Humanist naming ceremonies are lovely, significant and enjoyable occasions for the parents and their friends and family. They are created by the parents working with me to produce exactly the ceremony you want. They are very flexible and can be as elaborate or simple as you wish.
I am happy to conduct ceremonies outside, on hilltops, in gardens, in community halls, pubs, wherever you feel is appropriate.
The focus is on your child, and all the people there. That’s why it’s called “humanist” – because it’s about humans! Because it has no religious content, there is more time to look at the story of how you came together, why you decided to bring the child into the world, your hopes and expectations, how you and your friends view the nature of the life- long commitment you have to her or him.
Humanists believe that our problems can only be solved by humans working with other humans, and we live our one life without religion. That said, we appreciate that many of the people at our ceremonies believe in God, and I like to include a moment or two of reflection during the ceremony where guests with a religious belief are invited to say a private prayer for the child.
Our ceremonies include music and readings. There needs to be a formal part where your child is given its name for life. But you can choose the level of formality you want.
I will be able to advise you on what works and what may pose something of a problem. I have experience to draw on both individually and across a national network.
The fee I normally charge for a naming is £200 (2013 rate). This is the total cost with no other extras assuming we can get together locally for a face-to-face meetings. That fee covers all my travel within a 30-mile radius of my home, and includes:
- an initial meeting (usually
lasting about an hour and a half) where I glean lots of information
from you about your histories, what you hope for the future (and
what you hope to offer the child), and where we discuss matters like
music, readings, what kind of ceremonial elements you want;
But before I accept a commission from a couple, I always ask them to talk with me in person first (on the telephone or preferably face to face), so that they can be sure I am the right kind of person to be involved in this special event.
Securing the venue is definitely your first task, as many places get booked up well in advance. Other matters -- including getting a celebrant like me on board, and organising any catering etc -- are much more straight-forward, and can be left til after you've sorted the venue.
The British Humanist Association can send you a booklet entitled ‘New Arrivals’ that will go some way to answering any questions about the ceremony; just call 0207 079 3580 or email email@example.com
I hope this is helpful, and look forward to hearing from you soon, but whatever, very best wishes to you and your child.
Dover Road, Sheffield S11 8RH