Humanist, non-religious naming ceremonies


Hi I’m Ken. I’m Zoe. We’re here for a Humanist Baby Naming ceremony
for our youngest daughter Elsie. We want to recognise Elsie in some way. We
done it with our eldest daughter Amelia. Having a summer baby it seemed only sensible having
a Humanist ceremony in a park. My name’s Elizabeth Donnelly and I’m a Humanist
naming celebrant. A naming ceremony is fantastic because it’s all these family and friends
coming together to celebrate this new arrival. It’s wonderful. Essentially it’s my job to help the parents
celebrate the arrival of their child. So a couple will contact me, sometime obviously
we have singe parents, so I meet the parents. We will then have a conversation about what
they want from the day and then I would go away and write a ceremony.
When we first read that draft script it was dripping with emotion, it was heartfelt, it
was touching. She’d done a lot of good research around readings, because we had no idea about
readings. No, not for Children Not for children, as she made some great suggestions
for readings. For us it really mirrored and reflected what we wanted the day to feel like. I’m usually there to help set up, to make
sure everybody know what they’re doing, when they’re doing it. So I like to meet anyone
else involved in the ceremony. Then straight in really, to blowing up balloons. And then bringing them out here then sitting
on chairs and picnic rugs and then Elizabeth starting. I welcomed everyone, Ken gave a lovely reading. I read a poem about a second child. And even
though you’ve already go one and you’re busy it makes the second child no less special.
“Because although it’s not the same it’s every bit as special”. The first song that we chose was The Circle
of Life from the Lion King. I love musical and it was quite special to us. Then we had three mentors –Rachel, Matt and
Chris. As your uncle I feel really honoured to be
your mentor. What we like to say with mentors is that sometimes
children need to have the support and guidance of adults who are not their parents It was a nice touch, it was something personal
from them, to Elsie. Then your Mum did a reading. Let your life be a long one and brimming with
fun. I was particularly quite fond of our ceremonial
moment of the hanging of the cut leaves in the tree. They were given leaves cut out from paper
so they could write their best wishes for Elsie and the family. That was actually quite a touching moment
I think for me. And that’s what makes it unique because it’s
their child it’s their naming and I want to celebrate that. The best thing about today was Ken was able
to come here, to where he worked, and have a choice about where he had his baby’s naming
ceremony. They still want to celebrate the fact that
their child has come in to the world and I thought that the Humanist service was an excellent
way of doing that. If someone asked me why they should have a
baby naming ceremony my response would be “the day is yours”. You’re not confined. It’s completely bespoke; everything’s tailored
from top to toe. Elsie! Elsie.

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