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  • Michael Grace Celebrant

Baby Naming Ceremony

A new baby is like the beginning of things...

Wonder, Hope

A Dream of Possibilities

Part of the joy of being an ethical independent celebrant is the opportunity to celebrate important occasions and milestones with couples and families. One of my favourites is the Baby Naming ceremony, where a new baby is welcomed into the family. In our inclusive modern Irish society the baby naming ceremony is an alternative to the traditional christening.

Your baby naming ceremony is created by you, with elements and rituals all chosen by you. The ceremony can involve just you and your child or other family members, relatives and friends.

There are many beautiful ways to celebrate the naming of your new baby, and here I describe some of those.

Readings and Music

The perfect way to start your ceremony. A reflective and thoughtful reading or poem. Choose readings, poems and music that reflect what you wish for your child, for their future.

A Baby's Feet' by Algernon Charles Swinburne

A baby's feet, like sea shells pink,

Might tempt, should heaven see meet

An angel's lips to kiss, we think,

A baby's feet.

Like rose-hued sea flowers toward the heat

They stretch and spread and wink

Their ten soft buds that part and meet.

No flower bells that expand and shrink

Gleam half so heavenly sweet,

As shine on life's untrodden brink

A baby's feet.

Music is another great way to make your baby naming personal and unique to you and your family. Maybe choose a piece for the start and for the end of the ceremony and a piece during the ceremony, played during one of the rituals – lighting the candles or a guests bring forward flowers.

Tree Planting

If you are having the baby naming ceremony at home, or somewhere meaningful, a tree planting ceremony might be a nice idea. During the ceremony, the parents plant a seed or a baby tree. As the child grows up, the tree will grow with them.

Time Capsule

Some families include the creation of a ‘time capsule’ or ‘memory box’. You can ask your guests to bring something to add to it such as a newspaper article from the day your child was born, family photos, recorded messages, gifts to be opened when they reach a significant date in the future.

The container can be sealed during the ceremony with a view to being opened again on a significant birthday such as their 18th birthday.

Lighting Candles

A flame can symbolise hope, warmth, and the brightening of lives as a result of the arrival of the child. Lighting a candle in a naming ceremony can also be done as an act of remembrance for a deceased relative or friend. Candles can be lit with an accompanying reading or music – or in contemplative silence.

Flower Ceremony

Flower ceremonies are a great way to include everyone whose important to your baby in the ceremony. Choose as many people as you’d like, and have them come up one by one and add a flower to a bouquet. As they are adding the flower they should make a wish for the child. This can be done aloud or in their head.

Hand and Foot Prints

A print or a cast is created during the ceremony of the baby’s tiny hands and feet, capturing their size and shape on that very day. The prints can be added to a baby scrap book or if you are having a cast made in clay or , the hands and feet can be framed and displayed at home or kept as keepsake.

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