I always wanted to have a baby naming ceremony for Joshi. While I was pregnant I qualified as a civil celebrant. You’d think that would make organising Joshi’s baby naming ceremony a lot easier, right? Wrong. The first year of Joshi’s life was so busy and intense for me there was no way I was going to get round to organising it. I was just too zombiefied.
Joshi was 17 months old by the time I finally got my act together. By then it felt a little late to have a baby naming ceremony. Our baby had become a very active and curious toddler. But I still wanted to do something special and sacred to acknowledge and celebrate his life. So I decided to bring our close friends and family together for what I called “Joshua’s Celebration Ceremony.”
Choosing The Best Venue
One of the advantages of doing a baby naming ceremony when your baby’s still a baby is that you can have your ceremony almost anywhere. You can have it in the middle of a nature reserve and know that your baby’s not going to be running around and missing the gig. If Joshi was still a baby I’d probably have had his ceremony at the beach, but with him being a toddler I decided to have it in our living room instead. It was the only way I could guarantee him being there rather than chasing the seagulls. As it turned out, it was really special having it in the exact same spot where he was born.
Choosing The Time For Your Baby Naming Ceremony
I guess the main decision here is whether to have your ceremony during the day or after dark. I probably would’ve chosen daytime if it weren’t for getting our overseas rellies involved. However, having it in after sunset meant we could have candlelight, which created such a warm glow. If I could do it all over again I’d make the same choice.
How To Involve Overseas Friends or Relatives
I really wanted my dad, brother, brother-in-law and mother-in-law to be part of this special occasion. However, (being the very reasonable person that I am), I didn’t expect them to fly in from Africa and the UK. I thought about this for a few days and finally came up with a solution. They could all facetime in on the ceremony.
I was a bit nervous that this may not turn out to be such a great idea, knowing how absorbed in the phone Joshi sometimes gets when they call. So I spoke to the rellies beforehand and we agreed that if the phones became too distracting we’d just hang up. Fortunately it worked out really well, probably because there was a whole lot of other stuff going on. The rellies loved it and were able to see and hear everything clearly and Joshi loved going over and saying hi to them when it was all over.
What Other Ideas Could You Include?
There are so many beautiful things you can include at a baby naming ceremony. A few of the things we included where…
1. About a week before the ceremony I asked everyone to write out their wishes/blessings for Joshi’s life. During the ceremony each person read theirs to him, then took a handful of fresh rose petals from a basket I was holding and sprinkled them over his head. The blessings were then put in a small straw pouch which I’ll give to him when he’s older.
2. Towards the end of the ceremony Simon and I read our promises to Joshi. One of them, for example, was this… “We promise to love you with all our hearts … but to leave room for others to love you as well.” We had about 10 promises in all. It was a lovely way of personalising the ceremony. Of course, if you’re not so great with words you can always read a poem (some of my favourites are in The Prophet by Kahil Gibran) or get your celebrant to help put your sentiments in words.
3. Right at the end of the ceremony we blew bubbles for Joshi. It was such a light and magical ending to the perfect ceremony. The delight on a child’s face when bubbles appear is something quite special. Done in candlelight made it even more beautiful.
Got A Baby Naming Ceremony Coming Up?