This ceremony, in western culture, goes back to Roman and Greek practice in pre-Christian times. A child was not a member of the family until the celebrant had named him or her at the naming ceremony. We decide to bring this child into our family, to bring him or her closer to all of us. All are reminded of the concern and the great responsibility involved in bringing up a child and to recognise and appoint those who will have an important role in the child’s development. A certificate signed by the parents, godparents and grandparents record the event. The symbols used in this ceremony are rich and they are explained in the process of the ceremony.
A naming ceremony acknowledges the role of parents and the closeness of their little one to them. We are joined together as a community. We are there because we are friends of the parents and their children.
Here are some reflections that can be part of the naming ceremony and where the community can express their wishes. It can go like this.
We have so much to learn from how a child perceives the world. They look with awe and astonishment at the most simple things, whether it be a gasp of delight at the sight of a rainbow or the sigh of wonder at the splendour of a blooded sunset. They interpret the world with an enviable freshness, for they are fully present: they are living in the now. May this little one awaken the child within all of us, granting us new eyes with which to view this miracle that abounds in our fragile world.
Let us reflect on how this new born embodies love. May we be empowered to live more loving lives. May we give more generously to this powerful emotion that transcends all barriers and unities all hearts. It is love alone that will make us richer the more we give it away.
May this little one be protected as she ventures on the path of life. May she always be blessed with a caring family where she will have the perfect foundation upon which to start. May her senses be open to the contradictions of our world and allow her to embody the idealism she represents.
May the spirit of the land embrace and accept this newborn into mother nature’s womb. May the miracle of this birth enliven our imaginations, deepen our compassion and strengthen our desire to live authentic lives.