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.
We come together today to celebrate a beautiful new life. Today we mark a milestone not only for (Child’s name), but also for (Parent/s names), for their family and for everyone whose lives s/he has touched in the time that s/he has been in this world.
For this reason, we are gathered here today to officially celebrate his/her name.
Everyone here today has all shared in the joy of (Child’s name)’s arrival and you are all here today as special people within his/her life, people who will undoubtedly shape who s/he becomes as an adult with the help of your love, knowledge and wisdom.
[NAME DETAILS (OPTIONAL)]
Choosing a child’s name is a very important matter in almost all cultures. In some African cultures, a person’s name is an essential component of their spiritual anatomy, as it is believed that a child’s name can determine their success in life.
The naming process creates a bond between the child and the rest of the family, and therefore is a highly auspicious occasion.
By giving a child a name, we declare that the child is an individual, a unique and separate person with dignity and a life of their own.
In giving him/her a name we declare that we respect him/her and give him/her the freedom to be him/herself.
(Parent/s names), what is the name of this child?
(Parents repeat child’s name)
(Child’s name), your name has been chosen with love, care and heritage. We therefore name you (Child’s name)! We wish you a long life full of happiness, love and laughter.
(Parent/s names), in bringing your child to be named before family and friends, you share some of the joy that is yours as parents.
[1ST READING (OPTIONAL)]
We welcome (Reader 1’s name) forward now with the first reading.
[PARENTS’ PROMISES TO THE CHILD]
Would the parents please stand?
In human history there is no deeper connection than that of a baby and their parents. As parents, (Parent/s names)’s lives have changed forever when (Child’s name) was born.
Families are important – the role of parenthood held in high regard. To be responsible for a new life strengthens the bond that (Parent/s names) share and brings even more of a strong purpose to their lives.
(Parent/s names), please repeat together after me:
I/we promise, to cherish and nurture (Child’s name), throughout their life.
I/we promise, to guide (Child’s name), to respect and support, the choices he/she makes.
I/we promise, to do our best, to raise (Child’s name), to take his/her place in the community, as a kind and caring person.
[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.
[GRANDPARENTS’ VOWS (OPTIONAL)]
Would the grandparents please stand.
Being a grandparent is a joyful, tender and serious duty. (Parent/s names) know from experience what a vitally important role they play in a child’s life, and they look forward to their parents enjoying this most rewarding of relationships.
Grandparents: will you use all your wisdom, patience and love to help your grandchild to fulfil herself/himself and help others throughout his/her life?
[SUPPORTING ADULT’S VOWS (OPTIONAL)]
Would the supporting adults please stand?
(Parent/s names) have chosen (Supporting Adult 1’s name) and (Supporting Adult 2’s name), trusted friends whom they hope will help to shape this baby’s life.
Children need role models who are not their parents. (Parent/s names) recognise that there will be times when they will benefit from help in raising their child.
Their hope is that their child will be able to rely upon these supporting adults, to be insightful and encouraging guides, and that they will offer a relationship that is meaningful and deeply rewarding for them and for (Child’s name).
(Supporting Adult’s names), will you stay close to (Child’s name) to the best of your ability?
Will you help to guide him/her through life so that he/she may know the best way you know?
Will you try to be a good influence by your own way of living, encourage him/her to observe worthy principles, and decent treatment of his/her fellow human beings and his/her world?
Will you be a shoulder for (Parent/s names) to lean on when they need it?
[GUEST’S VOWS (OPTIONAL)]
As members and friends of this family, this ceremony is an opportunity to think about this child’s future and to consider ways in which your relationship with him/her can provide the love and respect that will strengthen his/her character.
Each child has a need to be part of a group of loving and supportive people to nurture their growth and development. This provides them with emotional and practical guidance bound together with love, friendship and respect.
And each of you here today make up part of that special group with whom (Child’s name) will celebrate life’s special moments, and also to whom they turn in times of need.
I will ask you all to acknowledge your support of this child by responding, “We will” to this question.
Will you keep watch over (Child’s name) until she/he grows to be an adult and be always ready to advise, encourage and comfort him/her?
[3RD READING (OPTIONAL)]
We welcome (Reader 3’s name) forward now with the final reading.
[SIGNING OF COMMEMORATIVE CERTIFICATE]
(Parent/s names) have asked (Supporting Adult’s names) to sign the certificate of this ceremony with them as a reminder of the promises they have made to (Child’s name).
I now present (Parent/s names) with a record of the ceremony as a lasting reminder of this special day.
I am sure that the welcome and support that you have all pledged will be life-long, that you will love and care for (Child’s name), and that he/she in turn will bring ever-increasing joy and gladness to your lives.
Thank you all for coming and have a wonderful celebration.
Please offer your congratulations to (Parent/s names) and (Child’s name)!