Please see the script below, with the words in italics that the people making promises will say:
‘Good morning/ afternoon everyone. On behalf of my colleague (Registrar 2’s name), and myself (Registrar 1’s name), I would like to welcome you to (ceremony venue) on the occasion of the naming ceremony of (Child’s name).
(Parent/s names) thank you all for being here today to celebrate with them on this special day.
Almost all cultures, in all countries have ceremonies to mark the more important stages of our lives. Rituals such as this play a significant part in our lives. Such celebrations help to generate a bond between all those who participate: they enable us to define new roles and they help us to acknowledge new relationships and responsibilities.
This celebration has several purposes. Firstly, the naming of a child establishes his or her individuality.
Secondly, (Parent/s names) will be dedicating themselves to the upbringing of their child in a series of promises. Making these promises in front of you all will help (Parent/s names) to keep them.
Thirdly, there are other adults who are going to promise a special concern for the welfare of this child as they mature into adulthood.
And for you all as members and friends of this family, this ceremony is an opportunity for you to think about this child’s future and to consider ways in which your relationship with him/her can provide the love, respect and honesty that will strengthen their character.
[NAME DETAILS (OPTIONAL)]
(Parent/s names), please bring forward your child to be named.
A name is so important. It is one of the ways in which family, friends and the community identify each other.
So I ask you, please confirm the name you have given to this child.
(Parents respond with the child’s first names.)
(Child’s name), you are welcomed today by your family, the friends gathered here in your honour and as a member of the wider community in which you will take your place.
(Child’s name), we celebrate your mind, your feelings and your spirit. We hope for you the freedom and resources to develop every aspect of your unique self for your own happiness and for the wellbeing of others. We wish you every grace and blessing, in the hope that as you mature you will be compassionate, fulfilled and happy, that you may gain and give love throughout your life.
[1ST READING (OPTIONAL)]
We welcome (Reader 1’s name) forward now with the first reading.
[PARENTS’ PROMISES TO THE CHILD]
In bringing your child to be named before family and friends, you share some of the joy that is yours as parents.
(Parent/s names), I am now going to ask you to step forward to confirm the promises you have chosen to make to (Child’s name).
Will you promise to keep (Child’s name), clothe him/her, shelter and protect him/her, love and support him/her for as long as he/she needs you, as best you can?
Will you promise to respect (Child’s name) as an individual and help him/her to develop his/her own thoughts and opinions?
Will you endeavour to bring (Child’s name) up in a home filled with love and kindness, tolerance of others, and respect for humanity?
Will you commit yourselves to the best of your ability to provide a secure, loving and caring home which will help (Child’s name) to fulfil his/her true potential in life?
Will you promise to nurture a spirit of curiosity, courage and enthusiasm, so that (Child’s name) will not be afraid of life’s challenges but can meet them with quiet confidence?
Will you encourage and support (Child’s name) in his/her chosen endeavours, irrespective of success or failure; encourage him/her to express his/her own thoughts and feelings without fear of rejection, and teach him/her moral values to enable him/her to become a responsible and caring adult?
Will you help (Child’s name) to take his/her place as a useful and caring member of society and help him/her to appreciate all that is good and worthwhile in life?
Will you always offer (Child’s name) unconditional love?
[PARENTS’ PERSONAL VOWS (OPTIONAL)]
(Parent/s names) have chosen to write personal vows to (Child’s name) to express their continued commitment to bring him/her up with love. (Parent/s names), please read your vows to (Child’s name).
[2ND READING (OPTIONAL)]
We welcome (Reader 2’s name) forward now with the second reading.
Today (Parent/s names), wish to celebrate their child and to ask you to share in this first step of his/her journey – his/her introduction to the people who will guide and accompany him/her along the way.
[SUPPORTING ADULT’S VOWS (OPTIONAL)]
Would the supporting adults please stand.
An old African saying states ‘It takes a whole village to raise a child’. In our complex world, even the most loving and capable parents benefit from help in raising their children.
(Supporting Adult 1’s name) and (Supporting Adult 2’s name) have agreed to supplement the care and love of (Parent/s names) towards (Child’s name) and I am now going to ask them to step forward to make their promises.
Will you promise that in times of difficulty, (Parent/s names), and (Child’s name) can turn to you for reassurance and help?
Will you support this family and provide a shoulder to lean on if needed? Above all, will you help (Child’s name) to achieve their hopes and aspirations for the happiness of their son/daughter?
Will you promise to offer (Child’s name) friendship without condition and guidance without judgement? Will you share in their successes and support them should they fail?
Will you endeavour to help (Child’s name) to live their life true to the values their family will have taught them, and to rest in the confidence that he/she will be loved and treasured always?
May this commitment enrich your own lives. To confirm that you have accepted this special honour and responsibility, I will ask you to sign the record at the end of the ceremony.
[GRANDPARENTS’ VOWS (OPTIONAL)]
Would the grandparents please stand.
(Child’s name)’s grandparents will also be particularly important people in their life and they are now going to declare their support.
(Grandparent/s names), will you give (Child’s name) the love, encouragement and support that you have given to (Parent/s names), and from which they continue to benefit?
Will you offer (Child’s name), by your example, a broad and balanced view of life and, for as long as possible, use your experience of life to enhance their development?
[GUEST’S VOWS (OPTIONAL)]
I will ask all of you gathered here today to acknowledge your support of this child by responding, “We will” to this question.
Will you all give him/her a hearty welcome and will you accept the privilege and the responsibility of nurturing this child?
[3RD READING (OPTIONAL)]
We welcome (Reader 3’s name) forward now with the final reading.
[SIGNING OF COMMEMORATIVE CERTIFICATE]
I have one more duty to perform, which is to ask the parents and supporting adults to come forward and sign the record of this occasion, which I shall also sign myself.
I now present (Parent/s names) with a record of the ceremony as a lasting reminder of today.
This is a special day. This is a special child. May all children be loved as much as (Child’s name) is today.
Thank you all for sharing in this ceremony. We wish you a wonderful celebration.