I have never really thought of our daughter’s naming day as an Interfaith ceremony until the leader of our interfaith group suggested we might share the details of the day as a way to offer suggestions and ideas to others (hence my sharing this now). To us, we have always believed that we all ‘do’ much the same thing; we just label that activity in different ways. For example we planted a fig tree in our garden and asked our guests to tie a ribbon onto it. The ribbon represented something that they would want for our daughter India as she grew.
“Some might see this like a wish, others a goal, others might see it like a prayer”.
Toby, my husband, offered these varying labels to our friends and family. Whichever one they chose (wish, goal, prayer) the essence was the same. In addition, I believe that whatever quality they chose for India, that they must have this quality within them, and that, on some level, they will share this with her as she grows.
At the start of the day we confessed that we had no idea what happened at a naming ceremony and were really designing it as we went along. Also, whilst our guests may have come along under the impression that they day was about India, it was actually about them. In fact, a celebration of them and all that they are, because India will be influenced by the qualities that they demonstrate.
As she grows she will (like all children) model what she sees. So the day is to thank them for the love they share, the humour they create, the compassion they demonstrate, the cheekiness, the great cooking, the style, humility, the kindness… India will become all that they are and do, how could she not?
And then, like all good McCartney bashes, this ‘ceremony’ (if you could call 50 people gathered around the pond in our garden a ‘ceremony’) was followed by lots of drink and incredible food laid on by India’s doting Grandparents. The sun even came out and shone brightly on what was a very special day. So, if you are planning a day for your baby or child you might like to ask yourself what would you want for them in their life? (rather than just the day) as a new frame of thinking and a new creative platform.
I wish you and your loved ones the very best,