Name Giving

As a Civil Marriage Celebrant I conduct Namegiving Ceremonies, but of course any one can perform a Namegiving Ceremony as they can a Funeral Ceremony. The Marriage Ceremony is the Legal Ceremony; the others are social and/or religious.

Like your involvement in any other Ceremony, it is important that you include the thoughts and words that are appropriate to your beliefs and expectations. It is my job to perform a Ceremony that suits your needs, and I will do it with pleasure.


Fee from 1 July 2011 for Name-giving Ceremony is $300. 

This fee covers initial meeting/s with the family, email/phone communication in regard to the ceremony, preparation of the ceremony, printed copy on the day for the family, final copy emailed or posted to the family following the ceremony. 


Some notes for a namegiving ceremony

Namegiving Ceremonies are precisely that. You register your child''s name at the Registry Office, you Baptise or Christen your child at a Church, but the social event of Namegiving is where you celebrate the birth and naming of your child. Namegiving does not preclude a religious event, should the parents or child decide to do that later. I often say that the Namegiving is a good excuse for the parents to have a party!

So, there is nothing legal or religious about a Namegiving Ceremony. It is, instead, an excellent opportunity to celebrate the birth and naming of a child, in the company of those whose support you value most highly. Work out a Ceremony that you expect to enjoy, that your child will sleep or gurgle through, and that your friends will remember with meaningful pleasure.

Ceremonies are conducted in all sorts of locations and at all sorts of times - from on the beach before breakfast to in your garden before lunch. Adults like to be involved, and other children love to be there to participate in one of the rituals or ''rites of passage'' that will form their lives.


Name-giving ceremony example.

Welcome - by Celebrant on behalf of the parents. Reference would be made to special people, like the ''god-parents'', and in general to the family and friends gathered for the occasion. It is probably appropriate to mention the location, as often that has special significance. Likewise, the timing of the event may have some important reason behind it, and this could be mentioned. It is a happy occasion!

The next stage of a Ceremony is normally where the reasons behind the Namegiving ceremony are given, with the parents'' aspirations being one the most important. Perhaps it could be mentioned that the Namegiving does not preclude any other social or religious celebration, but that it is rather a public celebration of the birth of the child.

You might like to include some reference to your child''s birth date, place of birth and, most significantly, the reason for choosing the names. These personal pieces of information are interesting to your friends, and make the ceremony more individualistic. The Celebrant, or any one else, including the parents, can be involved at any time.

Readings are a good way of having someone else''s words speak for you! Perhaps ask a friend, or one of the ''god-parents'', to read, and include readings that are easily listened to!

Introduction of the ''god-parents'' could occur next, adding reasons for having them as part of your child''s life. Your expectations of what a ''god-parent'' is for, of what you hope they will do in the event of help and support being needed, is a good place to start. ''God-parents'' don''t have to be only waiting around for something to go wrong! They can be invited to be a part of your child''s life because they have something special to offer.

An Authorised Civil Marriage Celebrant will prepare a special Namegiving Certificate, the information for which will be gained before the Ceremony, and the signing of which will occur at the end of the Ceremony. There, is space for the parents and the ''god-parents'' to sign, as well as the Celebrant.


The following readings are some that may be useful in your deliberations. Please choose others if you wish, and perhaps you may like to have a friend read one of them for you. Parents or ''god-parents'' are often appropriate and proud readers!

Children Learn What They Live

If a child lives with tolerance, she learns to be patient;
If a child lives with encouragement, she learns confidence;
If a child lives with praise, she learns to appreciate;
If a child lives with fairness, she learns judgment;
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, she learns to give love to the world.
(Dorothy Nolte - and this is part of a longer poem)

From ''The Prophet''

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, ''Speak to us of Children''.
And he said:
''Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life''s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which
You cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.''
(Kahlil Gibran)