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Celebrating and Naming Your Child

Preparing Your Ceremony

An Alternative Christening

Ceremony Content and Structure

Significant Family and Friends

Testimonials

  

Celebrating and Naming Your Child

If you've come across this website in your search for a ceremony and celebration as a private or public gesture of your commitment to and love for your child in your own unique way - look no further!

A ceremony is a very special way of celebrating your child's birth and welcoming them into your family, blessing them and officially naming them.

You may have decided a religious ceremony (a Christening or Baptism) is not what you're looking for because you don’t want your child to be part of a particular church or religion, rather you want your child to be free to choose his or her own religious or spiritual path according to his own free will when he or she is old enough.

You may have discovered other ceremony options, but found they still restrict the way you can express yourselves in the wording you can use, and the readings, music and format you can have.

We're delighted to offer you the opportunity to pledge love and support to your child throughout his or her life in whatever way is meaningful for you to do so.

 

Preparing Your Ceremony

A good starting place for your ceremony is to decide the date, time and location - we can hold your ceremony anywhere. We then arrange to gather information from you to understand exactly what you want - the atmosphere, length and other detail of the ceremony.

We use a series of questions to gather personal and practical information from you, such as 'what does it mean for you to be a parent to this child?'.

We find out what readings, music, prayers, names for God/Spirit, creative or traditional elements you’d like in your ceremony, or give you ideas and suggestions if you don’t know what you’d like.

And we can guide you as to what would be appropriate and what wouldn’t, and what we feel would work and what wouldn’t.

We take into account all those who will attend the ceremony and seek to be as inclusive as possible helping everyone feel welcome regardless of different spiritual or religious beliefs.

We look at how any children and significant adults will be involved in the ceremony. Ritual is a lovely way of including a particular group or everyone present at your ceremony, and we have lots of ideas to inspire and excite you, or you may know exactly what you would like to include.

Once we have all the personal information and detail of everything you'd like including in the ceremony, you can then leave it to us to weave it all together into a ceremony for you.

 

An Alternative Christening

We are sometimes asked to help with a ceremony by parents who hold Christian beliefs, but who don't attend church or belong to any particular Christian denomination.

We could hold an 'Alternative Christening' whereby the child is placed under the protection of a Higher Power (be that God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, or perhaps a Guardian Angel or Saint the child is named after) rather than being welcomed as a member of the church as in a traditional Christening.

This would be possible, but we would add the word 'Alternative' to indicate there is a difference between what we would offer and a traditional and orthodox church ceremony, and to show respect to the traditional use of the term Christening by the Christian tradition.

We can offer suggestions for your ceremony or work with any ideas you already have to create your ceremony and we will respond to your requests for traditional ritualistic elements to be included in a ceremony and we aspire to do this with sensitivity, clarity and reverence.

We could include traditional ritualistic elements found in a Christening such as anointing with oil, lighting a candle or the use of water; hymns, the Lord's Prayer and a variation on the 'call and response' format of a church ceremony when family and friends are invited to join in.

Should you wish to have a traditional orthodox religious ceremony you would need to contact your local vicar or priest and may find the following websites helpful. www.baptism.org.uk/christening.htm www.cofe.anglican.org/lifeevents/baptismconfirm

 

Ceremony Content and Structure

Your ceremony can be a combination of some or all of the elements listed below. We find out what you’d like included and then we bring everything together in the most fitting order and create a flow - you don't need to worry about how that's going to happen, we'll do that for you.

Words of welcome and introduction

Acknowledging absent friends / family members

Prayers

Readings / Stories Songs / Music / Dancing

Welcoming the child

Meaning of the names

Naming of the child

Blessing the child

Parents' vows / promises / commitments

Supporting Adults’ vows

Grandparents’ vows

Ritual

Inclusion of siblings and / or other children present

Presentation of gifts to the child

Hopes for the future

Closing words and thank yous

 

Significant Family and Friends

Grandparents and other close family members can all be included, acknowledged and involved in your ceremony if you wish.

Other children and your child's siblings can be given special mentions or roles.

You may also wish to have a group of older children and adults who are acknowledged during the ceremony as stepping into a special support role for your child.

Being asked to be part of a circle of support to your child, whether you use the term Godparent, Mentor, Significant Person or some other title, is both an honour and a responsibility, so choose the people you ask with care and talk to them about your hopes and expectations both for their part in the ceremony and their role in your child’s life.

Ensure both you and they feel comfortable with what they feel they want to aspire and commit to. You may wish for them to take an active part in the ceremony by contributing a reading or piece of poetry or story, or perhaps to verbalise the commitment they're making to your child in their own words, or maybe take vows.

It's possible to involve and include them in the ceremony, thereby laying a fertile foundation for the relationship between them and your child to blossom over the years ahead.

We suggest you pick people your child looks likely to have regular contact with, who will offer support to you and your child, and have a positive influence throughout your child’s life.

 

Testimonials

'Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support, guidance and encouragement. Your beautiful words, your beautiful voice and your beautiful presence made the blessing so special.'

'Thank you for making our naming ceremony such a memorable event, I will never forget how J turned to look at you when you were addressing her, she really seemed to understand that your words were for her. You made the day spiritual and special.'

'Thank you for a beautiful ceremony to 'build a bridge' and welcome JN into this world, on this side of the veil. We so enjoyed the ceremony and shall enjoy looking back.'

'Everyone said afterwards how lovely the ceremony had been, and how perfect and fitting for our little family. Thanks for a special ceremony and day.'

'Thank you for helping make M’s naming a very special time.'