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Poems or reading for a baby's naming ceremony

(22 Posts)
maddiebean Fri 10-Feb-06 22:46:48

Hi girls

We are having a naming ceremony for our son (instead of a christening) can anyone suggest any good poems or reading we could use for it or anywhere I could find some. When I was looking for a poem for a funeral I found some great poetry forums but I'm a bit lost this time. Please help!


Smellen Tue 14-Feb-06 17:26:05

Check out Sylvia Plath's "You're". It's about an unborn child, but has some lovely images.

Gem13 Tue 14-Feb-06 17:45:42

We had naming ceremonies for our 2 too held by the registrar.

One of the readings came from a book called 'The truth about babies from A to Z' by Ian Sansom. There are some lovely things in that.

Have a lovely day. They were very special to me.

wilbur Tue 14-Feb-06 18:00:11

I think a lovely touching one is a traditional Irish blessing (we had it at our wedding but it's perfect for babies too). It does mention God though, so it may not be quite what you're after:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

LeahE Tue 14-Feb-06 18:01:59

The Humanist Association has a book called Seasons of Life, compiled by Nigel Collins, that has a selection of readings for namings (as well as funerals and weddings). We used it when looking for things for DS's naming ceremony.

We gave our 'godparents' an ideas list that included

'The Newborn' by C. Day Lewis

'Riders' by Robert Frost

'To My Son' by Siegfried Sassoon (although we did change the word 'gay' in the first line since its meaning has changed slightly since he wrote the poem)

'Learning to Talk' by C. Day Lewis

An extract from This World, My Home by Kenneth L. Patton that starts "Nothing is strange to a child for whom everything is new..."

A passage from A. Powell Davies that begins "Let our children learn to be honest, both with themselves and with all others..."

and the bit from The Prophet that begins "Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself..."

Two of them went for the Patton and the Powell Davies, while the third added a chunk from The Little Prince (Chapter 25, that begins "'Men,' said the little prince, 'set out on their way in express trains, but they do not know what they are looking for.'") as an alternative option.

LeahE Tue 14-Feb-06 18:07:59

Other possibilities that DH had vetoed included

'Ode on the Whole Duty of Parents' by Frances Cornford

'If' by Rudyard Kipling

'Welcome to the world' by Si Kahn

and a blessing (unknown) that goes

May the strength of the wind and the light of the sun,
The softness of the rain and the mystery of the moon
Reach you and fill you.
May beauty delight you and happiness uplift you,
May wonder fulfil you and love surround you.
May your step be steady and your arm be strong,
May your heart be peaceful and your word be true.
May you seek to learn, may you learn to live,
May you live to love, and may you love - always.

Blondeinlondon Tue 14-Feb-06 18:08:53

We used this

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

Bob Dylan

PeachyClair Tue 14-Feb-06 18:18:20

We used excepts from the prophet, and got our odd-parents to read alternative vows.

Try and find....

here we go

Naming ceremony Harold Jarvis Griffith Peach


Poem, Your Name (Author unknown)

You got it from your Father
It was all he had to give
So it’s yours to cherish
As long as you may live
If you lose the watch he gave you
It can always be replaced
But a tarnish on your name, Son
Can never be erased.
It was clean the day you took it
And a worthy name to bear
When he got it from his father
There was no dishonour there
So make sure you guard it wisely
After all is said and done
You’ll be glad the name is spotless
When you give it to your Son

All together:

For the joy of summer sunrise
And refreshing drops of rain
We are thankful
For the gift of each new morning
And the chance to try again
We are thankful
For a child who smiles like sunshine
And whose cuddles conquer pain
We are thankful
For life's harmonies and discords
For life's comfort and its strain
We are thankful
For this child who brings fresh feelings
And new reasons for each day
We are thankful
For his eyes that speak with meaning
That mere words cannot convey
We are thankful
For the hours and the minutes
And the seconds of each day
We are thankful
For friends' smiles and warming handshakes
When they don't know what to say
We are thankful
For the strength of love here present
May it never fade away.
We are thankful for all of these things.

Reading by Clair

Follow Your Dreams
When others say "It's hopeless and it really can't be done."
When they tell you "It's all over. It's a race that can't be won."
And they promise "You could spend your life just lying in the sun."
Follow your dreams boy. Follow your dreams!
When the people you admire, but who wouldn't understand,
Tell you "Other roads are safer. Your dreams are much too grand."
Or the doubters and the tempters try to take you by the hand.
Follow your dreams boy. Follow your dreams!
You should listen to the counsel of the people that you trust.
But don't be turned aside just because they might get fussed
You live the life that in your heart you know you really must.
Follow your dreams boy. Follow your dreams!
There is nothing you can't conquer if you believe you can.
No mountains you can't straddle, no oceans you can't span.
Just conjure up a vision and set yourself a plan.
Follow your dreams boy. Follow your dreams!
Jim Boswell 10/97

Moment for reflection



I have the vows made safely stowed somewhere, but it went along the lines of

'Harry, we are delighted that you have come to join Clair and Mark in their family, a playmate for Samuel and Stirling.
We promise that whatever may arise in our lives, we will always be there to offer you support and love. We know that we will enjoy watching you grow and develop, and we promise that we will do our best to develop a lifelong friendship with you'.

Stepnan Fri 13-Jul-07 22:10:39

Hi there,
We are new stepgranparents! hoorah!
Our new step granchild is having a naming day, and we have been told to make a pledge for him, he is 2 years old and a real sweetie, but what on earth do we say?! Our son and future daughter in law are extremely happy and we do not what to do anything wrong or embarrasing for them, I have looked on the net but cannot find anything suitable as this is not a religious ceremony. Please HELP! (shock)

mazzystar Fri 13-Jul-07 22:12:33

was going to suggest "you're". but beaten to it.

Quattrocento Fri 13-Jul-07 22:16:34


It depends on your son's name. I found something useful for a naming ceremony for a little girl called Olivia (Shakespeare is a fabulous standby)

Failing this what about a Prayer for My Son by WB Yeats? I'll do a link if I can get the wretched search engine on this alien pc to work.

Quattrocento Fri 13-Jul-07 22:19:10

suzygreen Wed 25-Jul-07 17:55:02

Have been reading this link with interest as have naming ceremony for my little boy coming up. would really like to find the poem 'To My Son' by Siegfried Sassoon that LeahH mentioned. but have had no luck on google or at the library - any way you could please post it up on here? I'd be v grateful!

kiwibella Wed 14-Nov-07 10:44:23

I am preparing for my baby daughter to be blessed at her naming ceremony. It will be a mixed affair - I am Catholic, my husband is not religious, and our baby will be blessed by an evangelical pastor after who she has been named!!

I would like to consider any suggestions that you have for readings / poems / prayers during the ceremony. I would especially like to find something suitable for my 11yo daughter to read to her sister.


Livvyh08 Sun 03-Aug-08 21:32:53

i am also holding a naming ceremony for my son and am finding it hard to find reading or poem for the godparents

PinkLady41 Thu 02-Oct-08 09:39:16

Can anyone help me, I am having difficulty in getting the words for a few readings/ poems I would like to use for my son's naming day.

Poems are My son by Siegfried Sassoon, The newborn by C Day Lewis and Learning to talk by C Day Lewis.

Any other rsuggestions would be greatly appreciated too.


Jenny1980 Wed 15-Oct-08 13:40:34

Hello Ladies
I have been to two Naming Ceremonies and am having one for my daughter in January. They are so very personal.
I suggest the following poems:

I want you to be happy

I want you to be happy. I want you to fill your heart with feelings of wonder and to be full of courage and hope.

I want you to have the type of friendship that is a treasure - and the kind of love that is beautiful forever. I wish you contentment: the sweet, quiet, inner kind that comes around and never goes away.

I want you to have hopes and have them all come true. I want you to have a real understanding of how unique and rare you truly are. I want to remind you that the sun may disappear for a while, but it never forgets to shine. May the words you listen to, say the things you need to hear. And may a cheerful face lovingly look back at you when you happen to glance in your mirror.

I wish you the insight to see your inner and outer beauty. I wish you sweet dreams. I want you to have times when you feel like singing and dancing and laughing out loud. I want you to be able to make your good times better and your hard times easier to handle. I wish I could find a way to tell you - in untold ways - how important you are to me.

Of all the things I’ll be wishing for, wherever you are and whatever I may do, there will never be a day in my life when I won’t be wishing for the best… for you.

The Example of Parenthood
There are little eyes upon you and they’re watching night and day;
There are little ears that quickly take in everything you say;
There are little hands all eager to do everything you do,
And a little girl who’s dreaming of the day she’ll be like you.
You’re little ???? idol you’re the wisest of the wise;
In her little mind about you no suspicions ever rise.
There’s a wide-eyed little girl who believes you’re always right,
And her ears are always open as she watches day and night.
You are setting an example every day in all you do.
For the little girl who’s waiting to grow up to be like you.

On Being A Grandparent.
It’s very special to be ???? Grandma
I’m not an everyday event - we have to make special arrangements to see each other - and if I weary of childish behaviour, then I know that we shall eventually part again, so I can afford to be tolerant.
It’s like having all the joys of parenthood without the pains!
I will always greet ???? with love in my heart.
I will pick her up when she falls and soothe away any tears.
I will endeavour to answer the “why?” questions as she tries to make sense of her world.
I will rejoice in her achievements - and probably tell them to anyone prepared to listen to my pride.
While I have health and strength, I will do my utmost to ensure that no harm befalls ????, that she always knows that she is loved and that she knows she can turn to me at any time for advice or consolation.

Hope these help x

HannahHart Sat 27-Jun-09 19:39:41

Message withdrawn

devotedceremonies Thu 29-Jul-10 17:32:11

Message deleted

Annaapp Tue 10-May-11 15:09:51

I found great advice on naming ceremonies on this site It has a great page on Readings for christenings and naming ceremonies.

mrswroddy Tue 13-Sep-11 14:38:03

PLEASSE tell me the quotation you found for Olivia?? Thats my daughter's name and the christening is on 18th September and I am struggling to find a reading.....your's sounds so promising HELP PLEASE!!

VW81 Tue 29-Aug-17 09:47:16

To My Son by Siegfried Sassoon is beautiful and sounds brilliant for a naming ceremony, but I'm not sure about changing the word gay for 4 reasons:
1. People still understand it to mean happy, as well as homosexual.
2. It seems homophobic to change gay as you don't like that sentence with the newer meaning of gay. The poem is written by a war poet asking his son to be brave and strong and live life to the fullest. I'm not sure you should add 'but don't be gay. Be brave and strong and yourself as long as that's straight and normal'.
3. Poets tend to choose words intentionally. They're not for us to amend in the same way we don't recolour portions of paintings.
4. Not to confuse poet and poem but Sassoon was actually gay, in the modern meaning of the word. Or at least had many same sex love affairs. Therefore I'm not sure he'd share your rejection of the modern meaning of the word gay.

If you don't really want your son to be brave and strong and live life to the fullest, as you need to put conditions on what fullest can mean to him (don't be gay), maybe choose a different poem.

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