Civil Naming Ceremony

Note to the parents

  • This is a sample ceremony. If after reading it and you want to use other material on our web page feel free to cut and paste readings etc. Also change the ceremony to reflect gender. This is our most requested civil naming ceremony.
  • Important. Our celebrant does not make changes for you. If you do make changes to the ceremony we ask that the final draft of your ceremony be sent to the celebrant at least two weeks prior to the ceremony date if possible.
  • Decorations. We suggest you decorate a table with a white tablecloth, a lit candle or flowers etc. The celebrant will need a small container/dish etc of water on the table for the ceremony. You may want ambient music playing in the background or have a friend play a solo etc. You can have a designated camera person. Feel free to involve others in the ceremony as readers, musicians, etc.
  • Witnesses, Sponsors, God Parents are not necessary in the ceremony but they are a nice touch.
  • Important. The Catholic schools will not accept a Naming Certificate for enrollment purposes so feel free to ask for the Baptism certificate instead.

Welcoming Words

Welcome to each one of you. My name is [Child] and on behalf of [Mom] and [Dad], I want to say how pleased they are that you are here to share in this special moment with them.

We are here today because [Mom] and [Dad] want to express their joy in the birth of [Child]. They want to officially welcome Susie into their family unit, and to the wider family of relatives and friends.

They would like each of you to share their joy on this happy occasion, and they also look forward to your continuing friendship, interest and involvement in the years ahead.

A child brings its own unique personality, and adds new dimension to the family unit. [Mom] and [Dad] will always find something new to laugh at or admire.

They are also aware of the great responsibility that is now theirs.
A great deal of their lives will be involved in caring for their child and guiding [Child] through the many trails of life.


As you all know, [Child] cannot for herself yet, so I'll say a few words on her behalf by reading a poem:

Through Baby's Eyes

I didn't expect a brass band, with welcome mat unfurled.
To be on hand when I arrived, in this confusing world.
Nor did I expect a Doctor, to hold me by the feet,
then quickly turn me upside down, and spank my on the seat.

At first I wasn't quite prepared for this enormous place,
nor for the funny characters, that I would have to face.
But I soon learned to get my way, by looking sweet and shy.
And when I wanted to be held, to make a fuss and cry.

I've found it really doesn't take much difficult or guile,
to wrap them around my finger,
All I need to do - is smile.

The Naming

Names are an important part of everyone's life, and names are what give each and every one of us individuality.

[Mom] and [Dad] what name have you chosen for your child?

Parents: We have chosen the name [Child]

(Looking and speaking to child) [Child], your name was chosen with great care, and it was chosen just for you.

We all hope that you will inherit the best traits of both your parents and our wish for you this day that you will grow into a caring person who is healthy and happy, and with wisdom to help you all through life.

Now some questions for the parents

[Mom] and [Dad] will you as parents care for [Child], keep her clothed, sheltered and protect her, for as long as she needs you as best you can?
Answer "We will."

Will you comfort Susie when she is distressed, laugh with her when she's happy?
"We will."

Will you as parents try in every way possible to raise Jessie in such a way that she will feel loved and secure?
"We will."

Now a question for the Witnesses (adjust if God parents etc)

Will you the witnesses (God parents etc) do everything in your power to encourage and support [Mom] and [Dad] in their awesome role of parents.
Answer yes we will.

The Naming

[Child] this is the wonderful time you receive your new name which has been so carefully chosen for you by those who love you more than you can ever imagine.

Now I name you [Child].

Return child to parents

[Child], today we officially welcome you. We wish you long life and much happiness.
May you face all challenges that come to you as a person of integrity,
May you continue to bring great joy to your parents, your grandparents, family, friends, and to all those who come to know you.
May beauty delight you and happiness uplift you,
May wonder fulfill 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.

We wish you long life and much happiness.
May you face all challenges that come to you as a person of integrity,
May you bring great joy to your parents.
and may your life be a real blessing to the world.

Presenting of the certificate.

As we close this ceremony I want now to present the parents with this naming certificate.

On behalf of [Mom] and [Dad], and [Child], I would like to thank you all for sharing in this ceremony today.

Baptism Stories

The welcoming ceremony had a personal quality, with the beautiful poem and readings, that made it special for us as parents. The extra TLC you added to the ceremony made it extra special. You were warm and friendly, organized and thoughtful and we would have you back anytime! Thanks again for a wonderful memory!


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