Baby blessings and namings

The birth of a baby is a joyous event in the life of a family, as is an adoption.  A blessing and naming ceremony is an opportunity for family and friends to gather together to give thanks and welcome the child and the new family, into their hearts and lives. Although this blessing is often offered to families with young babies, we recognise that sometimes older children benefit from this ceremony too. 

What is the difference between a blessing and naming ceremony and a Christening?

A Christening is the specific welcoming of a baby or child into the Christian Church. When the child has become a teenager they can then choose to be confirmed in their Christian faith. A baby naming and blessing ceremony does not preclude a Christening. But it also leaves a child open to consciously choose any religious path that they want later in life.

God parents or spiritual guardians?

Godparents are a wonderful way of augmenting your sense of family and deepening your friendships. It is so lovely for the child to have a special aunty or uncle to talk to and take an interest in their lives as they are growing up. You can help the godparents be involved by inviting them to family events, birthdays or your child’s school festivals. At the baby blessing we  encourage parents to invite their chosen godparents to offer a poem or prayer or song. It gives them a strong experience of the commitment they are making together with speaking their commitment to the child.

Parents and Grandparents

This is a time for parents to receive, and feel blessed and held by the love of their family and friends and  their minister. For grandparents it is a chance to feel honoured and renew their commitment to love and care for their new grandchild and whole family.

These beautiful lines come from the poem  called On Children:

” 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 He loves also the bow that is stable.”

Kahlil Gibran

It is never too late to bless a child

We  have found that it is never too late to bless a child. In fact, it can be extremely healing and supportive, especially if Mum and Dad no longer live together. Ministers can work with you to create what is needed in ways that nourish and support the child and the family.

Where to hold such a ceremony?

Blessing and naming ceremonies can be held anywhere. Most people choose their own home, or a beautiful meeting room they can rent locally. The shelter of a yurt is an increasingly popular choice, or a small marquee. These can be put up in small or large gardens and a welcoming space can be created. The most popular time to have a blessing and naming ceremony is at the weekend, either at midday followed by a special lunch, or in the mid afternoon, followed by a wonderful tea!

Adapted from a contribution by Annie Blampied