The name giving or naming ceremony responds to the cultural and community need to welcome a child into the family. In western culture this ceremony goes back to pre-Christian Roman and Greek times. A child was not a member of the family until he or she was named at the naming ceremony. A name giving ceremony is not a baptism or a christening, though it is sometimes referred to as a ‘secular christening’.
Why do it?
This ceremony is a fulfilling and meaningful experience for all concerned. It is an occasion where a new birth is celebrated and a child is welcomed into the world. Family relationships are deepened and parents become more fully aware of their responsibilities. So, too, do the grandparents and godparents/guardians/mentors.
The naming ceremony is an excellent occasion for the cultural expression of joy, hope and acceptance. Many Christians do not believe in infant baptism, so choose this cultural celebration and leave the child free to choose or not to choose baptism later in their lives. In fact all naming ceremonies are done or performed on this principle.
The ceremony can have a legal significance
The ceremony does have some legal significance: a naming certificate signed by five witnesses ( i.e. celebrant, parents and mentors) would be accepted by the courts as sufficient evidence to rectify a ‘non-record of birth’ situation or to rectify a wrongful entry in the records. No birth certificate is required to be produced to have a naming ceremony.
Personalisation of the ceremony
Every aspect of the naming ceremony can be personalized to suit your personal situation. The ceremony must reflect you as a parent (one or two),your style, your feelings, aims, dreams and wishes for your child. The introduction, the prose, poetry, verse, music, lyrics and/or choreography must reflect to the best of your ability who you are and what you want for your child. To achieve this, you will have to spend a little time with your celebrant who will assist you, make helpful suggestions and ultimately put it all together for you.
Choice of ceremonial venue
Most often naming ceremonies are held in or around the home, a meaningful expression of nurturing, love and togetherness. As small children are often present in the form of siblings, cousins or friends of the family, the family home is often the safest, most practical and convenient place to have a ceremony.
Ceremonial style / choice
Informality is usually the order of the day. Saturday or Sunday morning or early afternoon ceremony followed by lunch or refreshments is very often the choice.
So you have decided to have a name giving ceremony for your child. What’s the next step? Make contact with me and lock your intended time into my diary. Don’t forget Saturdays are prime time!
We will need to meet to discuss the type and format of the ceremony of your choice. I can give you ceremonies to read to give you a starting point. We can look at readings, poems etc. Take into account participants. Delegate readings to mentors or grandparents. You may wish to incorporate a candle-lighting ceremony. I will ask you to think of appropriate music to include or any cultural aspects to consider. Ceremonially, every aspect is important!
By mutual agreement our liaison continues via mail, phone, fax, email or in person until the ceremony. If a rehearsal is required I will diarise that on request.
For couples enquiring from overseas and mainland Australia
- Initial enquiry is usually by email or phone.
- Payment of non-refundable $100 deposit is essential so I can secure your date and time.
- On receipt of your deposit, I will email a package of information to you in Microsoft Word format OR post it to you via express post.
- We can then email or mail ceremony drafts until you are happy.
- We’ll need to meet a day or two prior to your ceremony for any last minute discussion that may be required.
- Payment of the remainder of my fee will need to be paid prior to your ceremony.
Your payment includes:
- Complete choice of ceremony.
- Six complete ceremonies to copy and paste and/or use as guides.
- Godparent / Guardian / Mentor participatory choices.
- Grandparent / Great Grandparent participatory choices.
- Unlimited access to me regarding ceremonial matters.
- A presentation / commemorative copy of the ceremony.
- Laser printed Namegiving certificate.
- Appreciation certificates for ceremonial participants.
- Arrival at ceremony 30 minutes before scheduled starting time.
- A guarantee that I will not rush away immediately the ceremony concludes.
- A guarantee of my total familiarity with your ceremony and also that my part will be read with total interest and sincerity.
- I will dress to suit the occasion (I will dress thematically if desired.)
Payment is calculated as follows:
- A non-refundable booking fee of $100 on booking, or at our first meeting.
- A balance of $150 payable on or before the day.
Additional costs may include a charge for petrol and my time (for distances more than 80Km round trip)
A battery operated PA system, if required, can be made available on a for-hire basis.
My NEW Naming Ceremony e-book is now available.Â http://www.namegivingceremonies.com