Back to Basics – What Is a Naming Ceremony?

baby naming, naming ceremonyWhat is a naming ceremony?

Like a wedding, a naming ceremony, conducted by a Celebrant, is a unique and very personal way to welcome a child and officially introduce him or her to family and friends.

Naming ceremonies are appropriate for anyone, at any age.   The most common is the arrival of a new baby and the uniting of step or adopted children within a family.  More recently however, adults are taking part in naming or even re-naming ceremonies.  A famous example would be Bruce Jenner’s re-naming ceremony to change his name to Caitlin.

Whatever the age or situation, naming ceremonies involve the most important people in the individual’s life – family and special friends. In the case of a child, parents can ask other adults to play a supportive role to their child through to adult life (as godparents, mentors or supporters).

Poems, readings, music and quotes of personal significance can be used throughout the ceremony. Often a symbolic gesture is also made, such as the lighting of a candle or the planting of a tree. In addition, certificates are presented to parents and other special people as a record of the occasion.

Naming ceremonies are not a baptism or christening. While the ceremonies are non-religious, many parents with religious beliefs hold naming ceremonies to welcome their child. Doing so does not prevent the child from holding or participating in a religious ceremony at any stage of their life.

While the Naming Ceremony and accompanying documents don’t have any legal status, they are a wonderful way to celebrate the beginning of their journey through life.

Valentine’s Day Lamentations

At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old woman I’ve never been that keen on Valentine’s Day.  I fear it is turning into yet another commercial consumer racket.   Some people really feel the pressure for something extravagant to happen on 14th February and are weighed down by disappointment if doesn’t.  Furthermore, whether you are a teenager or adult looking for love and you don’t have a partner on Valentine’s Day, it can reinforce the very fact that Yes, you are on your own and there’s something wrong with that.

Whilst I was at 6th Form college studying (technically) for my A’ Levels, though if the truth be known I wasn’t doing much work …… I digress …… I was living with my bestie who just happened to be a boy magnet.  Both the years we shared digs  she received at least two bunches of flowers and the postman was weighed down with cards.  What did I get? A supposedly anonymous card from my dear father, kind but somehow it hit home even harder that I was somewhat lacking in the mysterious admirer or boyfriend department.

Valentine's Day, giving flowers, love, proposalsNick and I have just celebrated 25 years together and haven’t once given each other a card to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We’ve never really felt the need.   Having said that, some years quite unexpectedly he has gone out to the garden and hunted for a flower of some sort (quite a feat in February)  and then presented it to me as if it is the biggest bunch of roses you have ever seen.  It makes me laugh every time.  Having said that he is just as likely to do that on any other day of the year; in other words just because he feels like it.

My point is, don’t despair if you are on your own or there are no cards, chocolates, flowers or champagne. One day in February isn’t special but YOU are.

And if you are one of the lucky ones who gets proposed to on Valentine’s Day (or any day for that matter), many many congratulations and lots of love to you both.