By Tricia Bentley


New baby? Then perhaps this could help you. You may be looking for a unique, joyous and personal way to celebrate the birth of your new family member –  yet you’re reluctant to fall back on a traditional religious ritual. So perhaps the answer for you today is – a Baby Naming Ceremony.


More and more parents are now choosing to name their babies and rejoice in their arrival with a baby naming ceremony – an event that is warm yet significant and designed entirely to suit themselves, their family, and their friends.


Such an occasion brings everyone together, both to name the baby and to welcome the new arrival into your home and your community. You can hold it at home or at a venue that perhaps has a special meaning for you.  It can be a formal, even spiritual, event, if that’s what you prefer. Or you might go for a relaxed and convivial party. More probably, you’ll choose something in between the two.


But the one essential ingredient to make the day go well is someone who can organise the day, put your thoughts into words and actions, and conduct the ceremony itself for you. That person is known as a Civil Celebrant.


Civil Celebrants are specialists in conducting every kind of ceremony marking turning points and important moments in life. Whether it’s a funeral, an exchange of vows, or – as in the case today – a baby naming, they know it is essential that the day reflects the story, the culture, the values and the wishes of their clients and their families.


If you request a Celebrant to help you with your baby naming you will find that the problems that present themselves, the small details, the words, the myriad questions you are asking… all those irritations and worries will be smoothed away by sympathetic and professional help.


This is how it works. The Celebrant will meet with you in your home, to help and advise you in achieving exactly the style of celebration you desire.


You may wish to declare your love and commitment to your child, or perhaps to include an affirmation of the parents’ love for one another. You might wish to read a favourite piece of poetry or prose, or play some special music. Gifts for the baby can be presented, perhaps along with an explanation of the child’s name. And the room itself can be decorated – balloons, bunting, candles, the lot!


Traditional religious ceremonies generally feature godparents. You might like to nominate close friends of the family as “mentors” or “guide parents”. You could say a little as to why you have chosen them to support your child as he or she grows up. The Celebrant will help you with the words.


And here’s a unique idea –  a special book could be opened, to be signed by everyone present, and kept as a treasure for the baby’s future.


Whatever you choose to do, the Civil Celebrant will be there to help you, with suggestions, guidance, and the good sense and the sensitivity that come from experience. Put things in the Celebrant’s hands, and you can relax and prepare to enjoy the event, knowing that you’ve made all the right decisions, and thus achieved a celebration that is both unique and special to you and your family.


So if there’s a new and noisy personality under your roof, who needs a welcome to the world, why not call a Civil Celebrant? That way you will ensure that you create a special day, both for baby and for you.


– Patricia Bentley,  Civil Celebrant, 07554 342697