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They’re such fun and so relaxed. Rarely do they start at the appointed time, especially when the baby decides he or she wants a feed 5 minutes before the ceremony is due to begin!

Then there’s the myriad of kids of all ages running around and playing, calling out to each other at the top of their voices.

Mostly Naming’s are held at home, and relatives and other guests arrive with plates of party food and eskies full of cold drinks. There’s such a happy atmosphere, as all gather in the yard while the parents, ‘godparents’ and the little guest of honor join me out in front. Newborns frequently sleep throughout the ceremony, while toddlers are apt to steal the show with cute antics when they realize they are the centre of attention. It’s not unusual for there to be 3 or 4 ‘godparents’ who publicly pledge to be involved throughout the child’s life as mentor and friend.

Creative touches that make for a memorable ceremony include: the releasing of dozens of helium balloons that carry skywards wishes for a happy life for the child, individual guests reading aloud children’s poems, and the whole group repeating a few sentences after me, as together we all ‘Name’ the child and officially welcome him or her into the family, their circle of friends and to the world in general.

It’s a delight to conduct a Naming Ceremony especially when I have previously performed the marriage of the child’s parents.