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Thursday 14 July 2005

Naming Ceremony Speech

It's just over 2 years since Connor's naming ceremony and in the intervening time I've had several requests for help with speeches. We made the speech up for our day drawing on several sources for inspiration.

After the jump is the text from the speech that Jack & I gave at our sons' joint ceremony. Please feel free to crib from it. However, you may do so on one condition. I would love to hear how you have changed it and how your naming ceremony goes.

Firstly, Paul and Sharon wish to express their joy to you on the birth of Connor, and [edit] and me wish to express our joy that we have [edit], and we are all pleased that Connor and [edit] have arrived safely in this world. We want to welcome them into our families and to the wider family of our relatives, and to the community of our friends and the world. In short we wish us all to share our joy.

What is certain though is that the more love they both receive the more they will benefit in their lives and the more love in turn they will be able to give to others. The more people to whom the boy’s relate the more balanced and rich their growth will be.

So your presence at this celebration today is appreciated, as will be your interest and involvement in the years ahead.

The first quotation I would like to read involves us all. As a circle of friends and family we all share a responsibility to provide the atmosphere in which Connor and Jack will develop as people. It is called:

If a child lives with criticism - he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility - he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule - he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame - he learns to feel guilt.
If a child lives with tolerance - he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement - he learns confidence.
If a child lives with fairness - he learns justice.
If a child lives with security - he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval - he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship - he learns to find love in the world


Our next step in our small ceremony is to talk about the role of grandparents. Now whilst we appreciate it is not always possible for grandparents to involve themselves in the development of their grandchildren, when they do, we feel it is a great bonus and blessing, and not just for babysitting. The important role played by grandparents is the passing on of cultural values to children. We want Connor and [edit] to form close relationships with their grandparents, and hopefully through this relationship, the boys will learn their lineage, their history - and many values and skills.

For these reasons, Sharon and Paul, [edit] and me wish to recognise and express our gratification that [edit], [edit] and [edit], [edit]and [edit], [edit]and [edit], and [edit]are here today for us and the boys.


The next special and unique step in this ceremony involves the mentors. I feel that in this age of the nuclear family when many of us live isolated from our family and friends and don’t necessarily see each other on that frequent a basis, mentors have perhaps a more important role today than they have had in the past.

Now at this point I will explain why we have chosen the term mentor, and this boils down to why we have chosen a naming ceremony as opposed to a Christening. It is not that we share non-religious beliefs, just that we feel that the boys should be free to make their own decision about their religious faiths, as and when they are old enough, and mature enough to do so.

That said, we still feel that Connor and [edit] need special people to take a special and lifelong interest in their welfare, and to assume a more than an ordinary responsibility in the event of anything happening to their parents. [Introduce mentors]


So what’s in a name for Connor and [edit]? As a little bit of fun for our ceremony, and whilst researching the World Wide Web for ideas for this very ceremony, I happened to stumble across an article about acrophonology-the analysis of names using letter qualities. The name analysis for Connor John Taylor reveals him to be;

connor: A quick study and can be self-taught, your curiosity can get the best of you but you must learn to concentrate. You have a great deal of loyalty to those you love. You have much inner strength. You can handle details well. You have a methodical mind.

john: You have a love of travel and adventure, and you enjoy sports. You also have a very strong sense of fair play and want justice.

taylor: You have much enthusiasm with a driving attitude toward achievement in life. Your independence and freedom are important to you. You have a diplomatic flair to your nature. Equality and fairness are important to you.



So as we draw this ceremony to a close, we hope it will in no way inhibit Connor and [edit] from seeking the truth during their lives and any future religious or non religious commitments of belief that they choose to make. In fact, it is our duty to present him in the coming years with a broad and balanced view of life, and encourage him in the virtues we all agree as good - integrity, honesty, concern, fairness and love toward his fellow human beings.

So Connor and [edit] may life's richest joys and blessings be yours. May you grow in health of body and mind to full adulthood and may it be your good fortune to play some worthy part in making life more pleasant for those whose paths you cross.


[1] Attributed to Dorothy Law Nolte

July 14, 2005 8:27 PM | Family


KIRSTYN said on August 19, 2005 4:07 PM:

wonderful! I am presiding over my friend's little boys naming ceremony which takes place in oct at her mums house! Was completely stuck but now feel really inspired - thank you for your help and i love your ceremony - it's wonderful!
lots love
kirst x

Thank you so much for your down-to-earth ceremony and help. It is really generous of you to offer this help and I intend to borrow bits for a ceremony that I am taking at my best friends child's naming in two weeks. You have totally saved my sanity and stress levels. Thanks again, and now I am looking forward to doing this favour instead of dreading it! Janeen

Claire Webber said on December 1, 2005 1:03 PM:

Hi. I'm going to my brother's naming ceremony this weekend and I've been asked to say a few words as a 'supporting parent'. Where to start!? Your information has been invaluable! Thanks so much. Really appreciate your forethought. x.

michelle lines said on May 31, 2006 11:06 AM:

I would like to thank you for your help, ive been searching for ideas on naming ceremonies and found yours. We are celebrating my daughters 1st birthday on the 11 june 2006 and wanted to incorporate the ceremony on the same day, as we are not religious ourselves we didnt want a christening as we feel we are being hypercritical, and felt the naming ceremony was the right thing for us knowing we can welcome guideparents/montors into our daughters life. And at a later date she can choose her own religion if she so wishes. From your letter you have given me so many ideas and much inspiration.

thank you

Jamie Williams said on July 4, 2006 12:08 AM:

A very big thanks for the speech, i used the basis of it am my 2 Childrens recent naming ceremony and it went down really well with the religious and non-religeous atendees.

We wanted a non religous ceremony and this hit the mark, it also has a focus point at the end where all of the people at the party can 'toast' the children.

Thank you.


Debbie Meads said on November 8, 2006 7:46 AM:

Thanks so much for an awesome and inspiring speech. Its great to be able to use the web to find other awesome parents such as yourselves! We have used the bits about grandparents as we were stuck! Thanks again.

maura said on June 30, 2007 2:04 PM:

thank you so much for putting this on the web for us to read, im have been really looking hard for ideas for my 3 childrens naming ceremony you have really helped in finding the right words to say!!!

Trisha said on May 14, 2008 8:26 AM:

Thank you so much for allowing us to view your special speech you prepared for your sons naming ceremony.
Me and my sister are holding a joint naming ceremony in a months time and was lost as to how to incorporate the two. Thank you so much, your beautiful speech has definately helped emmensely and I feel you have helped ALOT in the preparation of my sons and nieces special day.
Your an angel

Raji Webber said on July 15, 2008 2:27 PM:

Thankyou so much for this, I'm not ashamed to say that i will be using nearly every word for my sons naming ceremony. I have been dreading it for a long time, unsure what to say, but you have helped no end. now I just have to learn to read it without blubbing!!


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