Namings

Naming ceremony for Harriet Turner Brown

Naming ceremony for Harriet Turner Browne (used by permission of her father)

What is a naming ceremony?

That is the question I am most often asked. A naming can be considered a secular christening ceremony. They can be held at any time in a child’s life, and is used to introduce and welcome the child to the family and the world.

The ceremony itself is very loosely structured. Apart from announcing your child’s name, the ceremony can include any elements such as poems, readings, music or song.

Other elements can include:

Responsibility: this is a ceremony element I like to use that is designed to encourage an older child to welcome a new baby not as a rival or a burden, but someone they can teach and guide. This can include a candle-lighting ceremony to symbolise a level of responsibility (over fire).

Ceremonial planting of a tree or bush: to symbolise new growth and life. You can take a picture of your son or daughter with the tree on their birthday every year. Make sure you plant it on your own land – this can be a risky move in a public park!

Wish book: buy a good quality blank notebook or loose pages and have everyone attending write a “wish” for the baby, or just a note about who they are and how they fit into the family/friends circle.  They could be accompanied by a photo of each person. Friends come and go in our lives, so it is nice to commemorate a snap-shot of a friendship at a particular moment.

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