Welcome to this naming ceremony (Purposely not using the child’s name until they are named during the ceremony.)
“Who can say when love begins? Love is eternal – a continuity. What or whom we love, we have loved before our meeting.
And when our love takes form and becomes real – our hearts swell so much, we can’t find words to adequately express what we are experiencing.
We are gathered now by a love that became real – so real that hearts overflowed again and again, while love was taking form in a mother’s womb.”
These words by Edward Searl reflect the fact that…This baby has been in our hopes and dreams for years. How wonderful that we can welcome and name them here this morning.
The following are words from The Masai People… which are said at birth…
Hail the day on which this child was born. Rejoice! Let us all sing and praise her that gave birth to a son for whom she longed. Greet this day with joy. Our hearts are glad.
READING by Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children
They are the sons & daughters of life’s longing for itself.
They come through you, but not from you,
though they are with you ….yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children, as living arrows are sent forth.
The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and he bends you with his might that his arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness,
For even as he loves the arrow that flies,
so also he loves the bow that is stable.
The ceremony in which we now share is both ancient and timeless.
Through all of the ages, and around the world parents have invite friends and family together to witness the bestowing of their child’s name. Sharing their own thanksgiving for their child, while inviting the support of the wider community.
Traditionally this is also a time to recognize the child by name, for it is by our names that each one of us is acknowledged as an individual; a unique and separate person.
This is a celebration, shared by our community, to mark the fact that all of us have a responsibility for the care and nurture of all children. It is our task to work for a world of peace and justice in which children may have the freedom to grow and find fulfillment. It is our duty to share with them our ideals, our reverences, and our hopes and to help them develop their own. It is our task to learn from them the zest and wonder in life with which all children come into this world.
In presenting this child, we invite everyone here present to share with us in our joy and to support us as we undertake to help, with love and guidance, the fullest unfolding of the personality of this child, entrusted to our care.
That understanding will not always be an easy one. The time may come when their parents, may be called upon to sacrifice ambitions and set aside dreams, in order that our children may tread more surely the onward path of life. We accept this service to our children, with whose lives; our lives are intertwined, knowing that we will be the richer and fuller in consequence.
I will now ask the child’s family and (if there are any) the God / Guide / Guardian Parents to stand
The following question I ask of all of those whom I have invited to stand, as well as everyone gathered here today. If you agree, please respond “We will” to the next two questions:
“Will you love and encourage this child on their spiritual journey, promote their search for truth and meaning and assist them in working for peace and justice?”
Response: “We will”
“Will you help them to be compassionate, to follow their heart, to appreciate beauty in the world and assist them to grow into their unique and joyful place in the interdependent web of life?
Response: “We will”
Thank you, you may now sit down, except for the parents who may now come forward:
What name have you given this child and why?
Traditionally, the element of water has been used for blessing, for all life has arisen from water. It is through water that life is sustained…
With this water, source & symbol of life,
we welcome and bless you –
a circle of sea water: to represent the circle of life, your name, the circle of our family and of our community.
May the blessings of an understanding heart,
strength and integrity of purpose,
love received and given
be yours and remain with you
as you go forward into ever fuller life.
This is an ancient Celtic Blessing said by the Midwife after the birth of a child…
A little drop of the sun, may he always shine on you
A little drop of the moon, may her wisdom guide you
A little drop of the Spirit, may you always be protected
Now I would like to introduce this child to the elements:
Powers of the East, meet___________ (name of child), Protect and bless them on their journey, help them to allow their imagination to soar, grant them with your gifts of intuition and a keen intellect. May your winds be gentle on their face and strong at their back.
Powers of the South, meet____________, Protect and bless them on their journey, help them to warmly pursue the path of their desire, grant them with your gifts of courage and passion. May your fire always warm them.
Powers of the West, meet__________, protect and bless them on their journey, Help them to be able to express their emotions, grant them with your gifts; the strength of a waterfall and the gentleness of a mountain pool, may your waters always sooth them.
Powers of the North, meet___________, protect and bless them on their journey, help them to walk safely in the darkest places and to learn the wisdom of the forest and the field, grant them the ability to call on their ancestors for wisdom. May they be grounded and deeply rooted in your soil.
To friends and family – meet__________– support them in their quest and help us raise him to be a joyful member of our community.
Invite the Guide / Guardian / God Parents forward and any siblings
Silbing(s) give child a flower…
We give the child a flower, which symbolizes the beauty of life. It is not for us to open the bud into a blossom, but we can give it the nurture that will enable it to unfold.
Give flowers to Guide / Guardian / God Parents
We also give a flower to each of _______ new Guide / Guardian / God Parents
No flower grows alone, apart from the sunshine and the rain, apart from the soil in which it lives. So too, no child grows alone.
May this flower be a reminder of_______’s naming and of your special link with them as Guide / Guardian / God Parents.
Thank you – you may now sit down
Can have a bush, shrub or tree to plant with these items at the roots or give these as gifts to the child:
Motherwort for happiness, Garlic to avert negativity, Vervain for creativity, Sage for protection, Bread and milk so they will never know hunger or thirst, a Coin so they will never know want and always manifest abundance, Rose petals for love and Chocolate so they will always know sweetness in life.
Now we ask for your wishes for ________. We invite you to take your time to do this– there are colorful pieces of paper and pens on the table at the back. Please write your wish for _______on the paper and sign it or leave it anonymous – then leave themin the basket. We will keep these wishes and show them when they are older so that we will be reminded of this naming ceremony.
We lift our hearts in gratitude
for life in it’s endless procession;
for the parents who gave us birth
and who cared for us in the days of our childhood;
for the blessing of love and renewal
that brings to us, in our turn, the gift of children.
May__________, to whose care we have dedicated ourselves today, grow to be a courageous and compassionate seeker after truth and beauty,
with deep reverence for this earth that nurtures and sustains us all.
We acknowledge our share
In the responsibility for the making of the world
in which our children will live.
We pledge ourselves to work in hope and love
to make of it a fairer and a kindlier place
for the generations yet to come.
Will everyone join me in saying “Welcome _________” Baby’s Name
(The Rosebud Ceremony is a part of a Traditional Unitarian Naming Ceremony.)