duty in the coming years to present to him a broad and balanced view......."
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I’m Elizabeth Gray, a popular celebrant who gained a Diploma of Marriage celebrancy at the International College of Celebrants in Melbourne, Victoria in 2003.
I found that working as a celebrant very rewarding and I feel I have privileged to be part pf peoples lives at times of celebration and healing.
I am excited about being able to share my experiences with you so that you can create a very personal celebration of your own.
Look forward to assisting you, and wish you well on your special occasion!