Welcoming and Naming Ceremonies
All societies have their own rituals for welcoming the newborn. The giving of a name, the bestowal of blessings, the selection of godparents/mentors/guides, and the giving of gifts are all ways of recognising how important this child is to all of us. Many people no longer have a particular affiliation to any religious group but they still want to mark the significance of their child’s arrival in this world and make sure the child is given a place in the community. In our contemporary world, there is greater choice than ever for the ways we choose to celebrate such occasions. Some choose a Home Christening while others prefer an earth-centred ceremony or one with a distinctly Australian flavour, or which combines different cultural traditions. Whatever best suits you and your child.
Your child is an important person for your family and for this world.
The ceremony can be as simple or complex as you desire, incorporating your own traditions, beliefs and lifestyle.
Remember that the ceremony is focused on your child, and with that in mind, consider what is the best time of day for your child and work around that.
The following are some aspects to consider for inclusion:
- What sort of ceremony would best suit the community into which you are introducing your child. It could be a home christening, a Celtic saining, or a very Aussie ceremony.
- Where would you like to hold the ceremony? Your home, a local park, in the bush, a private chapel or community hall? Remember to have a wet-weather alternative when planning outside ceremonies.
- Who do you want invited to the ceremony? Options include family, close friends, or an open invitation to the community where you live.
- Who are the people that will play a special role? Godparents or Mentors, Grandparents and siblings can all be included as a formal acknowledgment of their place in your child’s life.
- What music and readings would you like included? Usually at the beginning, middle and end of the ceremony.
- Are there any special symbols from your own beliefs or ancestral heritage e.g. photos, statues, candles, plants?
- What are the values and morals you want to impart to your child? Do you want to make any particular promises? What do you ask of the people present?
- Do you want to include gift giving and blessings in the ceremony?
Selecting your Celebrant
There is no legal requirement for registration of celebrants for naming ceremonies but many marriage celebrants have also had training in other ceremonies. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the background, education and experience of the celebrant you are considering.
Roxanne Bodsworth is a highly qualified and experienced celebrant who will meet with you beforehand to discuss your requirements and help guide you through the planning process.
The fee of $250 covers the planning, development and delivery of a personalized ceremony, use of PA equipment and resources for readings and music, travel up to 200km, a copy of the ceremony, and simple certificate.