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Hello My Name Is StickerIn recent years, organized religion has become less important to many people, therefore making them less likely to choose traditional baptisms or christenings for new babies. If you would still like to honor your new baby in some way but don't feel a religious ceremony will meet your needs, consider a name celebration as an alternative.

Preparing for a Name Celebration

As with any other event in which you intend to invite people, the first thing you should do for your baby's naming ceremony is to choose the venue, date and time. Because it isn't a religious ceremony, you can choose to hold the event wherever you'd like. Consider a nice restaurant, a party room or even your favorite local park. When choosing your venue, be sure to consider the type of atmosphere you want to have formal or informal and how long you want the event to go on for.

The Structure of a Naming Ceremony

Again, because a naming ceremony isn't religious, the structure is completely customizable and up to the family. Most parents begin with an introduction that acknowledges absent friends and family members. From there, if you would like to include a prayer, you can, or if you prefer not to, simply move on to any introductory readings, speeches or songs you have prepared. Next, you will welcome your new son or daughter, name him or her, and discuss the meaning of the chosen name and why it was chosen.

One important part of a name celebration is the vows and promises from the adults that will be a big part of the new baby's life. This includes the parents, grandparents and other supporting adults such as aunts, uncles, older cousins or family friends. You can include several other elements if you'd like.

  • Blessing from an alternative religion
  • Vows or promises from siblings
  • Giving of gifts for the new baby

What to Do After the Ceremony

Most parents who choose to have a traditional baptism or christening have a small gathering after the ceremony for the giving of gifts and so that friends and family can relax together. If the venue you chose is one in which you can hold an informal, party-like gathering, you may decide to do the same. If you chose a more formal venue, consider hosting a party at the park or at your home afterward. This is a great time for everyone to enjoy the afternoon with a barbecue or other casual event.

Who to Invite to a Naming Ceremony

Unlike a baptism or christening, which is traditionally only parents, godparents, siblings and grandparents, you have more leeway with a naming ceremony. This makes a naming ceremony the perfect option if you have a large extended family that you don't want to leave out of the festivities or if you have very close friends who may have felt uncomfortable at a christening.

What to Have Your Baby Wear to the Ceremony

What your new son or daughter wears to the ceremony depends on the formality of the event. While you may want to see your little one dressed in his or her Sunday best, it isn't a good idea if you've planned a casual event, one that will go on for more than about 20 minutes or one that will be in a park where the sun could cause a suit or fancy dress to feel too hot. Consider having the ceremony after your baby's typical nap time to ensure he or she is well-rested and less likely to fuss.

By having a non-traditional naming ceremony for your newborn son or daughter, you get the best of both worlds. You can incorporate as much or as little religion as you want, use alternative religions or simply give a quick naming speech and then enjoy the rest of the afternoon with friends and family.

Category: Baptism Ceremonies

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