Celebrating New Life with Baby Blessings, Naming Ceremonies, and Child Honouring ceremonies
One of the great joys of my Celebrancy practice is collaborating with very diverse families to honour their child (or children in some cases) with a special ceremony. Whether a child comes to a family by birth or by adoption, it is a heart-opening experience to intentionally gather celebrate this girl or boy, and build community. I offer parents options on what they would like to call their child’s ceremony. Some call it a Baby Blessing. Others call it a Naming Ceremony. I also like Child Honouring! As increasing numbers of parents discover this extremely meaningful alternative to baptism or christening… my children’s ceremonies are becoming a vibrant part of my ceremonial work. And what joyful ‘work’ it is!
Here’s a wonderful DOUBLE Child Blessing Ceremony!
In June, a Child Blessing Ceremony was held for two lively little girls. These two beautiful little souls are at the beginning of the amazing journey that is the human life. It was truly a family and community experience, with multiple generations playing a role.
‘M’ and ‘J’s Blessing Ceremony followed was a contemporary way of marking what families have done for generations in a variety of ways. In essence we gathered to celebrate the girls, and to rejoice in their presence in our lives. It was also a day to affirm our roles and responsibilities as mentors, guides, and guardians to M and J as they grow. It was as much a celebration of family and community as it was of M and J.
The thoughtful way this mum and dad are parenting their two girls is very inspiring to me. They have a deep awareness of the responsibilities of parenthood, saying that it requires intention, adventure, strength, courage, and so very much more. Together they make a great team. It was such an honour to be asked to craft a ceremony that expressed their hopes and dreams for their daughters. The girls’ Gigi (grandmother) helped us begin by reading a lovely poem by Anne Spring. It began: We are grateful for these new beings who are small in body yet great in Soul, who have come into our midst as gifts.
I’d like to share with you some beautiful words of hope that their mum and dad shared during the ceremony.
“We hope they get every opportunity to be who they want to be without any interference or expectations from us… and that they have happiness. We hope to be able to show them the world and create awareness. We want to learn from Mackenzie and Joni, not just them to learn from us.”
That last part especially got me. How wonderful to think of one’s children as teachers and not exclusively the other way around (as so many people seem to treat their children.) All children should be so loved, so wanted, and so nourished. Definitely M and J will be nurtured to sing their own song in life.
As we moved through the Child Blessing Ceremony, we spoke the names chosen by their parents, as why the names were chosen. The name each of us uses in our life is very significant; it gives us our identity, connects us to our family, and is part of who we are. I believe it is important to honour the child’s name in his or her ceremony.
Tori and Mat made their Parental Wishes to M and J. And bestowed beautiful flower garlands for the girls to wear. Check out the photo. Lovely! And then the Guideparents presented hand-made Wishboxes (one for each girl) as a communal gift. Each guideparent offered and talked about a gift they brought as a symbol of their love and the intentions they hope to bring to the girls in the years ahead. These were then placed in the boxes. Loved the compass!
Everyone present participated in the creation of special necklaces for M and J, and we closed with a fantastic blessing by poem and bubble blowing! (I think there were some jellybeans in there too!)
It takes a village to raise a child. And M and J sure have a loving village. This ceremony will stay with me for a long time. The rain that threatened the day did nothing to dampen our spirits. This family was surrounded by love. May it always be so!
With a happy heart,
Celebrant Michele Davidson, 2012
* The beautiful photos are by: Zyanya MacKenzie Photography