It was a lovely change from wedding ceremonies, to be asked to conduct a Baby Naming, and not for just one child but two. Brother and sister. The ceremony was held in the grounds of a stunning villa in Lagos, Algarve, which the family had rented for the week and decorated for the occasion using a theme of butterflies.
To create the perfect ceremony, during the lead up to the day, I worked with both the children’s parents and one of the God parents, first finding out about the children and then listening to all their ideas about what they wanted in the ceremony. And boy did we fit a lot in!
The naming ceremonies that I conduct do not have any connection to a religion, but their purpose being to officially welcome the child into this World, into the family and to mark their Rite of Passage that they have embarked on. For this ceremony, one element they really wanted was the involvement of family and God parents throughout the ceremony.
So after the introduction, we had a Rose Petal Shower with parents, grand parents and God parents showering different coloured rose petals over the children, each colour symbolising different meanings. The children thought this was great fun.
“As the petals of the white rose symbolize innocence, may Callum and Paige’s ideals and hearts remain untarnished and ever pure, with the wonders of childhood innocence, forever theirs.
May the petals of the yellow rose, foreshadow the friends and the friendships, steadfast and unwavering, that will bless them in the years ahead.
The pink rose and her petals, speak of the tender love and compassion their spirits will know. The love that knows no bounds.
And as always, may the passion of the red rose, forever kindle the fire in their hearts, for both life itself, and for all the passions they will find there.”
There was a reading conducted by one of the God parents, before we moved onto the formal naming. There was a lovely story behind each of their names, which always makes a great touch to a ceremony. The parents then made their promises to the children and lit a candle. With any form of candle ceremony, it is worth remembering that it gets windy here!! So if you want a candle ceremony, use a candle that sits in a glass vase. This family used vases that sat within bird cages… stunning.
The children’s grand parents were very important to them and so the family wanted the grandparents involved too. I therefore designed promises for the grandparents to give to the children.
“Grandparents, because of their life experiences and the knowledge gained throughout their lives, have a wealth of exciting tales to tell and adventures to recount. They have stories of people, places and events.
Through close relationships with grandparents, children learn their heritage, social and family history, skills, and many values.”
One of the grandparents then shared a lovely reading. Following this, it was time for the God Parents to make their promises to the children. In Naming Ceremonies, people chose different names for God parents, from Guardians to special supporters. The freedom is yours to call these special people anything you want. This family chose to keep to tradition using God parents.
Now the fun really started. The theme of the day was butterflies and the Butterfly Release was the main highlight of the ceremony. Following the indian tradition, everyone whispered a wish to the butterflies before they were released into the Algarve sunshine. The children loved this part of the ceremony and the butterflies fluttered around us for ages.
“You have given me wings with which to fly
Now I breathe in deep and spread them wide
As we lift off from the silken petals
Into the wind where the butterflies glide.”
The ceremony ended with a presentation of certificates to the children and the God Parents. We managed to squeeze in a little bit of everything into the ceremony meeting all the wishes of the parents. It was a special day for these two lovely kids who then were allowed to go down to the beach for photos before heading to their favourite restaurant.
“May the longtime sun, shine upon you,
May all love surround you,
And may the sweet light within you, guide you on your way.”