In this section
How does a Naming Ceremony differ to a Christening?
How do you choose your Naming Ceremony congregation?
Can we involve our other children in the Naming Ceremony?
Can I have a transgender Naming Ceremony or Renaming Ceremony?
What happens during a Naming Ceremony?
What happens during a naming ceremony? During a naming ceremony, you will celebrate the beautiful union between family and life. Your ceremony will be totally personalised to you and your child, announcing to the world that you are officially naming and welcoming them into your family.
Your ceremony will be written by your celebrant, telling the story of your child and their special role in your family. You will share your hopes and dreams for your child, and may choose to include the significance of their name and why you chose it.
You will have the option to include readings and music in the service, further adding a personal meaning to the ceremony. The music you select could be sung by your family and friends as part of the naming ceremony, or it could be playing in the background throughout the day. You may even choose to have a certain song as an official part of the naming part of the ceremony; the congregation could sing an important song to formalise the naming of the child.
Whatever you choose, it is important to remember that this is your time and space to craft a ceremony that is personal and bursting with meaning and symbolic moments.
What is a typical schedule for a naming ceremony?
The beauty of a naming ceremony is that you can design it however you like – there are no legal requirements and restrictions, so it can be fully tailored to your wants and needs.
However, this is what you might expect from a typical naming ceremony:
- Introductions and welcomes
- A reading or poem
- Storytelling about the child, such as their arrival into the world, their personality and any quirks or interests
- A message about the role and responsibilities of parenting
- The parent’s promises to the child
- Another reading or poem
- Importance of wider family and any specific people in attendance
- Appointment of guideparents
- Guideparents’ promises
- The significance and meaning behind the child’s name
- The naming itself
- Concluding words
How can I personalise the naming ceremony?
In as many ways as you wish!
Some popular ways to personalise a naming ceremony include adding symbolic elements (such as tree planting, a Sand Ceremony or lighting candles) or having members of the congregation reading parts of the service.
This could expand into having a family member write a reading for the service or having a loved one sing a meaningful song as a part of the ceremony.
For more ideas on how to personalise the ceremony, you can read our full guide here.
How long does a naming ceremony last?
Again, the flexibility of a naming ceremony means that there is no concrete answer to this. As a general rule of thumb, naming ceremonies tend to last around 30 minutes; but this can differ depending on what you want to include in the service.