The main part of a ceremony like this is to talk about the baby's personality and how he or she has had an impact on their mum and dads' lives. It can be lovely to involve the grandparents and friends of the family in the ceremony and often people do readings or make speeches.
We have 'guide parents' who are chosen by mum and dad to be an important part of their baby's upbringing. I like to bring these people forward and say a bit about each of them and why they've been asked to play such an important role. I love this bit because their faces light up when I talk about how special they are!
The guide parents and the parents make promises to the child that are meaningful to them, mainly vowing to offer love, friendship, support and guidance when needed.
At the end of the ceremony to build up to saying the baby's name I tend to use these words:
"This child’s name will be spoken, whispered, shouted, cried, sung, and written thousands of times, impersonally or meaningfully, by family, friends, neighbours, schoolfriends, teachers, doctors, colleagues, lovers, strangers, and maybe by children and grandchildren of her own. It will define her identity..."
It's nice to think of all the people and all the ways the name will be said before declaring it. Naming and welcoming ceremonies for children are often quite relaxed and friendly affairs, sometimes done in peoples own homes or gardens.
I've got a couple of these ceremonies coming up in the next few months and am really looking forward to them. If you have a baby you'd like to have a ceremony for, please take a look at all the celebrants on the HSS website. We're all more than happy to meet up with you and discuss your baby's ceremony.