Humanist naming ceremonies – a warm and welcoming way to celebrate the arrival of a child to the family. Here are five top tips to start planning your very own.
A humanist naming ceremony is a joyous and heart-warming way to bring everyone together to celebrate and welcome a new addition to the family. They are the ideal solution for parents who want to mark the occasion without religion, and can include grandparents, siblings, and wider family. Here are some tips to begin planning your perfect humanist naming ceremony.
5 Tips To Start Planning Your Humanist Naming Ceremony
Find a Location That Suits You
Where is the best place to have a humanist naming ceremony? Wherever you choose!
With a humanist naming ceremony, the choice of venue is entirely up to you, and you don’t need to hire a venue.
You can have your ceremony at home, indoors, or in the garden, where there is space for the children to run around. It means you don’t have to travel, and you have all your child’s things to hand.
Or, further afield, you could choose a park, or a woodland, or even a beach. Picnics and barbecues are easy ways to cater for everyone. If you want something a little more formal, you could book a reception room in a hotel, or the upstairs room in a pub.
Have a think about a location that feels right for you — knowing your perfect location will help you to picture the ceremony, and may lead to other ideas for decorations and activities.
Plan What You Would Like to Say
By holding a naming ceremony for your child you are not only introducing a new person by name, you’re also marking your commitment to their happiness and fulfilment, and welcoming them as a significant person in your life.
If you’d like to make a speech at the ceremony, you might like to choose words that express, as a parent, your hopes for and promises to your child.
You can also include a reading from a favourite novel, your child’s most-loved picture book, or read a poem. This means that family members or close friends can be involved, choosing something that is meaningful to them.
Consider a Humanist Celebrant
It’s possible to host your own naming ceremony. However, if you choose a Humanist Ceremonies celebrant, you’ll be working with someone who is trained and accredited by Humanists UK and experienced in creating family-friendly, inclusive naming ceremonies, with lots of ideas for making the event truly memorable.
Having a professional celebrant leading the ceremony frees you up to mingle with your guests and enjoy this special day!
Find a Humanist Ceremonies naming celebrant near you.
Choose Special Adults to Play a Part in Your Child’s Life
In humanist naming ceremonies parents often choose special adults to be a part of their child’s journey to adulthood. Instead of ‘godparents’, they are sometimes called guide parents, or mentors or champions, odd parents, or even sparents!
They make promises to the child about the support and love they will offer them as they grow into independent people, often with affection and humour. You can pick as many guide parents as you like, and the combination of the number of guide mothers and guide fathers is entirely up to you. It’s your day, your way!
Include a Symbolic Act to Make Your Ceremony Totally Personal
There are many symbolic acts you can incorporate into a naming ceremony. Ideas include creating a time capsule which the child can open in years to come, planting a tree, or signing a certificate where the parents and supporting adults declare their commitments to the child.
You can also create keepsakes from the day, to be treasured in the future. Why not invite your guests to write promises or good wishes on individual tags which can then hang on a tree, or simply have them write in a guestbook which you can keep and look back on.
Some symbolic gestures allow everyone to be involved. A sand ceremony is a ritual which involves filling a large empty glass jar with layers of differently coloured sands. Guide parents, parents, family, and friends each take a vial of coloured sand and slowly pour it into a larger central vase, one colour at a time. It creates a wonderful visual representation of the community support that the child has surrounding it.
A humanist celebrant will have lots of suggestions about what might work for you and of course you can bring your very own unique ideas!
Find out more about humanist naming ceremonies at humanists.uk.