Many societies and cultures mark key stages in a person's life, from childhood to their journey to becoming an adult, or full member of the society or faith group.
Christening and Baptism for Christians
Naam Karan naming ceremonies for Sikhs
Bar or Bat Mitzvah at age 13 or 12 in Judaism
It is common to have a secular celebration at 16 for prom night, and at the age when a young adult reaches majority within a culture, at 18 or 21.
Increasingly, families are opting for personalised naming ceremonies, for the freedom that then gives them to celebrate how they choose, where and when suits them. Whenever you choose to mark naming your child is your choice; whether it is a couple of months after birth or adoption, at the first birthday party, or another occasion convenient for a get together. If you have booked a photographer for a baby shoot, why not make a full celebration of it?
Naming ceremonies are not only for young children; they can take place at any age.
They may be non-religious, or you may wish to have some spiritual content to reflect your beliefs.
Families take many forms, and a welcoming ceremony recognises that children (and other relatives) become part of the unit through marriage, re-marriage, and adoption too. A celebration ceremony is a wonderful way to say 'welcome to our family', or indeed, 'welcome to our home' or 'welcome to our group' to somebody special.
A given name may not reflect who a person is, so a renaming can help structure the transition of identity, and affirm the new name.
A renaming ceremony can mark any occasion of changing a name. This might be for changes due to:
marriage or civil partnership
identity change or transitioning
taking a drag queen or king, burlesque, or other stage name
Trans and non-binary people, and their family & friends may wish to mark taking the name that suits who they are, moving forward. There is no need for the 'dead name' to be mentioned.
Naming and welcoming ceremonies may be combined. You might choose to have a joint naming ceremony for siblings, or combine a naming/welcoming with another type of ceremony, such as a wedding celebration or vow renewal.
There are no rules, and each naming or welcoming is unique.
I'll talk with you, then suggest a ceremony structure that seems appropriate. It may have music, readings, games, the story of the special person, and of course, the all-important naming or welcoming!
Family and friends may be supporting adults (also known as mentors, god parents, or guide parents) and make promises to the child or adult the ceremony is for. They may like to witness the ceremony and sign a commemorative certificate.
You may like to add a symbolic act to enhance the ceremony - such as parents or guests lighting a unity candle, siblings taking part in a sand pouring ritual, planting a tree, gift giving, making a time capsule etc.
I'll give full support and guidance to ensure you have the ceremony that is most meaningful and enjoyable for you all.