Naming Ceremonies; Last minute changes? No Problem!

I’ve talked elsewhere about the “why’s and wherefores” of naming ceremonies so this is simply a sharing of description and images to show the recent naming ceremony of Isla Seren McCaig in Carmarthen.

The venue was the rugby club, so plenty of colour was provided by the collection of shoes and shirts in the cases on the walls! I’m confident that this was the first time that this venue had witnessed a baby – naming ceremony (or, any celebrant led ceremony for that matter!). Isla’s Mum, Sian, did a great job of “pinkifying” the room with balloons and ribbons and stars, “Seren” being Welsh for “Star”.

A Naming Ceremony deserves a Naming Cake

It was a lovely sunny June day when Sian and Andy’s friends and family arrived in West Wales from various places including Glasgow, Newcastle and Essex. Isla was having a nap when we were due to start so it gave me time to get to know the guests a little. (I tend to assume a naming ceremony may start later than planned). The parents and one of the “odd parents” had sent me their vows to read but at the last minute all decided they’d rather simply say “I promise” as they felt nervous about reading them themselves. No problem, I got my pencil out and made a few changes to the script accordingly. The “odd” father declared himself a confident speaker and was happy to read his vows and poem as planned. Everything was set, small children were persuaded not to pour sand into the sculpture just yet and the bar was doing a respectable trade as we waited.

Once the star of the show had awoken and recovered from her nap, we started. The script concentrated at first on Sian, Andy and Seren as a family, and of course we reflected on the baby’s beautiful name and her Scottish and Welsh heritage.

Isla’s Mum and Dad did her proud

Before their promises were made, Isla’s Naming Candle was lit by her parents. Odd parents and grandparents all contributed to the superb sand-sculpture, Andy put in a little on behalf of the family’s dog, and everyone was invited to put in some sand at the end.

The very confident “odd” father was reduced to tears of emotion when he read the poem for Isla and his vows were similarly interspersed with tearful gulps. The fact that he read the poem before saying his vows rather than vice-versa as the script dictated didn’t matter a bit, and it was moving to see his emotions take over! Even more moving was Sian’s dad who, having read the poem he’d chosen, went off script to describe his pride in his daughter and grand-daughter and presented Isla with a beautiful Welsh Lovespoon which he’d made himself. That gift had tears coming to my eyes as well!

As the ceremony drew to a close, I was aware that it may have taken a little longer than other naming ceremonies, but everybody in the room had a beaming smile and even little Seren was still absorbed in the people and events around her. We applauded the family, then everyone came forward to put their sand in the sand-sculpture, and write their messages of support and love for Seren on the star-shaped cards Sian had made, and hang them on the wishing tree.

This was a first naming ceremony for most people present, and everybody told me that they’d enjoyed it enormously. The ladies behind the bar had even stopped to watch and agreed that such ceremonies may happen more often if only people knew they were available. All I know is that I couldn’t enjoy or get more satisfaction out of anything more than I do when I create a ceremony, be it a naming, wedding or any other type of celebration. I can’t wait for the next one!