What’s in a name?


The aspect of a celebrant career that excited me the most initially, was the prospect of conducting naming ceremonies. My huge wealth of experience of working with, caring for and loving young children could be put to excellent use at a celebration of a new life. What could be better?

Naming Ceremonies are highly personalised and reflect the family and their wishes. They can be held in any location so you have the freedom to decide where you’d like to celebrate. The focus of a Naming Ceremony is about the child and the hopes the parents have for their future. It is an opportunity to welcome them into the family and celebrate their arrival with loved ones.

As part of my Heart Led Celebrant training I had to write a naming ceremony for a ‘hypothetical’ child whose name my trainer, Veronika, plucked out of thin air. It was a gift. She created a little baby girl called Sakura Skye Lark.

It was fascinating to research the meaning behind each name, the culture they originated from, the history of famous people with that name et cetera.

The ceremony I wrote was chosen to be published in The Celebrant Magazine. Here’s a little taster.



Now it is time to dedicate your name Sakura Skye Lark.

We’re going to have an anointing ritual. Significant parts of your little body will be touched, so gently, by your family as they share wonderful wishes with you. With each action they will invest love and wisdom for Sakura’s future.

Firstly, we will use a base of almond oil for hope and truth, infused with cherry blossom that represents Spring and the blossoming of new life but also reminds us of the fleeting fragility of how precious life is.

Secondly, we will use a highly significant but, unfortunately, rather crumbly bit of heather. Serena and James were here, on Skye for their honeymoon in August 2018 when the heather was at its most lush and magnificent. This, if they remember rightly, was white heather which symbolizes protection and good luck. They collected it together and saved it in a little cloth bag. It will need to remain in the bag so that it doesn’t disintegrate everywhere!

And thirdly, we are going to use Rabbity Rose! (Sakura’s soft toy rabbit) Your most constant companion and comfort. Your dearest, softest friend who you know and love already, for when she’s put in your bassinet you reach for her and entwine her furry ears between your little fingers.

We will let Rabbity Rose go first.

Grandma Rose, will you rub Rabbity’s soft fur on Sakura’s tiny toes?

(Grandma takes Rabbity Rose and touches Sakura’s toes.)

May these toes and feet grow strong, root you in the place that you belong, yet carry you away on many adventures. May you travel to Japan and explore your heritage and meet your extended family one day. Remember that you are not a cherry blossom tree bound to the ground you stand on. Walk, run, skip, leap your way through life, making the most of everywhere you go and everyone you meet along the way.

Thank you.

Grandpa Cliff, will you nuzzle Rabbity Rose on Sakura’s tummy?

(Grandpa Cliffs, a farmer, rubs RR onto Sakura’s stomach.)

May you always have good food in your tummy that you will draw energy from. Food grown from the earth that will bring you strength, sustenance, healing and protection.

Thank you.

Serena and James, will you hold the cloth bag of white heather that you found together and touch Sakura’s shoulders with it, very gently because it is so delicate, as is she.

(Mum & Dad hold the bag between them and dib Sakura’s shoulders.)

May your shoulders always be strong and mobile. Whilst you are a baby, a child and an adolescent we will bear the responsibilities and obligations of your life on our shoulders and when you are an adult, we will always be there to support you in everything you do.

We will now use the almond oil infused with cherry blossom, Sakura.

Grandma Hana, whose own name means flower in Japanese, please would you take a drop of oil on your finger and place it near Sakura’s lips whilst you share a few words in Japanese with Sakura, words that you hope she will learn and say often.

(Grandma Hana dips out a little oil and places it on Sakura’s cheek, near but not in her mouth and says the Japanese words.)

SUKI – I like you.

DAISUKI – I really like you.

AISHITERU – I love you.

KOISHITERU – I will love you all of my life.

Finally, as a little drop of the Sakura infused oil is now placed on the top of Sakura’s head by Serena and James. I invite you all, everyone gathered here who loves Sakura, to take a moment to think beautiful thoughts about the life you want Sakura to have. What attributes would you bless her with? Her birthdate is in the Earth sign of Capricorn, may she be empathetic, sensitive, realistic and ambitious.

You may internalise your intentions or whisper them into this air so that Sakura will be imbued with your wisdom and love.

Once again, a celebrant led ceremony will give you an entirely bespoke event for you to share with your loved ones. Contact me for more details.



How can I help?

Leading ceremonies that celebrate your love with weddings, vow renewals and commitment ceremonies.

Welcoming little ones to the world and bringing the family together. Children are my specialist subject!

Bidding a fond farewell fit for your loved one. Allowing you to celebrate their life, personality and passions.