Your Little Ones
My name is Ealish Whillock and as a Humanist celebrant Accredited by the Humanist Association of Ireland, I conduct humanist naming or welcoming ceremonies. Humanist naming celebrants help you to bring your family together to wish your little one the very best start in life. Because celebrating this latest addition to your family, be that a new-born, an adopted child or stepchild, is both a joyous and heartfelt occasion.
In addition, humanist naming ceremonies are an opportunity for parents to make commitments and promises to their child’s future. Whilst celebrating the joy that they bring into their lives. Indeed, all any of us want, is to have a child that feels held by their family and their community.
Moreover, the symbolic ritual with which we welcome them into the world and our families, provides the primary scaffolding to their personality and identity. Therefore, after I have formally introduced them to your family and friends, I will confirm and bestow upon them their chosen names. Also, as your humanist naming celebrant, you may wish for me to appoint supporting adults who have a special interest in their development. These are known as guide-parents or mentors.
Furthermore, naming ceremonies can take place in any setting of your choice.
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Please feel free to contact me to check my availability, get a quote or simply find out more information.
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What Happens During a Humanist Naming Ceremony?
The arrival of a new child, stepchild or adopted child is one of life's treasured moments. A naming ceremony is not a baptism or christening, it is a non-religious celebration and can often be done to coincide with your baby's first birthday celebrations.
These ceremonies are a way of welcoming your child into your family unit by formally introducing them to their family and friends. It is also an opportunity to officially name your child whilst paying homage to their name's heritage.
Humanist naming ceremonies involve the important people in your child's life - family and close friends. Therefore, parents have an opportunity to ask other adults to play a supportive role in their child's life. These people are known as guide-parents or mentors and they are appointed during the ceremony.
Parents may also like to make a commitment to their baby's future, and so you can recite your own written promises to your baby, if you wish. While this ceremony does not have any legal status, it is a wonderful way to welcome your child and celebrate them as they begin their journey through life.
What's a Typical Naming Ceremony Format?
Humanist naming ceremonies will typically comprise of some or all of the following elements:
- Welcome and introduction
- Some words about baby and the significance of those gathered
- A reading
- A symbolic ritual
- Acknowledgement & appointment of Guide-Parents
- A reading
- Parental declaration and/or promises
- Formal baby naming
- A symbolic ritual
- Music – if family or friends are musical
- Signing of Commemorative Naming Certificate
- Closing words
- A Toast to baby’s future
What does a Humanist Naming Celebrant do?
As your humanist naming celebrant, I will spend time with you planning your perfect welcoming ceremony. In addition, I will give you lots of inspiration and ideas about elements or rituals which resonate with your family. Also, I will provide you with resources such as readings, reflections, along with parental and guide-parent promises.
Furthermore, there are many different elements and rituals you can choose to make your child’s naming ceremony unique, personal and meaningful. And while these rituals are often very cute and heartfelt. Ultimately, I will guide you in choosing ones which will be symbolic of the love and dedication that go into raising your child.
For now, here are a few ideas of what you might like to include in your child’s naming ceremony (normally 2 to 3). For instance, loved ones can light a Candle and write well wishes to baby on a Tree of Well-wishing. On the other hand, you could pour Sand, showing your family coming together as one. Maybe, you’d like to create a Memory Box or a Family Tree Thumb Print or simply conduct a Rose Petal ceremony. Perhaps, you want family or friends to bring items for a Symbolic Box or pour soil during a Tree Planting ceremony. Bubble or Balloon Releases can also be fun and/or sign a Commemorative Naming Cert as a keepsake. Alternatively, we could just develop one of your own family traditions.
Who can be Involved in a
Humanist Naming Ceremony?
A humanist naming ceremony is an opportunity for the whole family to celebrate the arrival of your new addition. Consequently, any member of your family, extended family, friends or community members can be involved. Indeed, it’s often their siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles or even your close friends who take part - all of whom add to your little one’s ceremony.
Needless to say, there are various ways of including them. For instance, their siblings can write a poem or perhaps make their own commitments or promises to help look after their new brother or sister. Moreover, family or friends could show off their talents by singing a song, playing an instrument or reciting readings. In addition, grandparents or guide-parents can light candles or take part in other symbolic elements and they’ll all relish being a part of it.
Where Can Humanist Naming Ceremonies be Held?
Many people choose to hold their child's naming ceremony in their own homes (often in the garden, weather permitting). Otherwise, they are normally held in a local hotel, community/sports centre or GAA club. Alternatively, woodlands and parks are also good venues too.
How long is a Humanist Naming Ceremony?
Humanist naming or welcoming ceremonies usually take anything from 15 mins – 30 mins. However, it will depend on the elements you choose to include.
How Much Does a Humanist Naming Celebrant Cost?
I am based in Kerry and typically, my humanist naming celebrant fees would be in the region of €300 - €350 for the Tralee or Killarney area. Please note however, that this fee does not include the €25 contribution required by the HAI. Also, travelling further afield would naturally incur more costs so fees will vary depending on the location of your child’s ceremony. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a no-obligation quote.
How do we Book you as our Humanist Naming Celebrant?
Step 1. Pick your child’s preferred naming ceremony date and unless you’re celebrating it in your own home, then provisionally book your venue too.
Step 2. Check my availability and get a quote by either filling out the contact form above or email me, Ealish Whillock, at email@example.com or just give me a quick call on +353 851764489 to have a no-obligation chemistry check!
Step 3. Provide me with your personal details, then I will email you a booking form to complete.
Step 4. Once you're booked, I will email you lots of ceremony enhancement information and a reading list.
Step 5. Now it’s time to get creative and arrange our first ceremony consultation.
Due to the current popularity of Humanist weddings, Saturdays are often booked up, to a year or more in advance. So naturally, as you will not be giving as much notice, it helps if you can be as flexible as possible with dates and times of day.
Disclaimer: Please note that these topics are for general information purposes only. The answers are correct to the best of our belief and knowledge at present but are not definitive. Different HAI accredited celebrants take slightly different approaches, so please speak to a celebrant directly if you have a query or concern.