‘It takes a village to raise a child’ – this wonderful saying beautifully captures how an entire community of people must interact with children for them to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. In generations past, families often stayed in close geographical locations. Individuals would often marry close to home, and when they had children, the child would be surrounded by family, both direct and extended. Children were taught values and skills in this way.
Over the past few decades, the world has become a smaller place. We now often leave home and move away considerable distances, sometimes we are are barely adults when we move across the country to start university. We can also be across the world in a blink of an eye with affordable flights to far flung destinations.
It is therefore no surprise that nowadays many of us are brought up without the support of a close knit family. But all isn't lost.
As much as we can mourn that closeness, we can work at creating networks of people who fit with our need for 'community'.
To me as a celebrant, this is the beauty of Naming Ceremonies.
A family and their network, getting together and introducing their baby/ child to their new family. A family who will provide support and guidance, values and skills to the child as they grow into their own individuality. Naming ceremonies can have traditional touches, or we can adapt ancient tradition into something modern, which can then become your new family tradition. Baby Naming ceremonies are the perfect solution to those who want a secular celebration akin to a baptism, or christening. We can still have prayer, we can still have a blessing if that's what you want, it is all about the uniqueness of you, a unique and powerful time for your child and you as a family.