Naming Ceremonies

(17 Posts)
Mil Tue 20-May-03 06:40:06

Hello everyone. I'm new to Mumsnet but find it really interesting and supportive as I'm living with my partner and 8-month old ds in Mauritius so feel a little isolated at times! My query is about Naming Ceremonies as I'm catholic (not practising!) but my partner has no religion and has never been christened. I feel we should christen our son but not sure if that is just conditioning or not. We return to UK in July for good and would like to do something on ds's first birthday in September. Does anyone know what a naming ceremony involves and how I would find out more info? Thanks!

batey Tue 20-May-03 06:44:07

The Humanist Society have lots of info on this, we did naming ceremonies for both our dds,at home, and chose 2 male 2 female "companions" for them each. Close family did some readings on the day too. Havn't time to post more now, will try again later.

batey Tue 20-May-03 06:46:59

Check out www.humanism.org.uk and go to ceremonies. HTH

WideWebWitch Tue 20-May-03 08:44:52

Hi Mil, no advice but just being nosy, where are you in Mauritius? My mum lived in Avenue Georges V in Curepipe for a couple of years and then moved to Black River (is that right, may have the name wrong?)for a couple of years before moving on. Welcome to mumsnet anyway!

Mil Tue 20-May-03 09:31:28

Wow - thanks for all your prompt replies! I'll definitely log on to that website. I live in Grand Baie in Mauritius which is right in the North. Curepipe and Black River are Central/South and very beautiful areas. I live on the beach tho' - can't complain!

WideWebWitch Tue 20-May-03 10:38:41

Hi Mil, thanks for the reply - I spent the night in Grand Baie once when a friend lent us his flat there. Anyway, I envy you the sun, sea and sand, ooh, I have a vision of where you are, lovely! Anyway, hope you find something nice to do for your ds in September.

GeorginaA Tue 20-May-03 11:41:13

I can thoroughly recommend liferites - http://www.liferites.org/ They helped us design the naming ceremony personal to us and we had one of their celebrants lead it. I am very pleased with how it went and I have very good memories of a special day.

Mil Tue 20-May-03 11:52:42

Cheers for that website info GeorginaA - I'll look into it.

GeorginaA Tue 20-May-03 13:50:24

You're welcome - I forgot to say that the reason we went for a naming ceremony is that I'm pagan and my dh is C of E, so we wanted ds to be able to choose for himself when he was older and not "commit" him to particular faith. I was particularly pleased with how the celebrant incorporated both our backgrounds into a ceremony that was comfortable to both of us without being "wishy washy" if that makes sense?

Mil Tue 20-May-03 16:48:31

I know what you mean about "wishy-washy" and my partner has just read this and he agrees that yours sounds like the sort of ceremony we would want.

WedgiesMum Tue 20-May-03 20:53:29

We had naming ceremonies for both of ours that we wrote ourselves. We got lots of ideas from the web (by doing a search on www.askjeeves.com) where there are some fab sites that come up (check out the stuff about native american ceremonies) and then we looked at lots of poems and songs that we both loved. One of our very best friends led both ceremonies for us and we had music and readings, but the best thing we did was tie sparkly cardboard stars to the trees in our garden and everyone who attended found one and wrote their wishes for the baby. And we have 'child guides' instead of godparents (as god didn't come into it).

Hope it's a fab day - the memories will stay with us always it was so personal and special.

Mil Wed 21-May-03 06:23:35

Thanks WedgiesMum - I love the idea of the sparkly stars! It's a bit tricky this religious thing as I do still feel as tho' a Christening (catholic) is the way we should go - or is this just to shut my mum up?!! A naming ceremony would be so personal and would be a great chance for friends and family to get together as we have been overseas for 2 years. I'll have to chew this one over...

SoupDragon Wed 21-May-03 08:14:43

I'm having this dilemma at the moment. For some reason, deep down I feel a CofE christening is the right thing to do, despite the fact that I've not been to church regularly since I was 14. I'm trying to decide whether a non-religeous naming ceremony might be more appropriate (although I'm not sure how DHs grandmother would take that!). I'd love a "proper" christening in our own garden but that's proving to be infeasible.

Must see what DH thinks...

steppemum Wed 21-May-03 15:02:56

I thought soupdragon and mil might be interested to know that you can ask a church (although not sure if the catholic church will do this) to do a dedication or blessing sevice instead of a christening. This means that you thank God for the baby, but do not have the baptism bit. Then the child can decide for themselves about their faith when they grow up, but you can still have the church bit if you want it. I am a christian, but I think naming ceremonies are an excellent idea for those who don't want a god ceremony. In a christening you have to make very serious promises about bringing the child up as a christian etc, and if that's not your thing it would be really hypocritical. But if you want a link to a church, to keep grandma happy, how about a dedication?

WedgiesMum Wed 21-May-03 16:00:36

Parts of our ceremony for DD were from the Unitarian Church baby naming cermony and there is lots of mention of God and spirituality in it (we just chose not to use the bits referring to God). We took the view that it was a ceremony to welcome the children into the family and wider community of friends and that the children can decide when they are older how involved they want to be in church life - if at all. Some family members were disapproving at first(DH mother in particular) but having been to the ceremony and seen how personal it was they were won over.

eemie Wed 21-May-03 20:03:23

When we attended a humanist welcome ceremony I was put off by the constant references to Christian baptism: the celebrant kept drawing parallels all the way through.

We made up our own ceremony and held it in the garden. We invited everyone to a 'welcome party'. The invitations made it clear that there would be a short naming ceremony at a fixed time so that people could arrive in time for it or come later as they chose.

The ceremony was about 15 minutes. We made promises, not on dd's behalf but to her, which expressed the ideals we are aiming for as her parents. We asked my cousin to be her special friend and advocate, especially if she should ever fall out or have a serious disagreement with us. We presented the special friend with a bouquet. I talked about our reasons for choosing her name and said a little about the women in our families who share it. My dh sang 'Where'er you walk' to dd, and a large group of us sang 'The Lord bless thee and keep thee' because of the beautiful words and because it was sung at my christening.

At the time I was still trying to hang on to the tatters of my faith but had long ago decided I could not go along with infant baptism any more. My husband was and is a convinced atheist. We both loved the day.

Everyone wrote in a special book for dd (we put one of the keen 12-year-olds in charge of taking it round) and we treasure all the messages. One from my (Christian missionary) Mum said: 'an unforgettable day - love is all around'. A friend sent a CD of Joan Baez singing 'Forever Young' which we played after the ceremony while people were getting their food.

The best thing is that it's all written down and one day my dd will be able to call us to account on how well we've stuck to our promises.

devotedceremonies Thu 29-Jul-10 17:26:03

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