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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.