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  • Writer's pictureLisa Flahant

Naming ceremonies – all you need to know!

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

It’s interesting that naming ceremonies are growing in popularity. I imagine this is comparable to the growth in civil weddings, and in a similar way, more people are now open to the idea that a naming ceremony does not need to be a religious event.

Parents lifting toddler up in woodland setting

So if a traditional christening in church does not provide you with a good fit, then a naming ceremony is a wonderful event to recognise and welcome a child into the family and wider community.

In case you were wondering, it isn’t just babies who are named at ceremonies; many couples choose a ceremony to welcome adoptive children or step-children into the family. The content of the ceremony usually includes announcing the name of the child, promises of commitment to the child, and the announcement of other supporting adults or guide parents or mentors who will commit to form a special relationship with the child. Promises are made, gifts can be given, and you can always include a ritual such a lighting a candle, or planting a tree.

You can include readings and poetry, music and song, and should you choose an independent celebrant, there is complete flexibility when and where you hold the ceremony, with all of the content tailored to your exact requirements. So if your idea of the perfect naming ceremony is in your back garden with family and friends, followed by a cream tea or a barbecue – then that is the way you can do it. Or if you want an informal gathering on your favourite beach, complete with surfing, a picnic and beach games – go for it!

An independent celebrant will also be able to incorporate religious or spiritual content into a naming ceremony (should you wish), something a registrar or a Humanist celebrant is unable to do. So it’s worth remembering this when considering what you want to include as part of your ceremony, and particularly relevant if you feel a christening is not right for you, but you still want to include a biblical reading or a hymn.

Finally, just a reminder that a naming ceremony has no legal status, whether it is conducted by a priest, a local authority registrar or an independent celebrant. And as well as the content of the ceremony varying depending on which route you choose, the costs also differ. A naming ceremony when booked through the registration service in Cornwall is currently £405 (if the ceremony is in the Register Office on the weekend); if you choose to have it on a weekend at a venue approved by the local authority, it is £588.

With my fees starting at £295 for a naming ceremony in Cornwall, why would you not choose a more personalised and bespoke service? Want to have a chat about it? Drop me a line.

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