There are few occasions as joyous as the arrival of a new baby and it is natural that we want to share our joy and introduce baby to his or her extended family and friends. Creating a ceremony to symbolically name baby and welcome them into the world is a wonderful way to do this. It also provides an opportunity for the community to show it's support to the new parents and the rest of the family.
Elements that can form part of the ceremony include explaining the name of the child and what the parents hopes and wishes are for their life, parents and perhaps godparents or 'guideparents' (maybe even 'oddparents'!) can make promises to the child to care for them and nurture them as they grow - this can be very beautiful and moving for everyone; ceremonies can also give a role to brothers and sisters of the new baby - acknowledging the new and important part they now have to play in the life of the child.
Music, readings and even a request for blessings for the child can also be included - every ceremony is crafted fresh and unique - just like each child!
Adoption of children or the blending of families due to new relationships can also be occasions that need to be marked by a special ceremony - again, pledges can be made to the children, reassuring them that they are loved, respected and valued within the new family. The ceremony can be an opportunity for everyone to reflect on how they have grown, changed and learned through their life's experiences; and how they want to move forward continuing to learn, change and grow together.