What is a Naming Ceremony?

A Naming Ceremony is like a modern version of the Christening, but it can be done anywhere, even in your back garden and it can contain whatever you want.

It can be:

  • A Baby Naming Ceremony – Welcoming a new baby into the family.
    An Adoption Ceremony –  Welcoming an adopted child into the family
  • Older children’s Naming Ceremony – Being older they would be able to take part in their own ceremony and have a say in what they would like. It may be that the family wanted all the sibling named at the same time.
  • Blended Families Ceremony – When 2 people come together and each bring children with them to make a blended family.

A ceremony is a very special way of celebrating and welcoming a child or children into the family, blessing them and officially naming them.

You may have decided against a religious ceremony because it’s not what you are looking for or you want your child to be free to choose his or her own religious or spiritual path according to his own free will when he or she is old enough.

Having a Celebrant is a way of having exactly what you want in a Naming Ceremony, no matter which you are celebrating.

Ceremony Content and Structure

I like this explanation of “What’s in a ceremony” from the Dead Good Book of Naming Ceremonies:

“If you have acquired a name one way or another, why bother with a ceremony? Ceremonies and rituals aren’t always appropriate. They can be expensive, boring and irrelevant, only used by authority figures, priests and celebrants to gain control and make money.

But they can be exciting, life enhancing and fun as well, putting us in touch with friends, community and deeper layers of ourselves that we often don’t acknowledge.”

The naming Ceremony can be some or all of the elements listed below. I would find out what you would like included and bring it all together in a personal magical ceremony:

  • Words of welcome and introduction
  • Acknowledging absent friends / family members
  • Prayers  / Poems
  • Readings / Stories
  • Songs / Music / Dancing
  • Meaning of the name(s)
  • Welcoming the child / children.
  • Naming and blessing of the child
  • Parents’ vows / promises / commitments
  • Guide parents vows / promises / commitments
  • Grandparents’ vows / promises / commitments
  • Rituals / Elements such as Unity Sand or Ribbon ceremonies
  • Inclusion of siblings and / or other children present
  • Hopes for the future / Wishing Tree or Jar
  • Closing words and thank yous


I wish you such a happy life

That’s jam-packed full of fun

Adventures, friendships, laughter, love

And picnics in the sun

I wish you a courageous life

With no dreams left untried

So that, whichever path you take

You’ll always walk with pride

I wish you an accomplished life

That celebrates your wins

But let you know the equal joy

Of simply joining in.

But most of all, I wish for you

The life that you will choose

Your name is given, but who you’ll be

Is completely down to you.

Adoption / Blended Families Naming Ceremonies

An Adoption Naming Ceremony can be a very special, emotional and magical ceremony and as family and friends you are gathering to celebrate the start of this special child joining and becoming part of your family .

It is a way to say, “Welcome, today we make our commitment as a family to love and protect you, to make memories to treasure for always.”

The Adoption process can take a long time and be slow and drawn out, so it is a ceremony full of joy in which together you can celebrate the vibrant love that shines in your family.

​While this ceremony is celebrating the adoption approval, the ceremony can also celebrate a step-parent adopting a child, or a celebration of two families coming together and expressing their commitments to each other.

Depending on the age(s) of the child/ren, they could be actively involved in the naming ceremony and its planning if they wish.

An adopted child may want to say their own words in the “Adopting my Parents” ceremony.

Your adoption ceremony can be personalised with a wish tree or jar filled with personal wishes from guests, candle lighting to signify the light and love of family, and can include poems, readings, and music. These can religious, non religious or a combination.

Guests can be included in the symbolic elements of the ceremony, whether reading a poem or prayer, singing, or presenting flowers.                    

When the naming ceremony is celebrating becoming a blended family, it is good to include the children, for example, using a sand ceremony can be significantly meaningful, with each member of the family having their own colour and blending grains of sand symbolising the bond of family, love, and dedication to each other.

Many families also like to include signing of a certificate or include fingerprints on a keepsake memento of the ceremony.

I like to end a ceremony with the Bubbles Blessing.

Everyone has a bottle of bubbles and say something like “As you blow the bubbles, imagine all the good things you pray or wish for this child (or children) and say them out loud.” depending on ages of the child/ren and the nature of the Naming Ceremony.

Prayers or Wishes could be words like health, family, joy, happiness, friends, good sleep, peace, wisdom, knowledge, safety etc.

Next Steps

If you are interested in having a naming Ceremony or variant of the naming ceremony here’s want to do next:

Contact me on the Link below to arrange an informal chat to see if I am the right celebrant for you. If so I will check my diary and we can arrange a date. (I only do one ceremony on a day, so I will be just concentrating on your Naming Ceremony.

We will meet to plan the ceremony and decide what elements you would like included such as poems, stories, the adoption story, or the blending of our two families, music, vows etc.

Decide who you would like to include in the Ceremony on the day, this may include grandparents, other children, friends, and of course you can include guide parents/godparents if this is appropriate for you.

I will send you a draft copy for you to look at and we will meet to go through it and make amendments if needed.

I will arrive 45 -60 minutes before the ceremony to arrange the set up and to go over any questions you or the guide parents or those involved might have in advance of the ceremony.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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