What is a naming ceremony?

A humanist naming ceremony (this can be a baby-naming ceremony or a ceremony for older children), is delightful! In some ways it is the most humanist ceremony of all in that the wording often describes what it means to formally name a child in front of its parents, relatives and friends in a non-religious way. 

What does the ceremony involve?

The naming ceremony varies from family to family but most include a welcome and a few facts about the parents, details of the child's birth, how the given name was decided upon and also its derivation. Mention is made of what we like to call 'Guideparents' as well as grandparents, aunts, uncles, mentors and any other adult figures who will play a key role in the child's life.

All of these key figures may wish to say a few words but it isn't compulsory. There are some  simple, powerful pledges that the Guideparents can make, which can sit alongside more light-hearted pledges of their own that they may have in store.

A single candle can also be lit at a certain point to mark the occasion or a song can be sung by everyone. The climax of the ceremony comes when everyone is invited to formally name the child (as a chorus), which is always a stirring moment. The atmosphere throughout is joyful and relaxed and as there are often a great many children present things can get a little boisterous, which only adds to the fun!

I give each couple a beautiful copy of their naming ceremony, which is theirs to keep and enjoy in the years ahead. Please watch my short film on the ceremony.      

'I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mark to other people, in fact the best compliment that we can give is to say that we look forward to working with him again when we add to our family!'

Luke and Jade Harvey, London