Baby Naming

by Steve Pritchard-Jones

The birth of a child is a time of happiness and celebration for the parents, and the majority of parents want to share that joy with their family and friends.

In modern times, many parents do not necessarily want a traditional religious

christening, either because they do not hold any religious beliefs or because they may want their child to be able to choose their own beliefs later in life.

A celebrant led baby naming ceremony offers a meaningful and beautiful alternative, giving parents the chance to welcome their child and confirm their commitments and love to their child surrounded by their family and friends.

As a celebrant I’m asked to conduct ceremonies for married couples, unmarried parents, single parents, adoptive parents, parents who are of different religions and cultures, and same sex parents.


Each ceremony I perform is bespoke and there is no set pattern or script which must be followed. Families are entirely free to choose music, poems and readings which they may like to include in the personalised baby naming ceremony. Some parents like to write their own promises and vows. If the parents wish for the ceremony to be semi-religious, I am happy to include prayers, hymns or blessings in the ceremony, but this is entirely personal choice.

Families may also wish to include other children in the baby naming ceremony. If the children are old enough, they may like to read a poem or reading, play a musical instrument or sing a song. Children can also participate in special rituals such as the sand ceremony or unity candle ceremony. For more information about the different rituals I offer, visit my blog www.pjtopnote.co.uk/blog/

Although not a strictly essential, the vast majority of baby naming ceremonies include the appointment of a non-religious Godparent sometimes known as a Guide Parent or Supporting Parent.  Whatever the name, these people will promise to take a special interest in the child’s future, to be there to offer help and advice as he or she grows up. Guide parents are encouraged to write their own meaningful and personal promises to the child but this is not compulsory and is totally personal choice.

Other ideas you may wish to include in a baby naming ceremony:

Light a candle to signify the light that will guide and protect your child throughout life’s journey.

A tree could be planted, which will grow and blossom with your child.

You may wish to give your child a piece of jewellery, such as a bangle to signify your never-ending love for them.

You may wish to mark the occasion with a memory book in which everyone present can write their own special message that the child can read in the future.

Parents may wish for their child to be anointed with water although its symbolic meaning may differ to that of a traditional baptism.

Where and When?

A baby naming ceremony can take place at any time and at a venue of your choice. Venues could include your home, a hall, a hotel, a restaurant, a boat or much more unusual location such as on a beach or on top of a mountain. If you are to hold your celebration in a public place you may need to seek permission.

Although a baby naming ceremony is a formal occasion, it holds no legal status and your baby’s birth must still be registered at a local registry office within the legal time span.

Steve Pritchard-Jones

Top Note Ceremonies – ‘at your service’



Tel: 07834 855064

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Steve Pritchard-Jones

Steve Pritchard-Jones

I am an independent civil celebrant conducting weddings, celebration of life/funerals, commitment, civil partnership, renewal of vows, adoption welcoming, naming, pet funerals, internment or scatter of ashes, memorials service, and even divorce ceremonies in Shropshire, West Midlands, Mid and North Wales, Derbyshire, Staffordshire & throughout the UK.

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