What is a humanist naming ceremony?

A humanist naming ceremony is a way of welcoming a child to your family. This can be the symbolic naming of a new baby, embracing an adopted child, or a rite of passage for an older child. It’s a family celebration centred around the child being named and the people who play an important part in their life.

Many families in Sheffield choose a humanist naming ceremony as a way to mark the momentous occasion of a new child in a way that isn’t religious. It provides the opportunity to appoint special roles to grandparents and friends who will be part of your child’s life.

Young black girl holding her arms in the air, super happy at her naming ceremony birthday party
Little white girl from Sheffield wearing floral crown and smiling at her naming ceremony

What happens during a naming ceremony?


Put simply, whatever you like! No two naming ceremonies are the same, as we will work together to work out what is right for you. Your script will not include cut-and-paste wording or be developed from a standard template. It will be uniquely yours.


So that you don’t feel daunted by the blank page when we start, I am here to make suggestions and give examples of how your child's naming ceremony might work. Together we can find the poetry, readings and music to best express all you want to say to your child.


Some common elements you may like to include in your naming ceremony are:

  • Special readings, poems or music

  • Information about your child and their awesome personality

  • Thoughts on parenting

  • Parental promises to your child

  • Roles for wider family members such as Grandparents

  • Appointment of guideparents (which is a humanist word for Godparents)

  • Guideparents’ promises

  • Background on your child’s name

  • The official “Naming” as a wonderful crescendo moment

“Meg created beautiful parental promises, and had such a calm reassuring manner.”


How a naming ceremony works


So you can be sure I’m the right celebrant for you, the first step is a little chat over the phone. This is a great chance to ask about how the whole process works, without any obligation to book.



Yay! Assuming we’ve got that all important chemistry, the next step is: You decide to book me as your celebrant for your naming ceremony! I’ll send you a contract and take a deposit to secure your booking.



I’d love to hear all about your little one and family life with them, so next we will meet. I’ll ask you lots of questions about your child and about your story too, I’ll take detailed notes to use when writing your script. When we meet, I will be flexible to the needs and demands of young children.


Over to me to create a bespoke ceremony script just for your family, reflecting what we’ve discussed. I’ll share it with you at least a month before the naming ceremony and you’ll have the chance to make edits and suggestions. I will amend the script until you’re completely happy that it’s right.


I only ever do one ceremony a day so on the day of your naming ceremony, I’m all yours. I will arrive half an hour early and ensure that everything is on track and will run smoothly.

All that remains is to CELEBRATE! I’ll lead your completely individual ceremony and it will be a child-focused, memorable, and utterly TREMENDOUS celebration for you and your guests.


After your naming day I’ll send you a keepsake copy of your ceremony script to treasure.


Still have questions? Visit FAQS

Happy brother and sister playing at a Sheffield naming ceremony