The Name-giving and Blessing Ceremony included:
acknowledgement of the grandparents and close friends who have become surrogate grandparents,
formal bestowal of names,
blessing with water,
reading of prayers and poems,
and the appointment of godparent/guardians.
“Welcome everyone. Let us form our circle and get ready to begin.
Firstly to introduce myself. For those who have not yet met me, my name is Ishara de Garis, I am a civil celebrant, and I am delighted to have been invited by M and J to celebrate Anisha’s blessing and naming giving ceremony today.
From the beginning of time, human beings have come together in circles of community
to celebrate significant moments in our individual and shared lives. The welcoming of a new child into her family and community is one such special moment worthy of celebration.
M and J have created today’s naming ceremony as a special opportunity to celebrate the gift of their daughter’s birth and her presence in their family. Although neither of them has current connections to the Catholic church in which they were raised, it is important to them that we take this time to acknowledge their little daughter as a spiritual being and to ask for blessings and protection for her as she grows and matures as a cherished member of their family and this circle of community.
M and J have also chosen today to formally appoint CW and GW as Anisha’s god-parents
I now call upon M’s special friend W to open this ceremony with a reading.
- Reading by W – Footprints (Anon)
a little slower Daddy” said a child so small
following in your footsteps and I don’t want to fall.
Sometimes your steps are very fast,
Sometimes they’re hard to see;
So walk a little slower Daddy,
For you are leading me.
Someday when I’m all grown up,
You’re what I want to be;
Then I will have a little child
Who’ll want to follow me.
And I would want to lead just right,
And know that I was true;
So walk a little slower Daddy,
For I must follow you.
- Grandparents & Chosen Family
“Before we proceed, there are some very important people who are not able to be here today because they live far away on the other side of the world. They are M and J’s parents, who now have a new and special family role as Anisha’s grandparents. There is a lovely quote by Judith Levy that says ‘ When a child is born, so are grandmothers.’
As you know, Anisha is fortunate in having two cultural heritages – having been born here in WA to these two lovely German-speaking parents. Although her grandparents can not be here today, we know that their loving thoughts are very much here with M, J and Anisha. I believe M and J have some photographs of their families on display on the television in the living room.. Do we have any special messages from them to read today?
Fortunately for this growing family, although their blood relatives are far away, their‘chosen family’ of special friends is close at hand. Photographer Jacquelynn Buck puts it beautifully when she says
‘A chosen family is composed of sisters of the heart, brothers of the soul, and stand-in mothers and fathers who are companions and guides through the rollercoaster of ups and downs in life. They are the people who we choose to spend time with, not necessarily the family we are born into. Our chosen family members are not just capable but also willing to be constants in an ever-shifting world, assisting us in that which we cannot do alone, or at least that which we would prefer not to do alone. These are the people in our lives who we choose to love and who can give us that love and support we desire in return… I’m talking about connection, shared circumstances and intersecting life-journeys.”
M and J want you to know that they truly value the role that you all play in
their lives, and the great support you give them in their new role as parents
and young family on a day to day basis. M told me ‘it is a really great experience to receive love and care from people who are not our family but it feels they are like brothers and sisters, and our neighbours F and P are a little bit like parents to us and grandparents to
So on that note, I would like to invite F to read us a poem on behalf of the grandparents
Reading by F
bestow upon their grandchildren
The strength and wisdom that time
And experience have given them.
bless their Grandparents
With a youthful vitality and innocence
That help them stay young at heart forever.
they create a chain of love
Linking the past with the future.
The chain may lengthen,
But it will never part…
P and F will now light two candles, one to represent J’s family and one for M’s.
P and F do so.
“Anisha, these candles carry the light and love of all of your ancestors, that you may constantly know their love and protection now and always.”
- Ceremonial blessing of the water
Ishara: Water has a very important role to play in today’s ceremony. Shortly we will be passing around a bowl of sea water so that each of your can add your blessings for little Ani kind of celebration. It offers al day. This water will then be used as part of a ritual of blessing and protection for Anisha. Later on in the ceremony we will also pause
to reflect on the special qualities of dolphins and whales, the gentle giants
of the oceans, and asking that Anisha may be experience some of these qualities
in her own life.
Water is a very precious element, essential to the sustenance of all life. In ancient human cultures, the traditional place of gathering was around the well, and over time large cities have grown up around natural sources of pure drinking water. Ancient peoples saw springs and rivers as sacred places, often associated with divine feminine figures. Since antiquity, water has been a symbol of purity and devotion.
Can we please start the music for the water blessing… This is a special track by sound healer Christine Morrison.
J starts the music.
To begin the blessing of the water, M and J have asked me to read an invocation of the Angel of Water adapted from The Unknown Books of the Essenes by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely.
M holds the bowl in front of Ishara during the reading so it can absorb all the good vibrations
We will now pass this bowl of water around so that each person here has the opportunity to place into the water their personal blessings for Anisha today. I invite you to take a moment or two as you hold the bowl, to concentrate on your good wishes for Anisha and imagine that you are charging the water with the energy of your blessings. If you wish, you may speak a few words of blessing aloud as you do so.
- Anisha is blessed with the water
When the bowl has completed its journey around the circle, Ishara sprinkles some water over Anisha’s head and says:
Anisha, know that you are blessed now and
The Light of God surrounds you,
The Love of God enfolds you
The Power of God protects you
and the Presence of God watches over you.
Wherever you are, God Is, and All is Well!”
J and M, I now invite you to give your blessings to your daughter as you sprinkle
some of the water that has been charged with the good wishes and blessings of
everyone here today.
M and J add their own blessing and say a few words
- Name giving
Ishara: The formal giving of a name is a tradition that goes back to Roman times. In those days it was the role of the head of the household to bestow a name on the new child,
and he or she was not legally recognised as a legitimate member of the family until this had occurred. These days, the name giving is often done by the parents or a celebrant such as myself.
M and J, would you please tell us a little about the names you have chosen for your daughter?
M and/or J speak briefly about why they chose these names– in their own words.
Ishara then continues:-
M and J, I invite you both to gently touch your daughter or hold her hands as we formally
bestow these names upon her.
“Beloved daughter of MW and JH,
here in the witness of your family and loving friends,
We bestow upon you the names A S M.
May you flourish and grow in beauty and wisdom,
surrounded by the love of your family and friends
through all the days of your life.
- Appointment of Guardians
Ishara: C and G, would you please step forward.
We now come to this important part of the proceedings where I address this question to
C and G you have been asked to accept the privilege of becoming Guardians to Anisha.
M and J ask that you always welcome Anisha if she comes to you for company, advise or
help and that you will listen to her and respect her confidences no matter how
great or small. They ask that you show her understanding and love and let her
know that she will always have a special place in your heart.
C and G are you both willing to accept this joyful responsibility to be a guardian to
C and G: We are.
Ishara: Thank you
- Presentation & Lighting of Candle as an invocation of the Guardian Angel
Ishara: A guardian angel is a heavenly spirit assigned by God to watch over each of us during our lives. The role of the guardian angel is both to guide us to good thoughts,
works and words, and to preserve us from evil.
Today we invoke the protection of Anisha’s guardian angel, asking that her angel may watch over her always as she grows from an infant into a girl, and from a girl to a mature woman. May her Angel guide and guard her as she grows up to take up her own unique place in the wide world, and onwards through the whole of a life that we pray will be happy, productive and peaceful, rich with love and learning.
Guardians, I believe you have brought a special candle for Anisha, one which will be lit today and again each year on her birthday to remind her that she is loved and cared for by her very own guardian angel.
C and G, Would you please now light this candle for us with a blessing?
G lights the candle,
while C reads Prayer of Blessings by Deborah Cooper
- Presentation of book to Anisha
Dolphins and whales have a special place in most people’s hearts, but especially so for M and J, whose encounter with wild dolphins and whales as they journeyed along
the WA coast heralded the conception of their much wanted and loved baby girl.
M and J, would you now like to give Anisha the special book that you have bought for her
M gives the book to Anisha
Personal words by M and J to Anisha
I know that W has been a special friend, like a sister, to M. So it gives me much pleasure to
invite her to say a few additional words of blessing for Anisha before we reach
the closing segment of this ceremony.
W: Anisha, like the dolphins, may you be blessed with an enduring capacity for joyful play that will stay with you through your childhood and through all the days of your
life. Like the whales, may you be blessed with wisdom, the wisdom always to remember where you came from and where you are headed. May your spirit never cease from singing that song which is your unique gift to the world, bringing joy and healing to all those you love and who love you in return.
- Closing blessings
Ishara: It is the nature of love to share itself around. There is so much love here today for little Anisha and for M and J too, and I know that this love will feed their little family and help it to grow and thrive.
M and J would like to conclude today’s ceremony by inviting you all to share in the
love and blessings. So in a moment we will be passing around the bowl of water one more time, so that each person can have the opportunity to share a blessing with the person next to them.
The bowl is passed around the circle so that everyone can share a blessing with the person next to them.
Ishara: Loving Angels, open the channel of our hearts, that we may ever be grateful for the many good things in our lives. Help Anisha always to appreciate the good in her life, and shower her and all those who love her with blessings this day!
Ishara sounds a bell to close the ceremony.
J to put on the closing music – “Celebrate”
Once the ceremony is done, we will sign all the certificates for guardians and grandparents…