Baby Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

In this new secular Ireland many parents are choosing to celebrate their baby’s arrival in a way more appropriate to their beliefs and philosophies. This is a trend, which is growing rapidly, especially with more non-religious schools springing up around the country.

There are no set rules when it comes to this rite of passage. You as a couple are gathering together all of the people who you hope will play a role in your child’s life. This is a beautiful occasion to introduce your family and friends formally your new arrival. It can take place in a function room, a garden, at home or anywhere that feels right for you. You can incorporate music into the ceremony which will be chosen by you . Poetry and prose can also be read by the parents, family, friends or by myself your celebrant. You can incorporate as much color and imagination as you like in your baby naming ceremony.

Some ideas for your baby’s ceremony

The Parents promise: This is a pledge read by one or both parents to their new child. Perhaps they will promise to be patient and generous with their time. They may want to share their hopes and dreams for the child and for their life together as a family.

The Appointment of a guardian: Often a close family member of long time friend will be made a guardian of the child, not in the legal sense but a figure who will make themselves available should the child ever need them for advice, care, guidance or help.

Bestowing the Name: This is where a child’s is named, perhaps giving the reasons for choosing that name, maybe it was an ancestral name or perhaps had an interesting history. This marks the very first time that a child is introduced to their community using their new given name.

Baby’s hand and footprints: This is where either a print or a cast is created during the ceremony of the baby’s tiny hands and feet, capturing their size and shape on that very day. The prints can be added to a baby scrap book or if you are having a cast made in clay or, the hands and feet can be framed and displayed at home or kept as keepsake. Siblings can also play a role in this and it is a great way to help them to feel included in welcoming their new brother/sister.

Planting a tree: Planting a tree either as part of the ceremony or after at your home. This can symbolise growing as family. A tree can be chosen to represent the season in which a child is born eg. an apple tree that will bear fruit if the child is born in autumn

Photo Collage: Taking photos of your guests with the baby and making a collage of everyone involved in the day. This could also be sent to guests after as a memento for them.