There is no set service and when holding a Baby Naming Ceremony, parents can choose to write their own ceremony or take ideas from sample readings. The ceremony can be as personalised and unique as they wish it to be.
Baby Naming Ceremonies have no legal or religious requirements.
Baby Naming Ceremony Sample
The following steps might be included in the Naming Ceremony. Parents might add, change or omit as desired.
Introduction – This is to welcome everyone to the gathering and explain the purpose of the Ceremony. For instance:
- “Friends and family of (baby). You have been invited to take part in a ceremony to welcome this child into the family unit and into the circle of their relatives and friends.
- The birth of a baby is a joyous occasion and in welcoming and naming a child, we celebrate one of life’s continuing miracles: the birth of a human being.
- The responsibility of a child’s life and happiness is not only the concern of his/her parents but also of this gathering and the community.
- Just as you have been invited to share the parents happiness and joy so too are you being asked to share their responsibility as the more love this child receives, the more he/she will have to offer others. The more people in his/her world, the richer his/her world will be.”
This part of the ceremony can include the reasons why the baby’s name was chosen and pledges from parents and others involved in the ceremony including other children who might want to make a special vow to their sibling.
Parents Vows and Pledges in Naming Ceremony
Parents will verify their commitment to their child in the form of a promise, poem, verse or blessing. Older siblings might also give a pledge.
Godparents Guardians, Sponsors and Mentors in Baby Naming Ceremony
In this section of the ceremony, Mentors chosen by the parents will pledge a lifelong interest in the moral and ethical development of the child. They will be asked to accept the role of mentor to the child and to be someone he or she can turn to for loving support and guidance as the baby grows.
Grandparents Role in Baby Naming Ceremony
Grandparents may make promises in the form of the love, support and guidance, patience and understanding they wish to give the child as his or her life unfolds.
Candle Ritual and Blessing
Together parents might light a candle for the baby as the celebrant pronounces
“Let us all join together in a blessing for (baby.)
For health, love and life let us all be thankful
For friends, family, homes and loved-ones, let us be thankful
For the beauty of this world, let us be thankful
(Baby), we officially welcome you to our world. We wish you a life of love and happiness in a peaceful world. We promise to love, nurture and support you and to create a healthy environment so you may reach your life’s potential.
Let the lighting of this candle be an affirmation of this promise.
Let the lighting of the candle be symbolic of light and live.”
Readings in a Baby Naming Ceremony
Poems and prose chosen to honour the ceremony that might be read by parents, family or friends.
Exchange of Tokens
Gifts and tokens of the ceremony might be given to the child or the child’s parents/family.
Here the parents might be congratulated on the birth of their baby and the Mentors/God Parents on their willingness to share with them, care and support for the welfare of (baby).
A Baby Naming Ceremony offers a sense of tradition, of occasion and of offering oaths and reassurances towards the care for baby.
Gordon K. Rites and Ceremonies:Alternative Guide to Baptism and Baby-Naming. London: Constable. 1998.
Barber A. Your Complete Guide to Naming Ceremonies. London: G A Publishing. 2008.