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What is a Naming Ceremony?

Naming ceremonies

I have some exciting news! I am now taking bookings for Naming ceremonies!

Oh, you don’t actually know what a Naming ceremony is? I better explain that first then I guess!

Think a non-religious version of a christening, a chance to celebrate and welcome new life* into the world, community or family.

Naming day

Before we go on I should make it clear that Naming ceremonies are not exclusively for babies. They work equally well to celebrate adoptions, the blending of two families, coming of age, coming out, gender affirmation and probably just as many other scenarios I haven’t come across yet. Just as every family is unique, so is every Humanist Naming ceremony. However, for the purpose of this blog I will refer to parents and a child as this is the most often seen.

Why have a Naming?

Becoming parents is a huge life event. Up there if not more of a commitment than marriage yet so few people mark this occasion. Both marriages and births require legal registering but why is it only the marriages that get the celebration and party?

I believe that this is, in part, because people don’t realise that there is an alternative to the religious ceremonies. A Naming ceremony is centred around the child and the hopes that their parents or guardians have for the life ahead of them. It is an opportunity to say  words of familial love that often go unspoken. You may wish to appoint special people (known as guideparents or other title of your choosing). These guideparents will help and support the child as they grow up. These can be from outside the family unit and are an opportunity to build or reinforce a connection to last a lifetime.

So why aren’t Naming ceremonies more common?

Naming celebration

You might also say to me ‘Helen, we’ve just had a baby the last thing we want to do is plan a party!’ To which I say, there is no expiry date on a Naming! Many parents like to combine it with the first birthday party (less party planning and cost vs separate ceremonies). Equally a child can be any age so please don’t think if you have a toddler or older child that you have ‘missed the boat’. For teens and pre-teens the ceremony can take more of the form of a ‘coming of age’ particularly great for those that may not be religious themselves but have Jewish or Catholic backgrounds or families.

Each ceremony, like all Humanist ceremonies, is completely unique and personal, the result of time spent with you the family and led by what you want for the ceremony.

If you would like to know more then please do get in touch!

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