Whether you are having a naming ceremony with the whole clan or holding a small and intimate gathering like Emma’s naming day it is a wonderful celebration to honour the child, parents, grandparents, family and friends.

My naming book has lots of ideas to get you started. Given there is going to be at least one child and, most likely, a few more children present always K.I.S.S – keep it short and simple.

You may want to incorporate a naming ceremony into a first birthday celebration or a wedding.

You can read about Tristan and Riley’s shared naming day celebration where we honoured the two cousins at the same ceremony. We honoured the role of family and friends, and then focused a part of the ceremony on each child and their parents, acknowledging their love and commitment to their child. To close we brought the ceremony focus back on the role of the community in all childrens’ lives.

A naming ceremony will often include a welcome and introduction, parents’ promises or an affirmation of their love and care, the naming of the child and the involvement of family and friends especially if you are choosing godparents or mentors.

You may also wish to include the reasons for choice of names or their meaning, a parent’s vow to each other, acknowledgment of the role of grandparents and inclusion of other siblings. Readings, poetry, inspirational quotes, or wishes for the future can be included as well. There are many styles of ceremony and lots of great ideas for naming ceremonies in my book Create An Inspiring Naming Ceremony.

Usually a simple ceremony takes about 15 minutes but it can be up to 30 minutes or more if there are a few readings and other activities included. In Australia, many families are choosing to hold the naming ceremony outdoors. If so, it is important that the location is in the shade, it is quiet and also has the option of seating if there are family members who may need it. I have conducted a few naming ceremonies in the chapel or venue where a couple have been married which adds a special touch to the ceremony.

Most celebrants provide a naming certificate for the child. This can be signed during the ceremony by the parents, supporting adults and the celebrant. Your celebrant may also provide certificates for other siblings, supporting adults, and grandparents. Unlike a birth certificate from the registry office, the naming certificate cannot be used as proof of identification.

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