Here are some ideas for how to create a naming ceremony to welcome your new baby into the world.
It can be a really lovely opportunity to connect with your community of family and friends: Inviting them into your baby bubble is a gift. The arrival of a new human is a special and magical event. I encourage you to mark this moment with a ritual or celebration. It is an opportunity for you to more fully step into your new role as parent, witnessed by those you love. It is also a chance for you to ask for help and support both now and in the future. Being a parent is a tough gig and often people surprise us by being delighted when we ask them for help.
I recommend having a celebrant or someone who feels comfortable taking the lead so that you can enjoy being guided through the experience. Consider also where you would like the event to take place? Is there somewhere in nature you feel particularly connected to or an indoor space like a yoga studio you could use?
I suggest that your ritual has four parts to it:
1. Creating the space
The purpose of this is to let us know that we are stepping out of the everyday into a special time. It may include things like lighting incense or candles, inviting those present to hold hands or to sing or chant together. In some cultures calling in the four directions and their associated elements is practised.
I had the privilege of acting as celebrant at a wedding last summer. Before the vows I invited everyone to drop into silence and take a few breaths together – this can be a powerful way of creating a sense of harmony. I then asked them to place a hand on their heart and imagine a golden light surrounding it, then allow this golden light to connect with all of the other hearts in the circle and form a bubble around all of us. This was a perfect place from which to start.
Be creative. Include whatever speaks to you and feels enjoyable.
2. Setting intentions
Before the occasion spend some time imagining your child’s life stretching out ahead of them. What would you love to offer them on this journey through life? You could write this as a letter to be read to them when they are older. Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself to be a writer, if it is from the heart I can almost guarantee you will have everyone in floods!
Laying objects which symbolise these intentions on an alter can help to cement them in our subconscious. You could later put them in a frame with the words you have spoken as a reminder.
Take a pause to allow this to settle in, a song or a moment of silence can be lovely. If you’re stuck for ideas message me – I’m full of songs!
3. Calling in the community
This is an opportunity for your friends and family to offer support, a way you could do this:
- Hand out paper and pens and ask people to write offers of support and or words of intention on them. They could for example, intend to be there in support throughout your child’s life and or offer something very practical such as cooking you a meal.
- They can, in turn, come and place the piece of paper in a special box. It is lovely to read these later when you go home.
You may want to invite close friends or family to have an extra role so that the greater level of support that they offer is acknowledged. They could also place an object on the alter representing their intention towards you and your little one or be witnessed by the community speaking out their intent; this can be very powerful. I had friends do this at my son’s ceremony and feel that they still feel a special connection with him.
Find a fun way to end the ceremony, a song or chant, a simple circle dance that everyone can take part in…
You can follow this by eating a meal together, asking everyone to bring a dish to share is a wonderful way to do this (in a post covid world) not only because it makes the occasion affordable but because it means the guests are co-creating the celebration. As Charles Eistenstein said “joint creativity builds community, joint consumption doesn’t”. If it is necessary because of pandemic restrictions for everyone to bring their own picnic those close to you could contribute in other ways such as bringing flowers or other types of decorations.
I hope you have fun planning your ceremony and it enhances your experience of this precious time. If you want to talk your ideas through with me just drop me a message: email@example.com.
I am also excited to let you know that my new book “Spirted: a creative workbook to prepare you for the adventure of parenting” is available here.