Baby names are one of the Rite of Passage ceremony held by nearly all societies to observe a person’s entry into a new stage of life. Rites of passage note such occasions as birth, graduation, or marriage. Most rites help people understand and accept their new roles in society. I have done a number of Baby Naming ceremonies over the many years of being a celebrant and have picked up a number of hints how to ensure the process flows smoothly. I have provided some background information about the baby naming ceremony and why it exists in society and why it is felt so important for many people of different faiths and backgrounds.
Baby Naming History
Name giving ceremonies have a history almost as old as mankind itself. Those who viewed the film Ben Hur will recall how when Ben Hur saved the Roman General the latter named him as his son. A son was not a true legal member of the family until the father had named the offspring in a ceremony. Thus a legal son could be, in our terms, adopted, born out of wedlock, born of the wife or born of another woman. Naming (or Name giving) was the rite which brought the child into the family.
Name giving ceremonies as celebrants do them however, are relatively new. Ever since some celebrants in the mid-seventies started to officiate at them, they have become increasingly popular. A name giving ceremony is not a baptism or a christening. Such ceremonies are by definition religious and do not come within the scope of a celebrants work. This ceremony in no way inhibits the child from seeking the truth during his life and any future religious commitments of belief.
The baby name giving ceremony for the civil celebrant is most appropriate and a fulfilling and meaningful experience. It is an occasion when a new birth is celebrated and a child welcomed into the world. Family relationships are deepened. The parents become more fully aware of their responsibilities. So, of course, do the godparents (some celebrants prefer ‘mentors’ or ‘guardians’). The naming ceremony also has a community dimension, represented by the wider circle of family and friends.
The baby naming ceremony is an excellent occasion for cultural expression – joy, hope, acceptance – and should in time draw forth the best of our music and literature. Many religious people are using the non-religious naming service to celebrate the birth of their child. Many Christians, for example, do not believe in infant baptism so choose this cultural celebration and leave the child free to choose or not to choose baptism in their late teens. In fact, all naming ceremonies are done or performed on this principle.
Of all the ceremonies which celebrants do, name givings are the most difficult. This is because there are usually a number of children present to distract everyone. The baby in question can take the attention in various ways by crying, laughing, or googooing. The celebrant may often find himself in the position of talking to no one. These ceremonies are also extremely rewarding and full of joy and hope.
There are no prior legal requirements for this ceremony but you will need to supply the names of those you wish to be guardians plus the birth date of child to the celebrant.
Basically the baby naming ceremony format is as follows:-
- Introduction and welcome to guests
- Godparent commitment
- Giving the Name
- Final declaration
- Signing of Certificate
Music is an appropriate accompaniment to a Baby Naming. There is also the possibility of using candles and wish cards, which can be incorporated into the ceremony. The celebrant, family, friends or the parents themselves can do the readings. The ceremony can be easily adapted for single parent families.
Download my Free Baby Naming Poems and select 2 poems for your ceremony, I have more available for my clients, contact me if you have any questions. If you are just interested in what baby names maybe popular in 2015, I suggest having a look at these baby name predications out of interest. If you want to have a look at what baby names are popular these days please visit popular baby names section of this website.
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