Choosing a Naming Ceremony Celebrant
When choosing the celebrant you require for your naming ceremony it is important to choose one that your child is comfortable with. Your child is most likely to find themselves in strange (to them) surroundings and lots of unknown people. This can seem very daunting for a child that is having this ceremony conducted on or close to their first birthday.
What is a Naming Ceremony and Why use a Celebrant?
Naming ceremonies are held to welcome your child’s arrival into the world in much the same way as in the past you would have held a child’s christening. The naming ceremony takes away the religious aspect of this ceremony. In recent years the number of religious christening’s in churches across Australia have plummeted while more and more people are now opting to have a naming ceremony.
As a civil celebrant I can conduct this service for you. There are however no set rules or formats that must be followed. It is entirely up to you as parents to decide what should you would like to be included in this ceremony. My role as the naming ceremony celebrant is to advise you as to how best to conduct a naming ceremony.
Why Have a Naming Ceremony?
A christening has for centuries been considered an important step in a child’s early life. While the religious aspect is often removed from our daily lives parents still ask that their children have a naming ceremony. The significance of this ceremony is that it focuses on the future development of your son or daughter, their welfare and happiness and on you being the best parent you can possibly be for your child.
A naming ceremony is a way for your extended family and friends to declare that they have an interest in your child’s future and you can nominate supportive adults in much the same way as you would godparents at a religious christening.
For adopted children of any age a naming ceremony is a great way of welcoming them into the family unit. They can also be used if you want a religious feel to your ceremony when the parents belong to different faiths. Because I am a civil celebrant I can give you a ceremony that contains a religious element that is not affiliated to one particular church or religion. Naming ceremonies can also be used if you have remarried and have children from a previous marriage that also want to undergo a name change (the legal process of changing their name must be completed in the appropriate place).
By using a celebrant for your naming ceremony, you take away all the stress of the day that organizing such an event would bring. By leaving this task to a professional celebrant it leaves you free to enjoy your day and to be able to tend to your child (or children).
What Format does a Naming Ceremony follow?
This is really up to you, it is your choice, it can be as formal or casual as you would like. It is something you should really discuss with me during the planning process. This is an idea of a typical process used in a naming ceremony.
Many people choose to begin their naming ceremony with a reading. This can be read by a family member. It can be a favorite piece of poetry, some prose or something you have written yourself.
Formally Named and Parents Affirming
The child whose ceremony it is will next be named formally and this is followed by declarations by both parents. Some parents also choose this time to make a promise between them that they will commit to doing everything in the best interests of the child.
If the child has been adopted you could say how that child’s coming into your life has influenced or changed your life.
The ‘supporting adults’ are good friends or members of the family that have agreed to act as the equivalent of godparents or mentors to the child in the naming ceremony. The supporting adults then can say a few words giving their commitment to that child.
The ceremony can then close with a reading either by one (or both) of you the parents or by me, your celebrant.