A Naming Day is a celebration to officially welcome a new child into the world, and into the family. It can include religious or spiritual aspects, or not, depending on the family’s wishes.
There may be more than one background to be acknowledged, and we can ensure that all strands of the combined family’s heritage, culture and customs can be woven in. The lovely thing about a Naming Day is that it can be held anywhere, and at any time of day. Wherever and whenever the child is most comfortable, relaxed and happy. If the idea of Godparents is not right for you, then Guardians, Guideparents or Supporting Adults can be appointed. You can have just one or two, or as many as you like! They can make their promises to the child, and may wish to give readings. You will have the opportunity to say why you chose your child’s name/s and what they mean. Other family members may also want to give their blessings and prayers to their new relative. If you are not comfortable speaking in front of people, I can prepare a simple call and response, or even read the promises, to which you simply reply with “I will”. Alternatively, as with any of my Ceremonies, you can write something yourself, and I will read it out on your behalf, informing everyone that they are your words and that it comes from you. However is best, we can discuss what works for you.
This ceremony is not just for babies. Children can have Naming Days, adults who have formally changed their name or status, or are starting a new identity, may also want to acknowledge their first steps on a new path with a Ceremony. Naming Days can be part of a party, or can be held privately. Anything goes! They can also be adapted to be a ceremony for a child who has just been adopted, and can include the new roles for everyone.
It is lovely if a Naming Day includes something to carry forward into the future. Some families like to plant a rosebush or a tree in their gardens. Others like to name a star, buy an acre of the moon (yes, that’s a thing!), adopt or sponsor an animal, or make a charitable donation. Some families like to ask guests to bring something for a Time Capsule, for their child to open in years to come. Things like shopping receipts, coins, newspapers, costume jewellery and lists of chart songs are contributed. There are also ‘Fingerprint Trees’ where each guest leaves their print and signs above it, which makes a beautiful keepsake to be framed.
A lovely element that I suggest is to have family and friends write out personal messages for the child to be opened and read on their eighteenth or twenty-first birthday. This can also be done by those who were unable to attend the day itself. It is very meaningful and poignant for your child to read these notes in the future, and also a reminder to everyone that the child will one day be an adult. The notes can include anything from family recipes to favourite quotes, suggested books to read, cheeky jokes, and expressions of love. They will one day make up a beautiful scrapbook of memories.
As the guest of honour may well be young, breaks can be included in the Ceremony, and there can be a relaxed feel to proceedings. During the Ceremony, the child can be blessed with the five elements, or just water or rose oil, or simply words alone. Whatever you prefer. The formalities usually end with a family member proposing a toast to the child, and bottles of fizz tend to nicely round off any celebration! A Naming Day Ceremony creates special, joyful memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.
For the personal touch, get in touch.