WHAT ARE SOME TRADITIONS AND RITUALS FOR A BABY NAMING CEREMONY?
The arrival of a new baby is a joyous occasion and calls for celebration. One way to celebrate is with a naming ceremony.
Naming ceremonies are a beautiful way to welcome a new baby into the world and to celebrate the beginning of their life. Naming ceremonies have been an important part of human culture for centuries. In many cultures, names carry great significance and are believed to influence a person’s life path.
Some names get passed down, some have symbolic meaning, some are chosen as a way to honour a significant friend or family member and some, let’s face it, are all but drawn out of a hat.
Whatever the reason for choosing a name, it is important to take the time to celebrate and celebrate the new bundle of goo-ing and gaa-ing joy that has entered the world.
But what would you do at a baby naming ceremony besides saying “And the name I dub thee with is…”
Many ceremonies are personalised to reflect the unique personality and beliefs of the family. Some have religious elements and some secular – or a mix of both.
We’ll talk below about some of the traditions and rituals that can be incorporated into a naming ceremony and how a qualified celebrant can assist on this special day.
LIGHT THE WORLD
One of the most popular traditions that you might see at a naming ceremony is the lighting of a candle. The candle represents the light and warmth that the new baby brings into the world. The candle can be lit by the parents or godparents and then passed around to all of the guests, who can each make a wish or say a blessing for the baby.
TIME AFTER TIME CAPSULE
For this ritual guests are asked to bring something to add to a sealed box that will be buried until a milestone in the child’s life justifies digging it back up. Added to the capsule could be a newspaper article from the day the child was born, family pictures, recorded messages, or even gifts that can be opened at a milestone “capsule release” party.
RELEASE THE BUBBLES
Releasing balloons has become less frequent as we realise the potential risk or even full blown hazard that they present to the environment including wildlife.
Bubbles are a fun, environmentally-friendly alternative. If you’d like to be super conscious of the environment you could purchase eco-friendly bubble mix or even make your own.
1/2 cup of eco-friendly dish detergent (if your detergent is concentrate cut the amount in half)
5 cups of soft water or distilled water
2 tablespoons of vegetable glycerin or light corn syrup or honey
For best results leave for 4 hours or even overnight.
MAKE TREE WISHES
Invite your guests to write words of advice or wishes for the baby’s life on individual cardboard tags and then hang on a tree.You could use a real tree if the ceremony is outside or a good-looking fake one if inside.
After the ceremony, the parents can gather the messages and keep them safe for the child to read at a later date.
No time for arranging deep and meaningful rituals? A guest book is one of the easiest traditions to set up. The book allows guests to add encouraging messages to the child that can be read and reread for many years to come.
SPEAK TO THE FUTURE FROM THE PAST
A video where guests’ say hello, give life advice, offer well wishes for your child etc. can be made. Imagine the thrill of a child looking back in say 10 or 20 years time and being reminded of the support that they had.
They get to see who the people were who were considered important in their life.
LIKE SANDS IN THE JAR, SO ARE THE DAYS
A sand ceremony has become a well-loved ritual at baby blessings and even weddings. It is a way to symbolise the contribution that loved ones are willing to make to the baby.
The ritual involves taking a large glass jar and layering it with different coloured sand. You start by having different colours in different jars.
Parents, siblings, grandparents etc. take turns pouring coloured sand into the large, central glass vase or jar one colour at a time.
At the end you have a kind of sand “parfait” with each layer a representation of the individual’s commitment to the baby.
Plant a tree! Yes! It’s that simple. How about planting a tree in honour of the child. The world needs more trees. A tree that grows as the child grows – what a fantastic concept! Imagine the child sitting under the shade of that tree when they are a little older. Imagine that child growing into adulthood and having their own kids one day that they can bring to visit the tree.
For this ritual a parent or parents can write a heartfelt letter to their baby. The baby obviously can’t read yet (you’d assume) but the letter could be read at the ceremony and kept in a safe place as a memento for the child and for something that they can read later in life when times get tough. If it’s a commitment letter (committing to the raising of the child,) the parents could even get close family and friends to sign it.
There are of course many more rituals and the ideas are only limited by imagination. New traditions can be created and old traditions can be carried on. The thing to remember is that the baby is not going to remember. Therefore the best traditions and rituals should tick at least one of two boxes: they create something tangible that the child can see and understand in their later years (sand jar, video etc.) or gives the guests an experience that leaves a lasting impression that they can look back on to be reminded of their willingness to be a positive part of the child’s life.
Naming ceremonies are a wonderful way to celebrate the arrival of a new baby and to honour their first step (not literal step of course unless they’re a freak sporting prodigy,) into this world.
If you’re looking ahead to a baby naming ceremony yourself and would like someone to help guide the process and even officiate the ceremony, a qualified celebrant can assist in creating a meaningful and personalised day. Celebrants are trained professionals with a specialty in not just conducting but also helping create ceremonies by suggesting readings, music and other elements that can reflect the unique personality and beliefs of the family.
Perhaps you have a friend or family member who has just become pregnant. You could become a celebrant yourself within the time it takes for the little foetus to grow and enter the world! Then you yourself could officiate the baby naming ceremony.
Contact one Rose Training Australia today and talk to one of their friendly staff.
Contact Form: Contact Us – Rose Training Australia
Phone: 07 3038 3048
Email: [email protected]