Baby Namings

A baby naming or welcoming ceremony is a wonderful way to welcome your child into the world. It celebrates where the child has come from and looks forward to the brilliant future that lies ahead for them. You can choose a baby naming that’s spiritual or completely secular. It’s up to you.

Have a look at this video, which will show you how baby naming celebrants deliver their ceremonies

Example of Baby Naming Ceremony. Video Credit: DS Media

Rituals for Baby Namings 

Here’s a flavour of the beautiful baby naming rituals you can choose from for your ceremony. These rituals fall into two broad categories

Making Memories: If you want to capture this special moment in your child’s life, create a memory box or time capsule filled with precious mementos. Or plant a tree in your garden that will grow along with your child.

Wishes for the Future: Everyone at your baby naming ceremony will be full of good wishes for your child’s future. Let them share their wishes by using them to a wishing tree, lighting candles or blowing bubbles.

I’d be delighted to create a baby naming ceremony that fits the shape of your family. You can message me: info@celebrantderv.ie and I’ll work with you to create a baby naming that’s full of creativity, love and joy.

Weddings

As your wedding celebrant, I will deliver a wedding ceremony that tells the story of your love for each other. Your love story will be at the heart of your ceremony – it’s a little gift we creative celebrants like to give our couples. Whether you want a spiritual wedding ceremony or a more secular one inspired by literature and great art, I’ll be honoured to deliver your ceremony. We will work together to design a wedding ceremony that you, your family and friends will remember long after you’ve said “I do.”

Beautiful Wedding Rituals

There are loads of wonderful wedding rituals that will make your ceremony shine. Here’s a flavour of some of the beautiful rituals I can perform for you

Unity Candle Ceremony: In a unity candle ceremony you light candles with your partner and family to show that two have become one. In this video, you’ll see for yourself how meaningful this ceremony is..

Video of unity candle ceremony, courtesy of DS Media.

Handfasting Ceremony

A handfasting is a Celtic wedding ritual where a couple’s hands are tied with ribbon or cord to show that the couple have freely chosen to come together. If you’re having a destination wedding in Ireland, this is a great way to connect with the landscape and celebrate your roots.

Video showing handfasting ceremony, courtesy of DS Media

Sand Ceremony

In a sand ceremony, different coloured sands are blended together, showing that your lives are now intertwined. In this video you’ll see how you start off with separate grains of sand, as a sign of your individuality. But then the grains of sand come together, showing that you are united.

Video of Sand Ceremony, courtesy of DS Media

Want me to help you organise a brilliant wedding ceremony full of warmth, humour and love? Drop me a mail on info@celebrantderv.ie.

The Day I Became a Celebrant

As I mounted the steps, the music of Circle of Life from The Lion King swelled out from the speakers. The couple entered the room first, holding up their baby son in much the same way as Mufasa held up his newborn cub Simba at the very start of The Lion King. Then I came in, in the guise of the wise monkey Rafiki, banging a staff against the ground and chanting ‘Asante sana squashed banana…’

This was the day of my nephew’s naming ceremony. For the occasion, my brother and his partner had kitted me out in a red cape and fashioned a staff with coconuts at the top of it. I supplied a felt cap of my own that gave me a wizard-lik quality. I introduced myself as Dwardle the Druid and said to the audience that I was the celebrant for this shindig. Back then, celebrant was just a word. When my brother asked me to officiate, I just saw it as a speaking gig.

Conducting the Ceremony

The Internet had proved a valuable source of information in preparing the ceremony. I was able to gather readings and vow templates, and advise the couple about ways of capturing memories of the day for the child. For this, my first ceremony, I did not stray far from the template familiar to me from Church christenings.

I began with a short talk. It’s a cliché to describe life as a journey, but I subverted the cliché by describing my nephew’s life as a quest. A quest is a journey of sorts, but it’s broader than that. It’s an adventure which challenges you and helps you discover strengths you never had. And it’s an adventure with a goal in mind.

In this case, the goal was to envisage the best possible life for my nephew. There are certain essential ingredients to a quest: travel, companionship, challenges and a longing for home. My talk was punctuated by bursts of unexpected laughter and contributions from children in the audience. This all added richness to the talk.

Readings and Vows

I chose two readings: one called A Message to My Child by Jessica Weslock (link) and the other a gloriously bonkers reading from Dr Seuss. Warning: this one is a bit long. I shortened it, but it still challenged the audience’s attention spans. They were read by the eldest sisters of the couple, who are both mothers themselves. I drew attention to this because I thought it was a lovely link.

At the heart of the ceremony were the vows. I decided the vow templates I had seen online were a bit treacly for this audience, so I stripped them back and kept the vows simple, just a question and answer format. The couple answered their vows first with ‘We do’ and then the audience answered with ‘We will.’ We all made promises to support my nephew and allow him to be fully himself.

Naming the Child

Another moving moment in the ceremony was when I gave the background to the names the couple chose for my nephew. They were family names which carried a lot of history. In invoking them, we all became powerfully aware of the rich past that lay behind this child and the equally rich future that lay before him, all that life, all those possibilities.

To capture memories of the day, the couple asked everyone present to put a small item into a memory box for the child. This could be a memento that was precious to the guest, or something that the guest felt would capture the spirit of the times for the child. You live and you learn with ceremonies. People had brought rather large mementos and these had to fit into quite a small box. But these little niggles can easily be overcome, and the box has now been stored and sealed, waiting until the child opens it on his eighteenth or twenty-first birthday.

The ceremony ended on a wonderfully light-hearted note with a rendition of ‘The Bare Necessities’ from The Jungle Book. Everyone joined in with enthusiasm. Later, as we ate a meal with equal enthusiasm, people kept saying to me, ‘You should become a celebrant for a living.’ 

A thunderclap went off in my head, a shouted yes that reverberated through my brain. I could help people celebrate the greatest moments of their lives, give shape to the emotions they were feeling, bring meaning into their lives. ‘You know what?’ I said. ‘I think I will become a celebrant.’ 

Vow Renewals

Vow renewals aren’t just for celebrities. In a vow renewal ceremony, you’re renewing your commitment to each other and celebrating how far you’ve come. A vow renewal gives you a chance to have the wedding you always wanted, second time round. I can help you organise a creative vow renewal ceremony that reflects who you are now, as a couple and as a family.

This photo is of a couple who I officiated a vow renewal ceremony for. It aims to show what a relaxed, low-key event your vow renewal can be.
Here’s a happy couple I did a vow renewal/family ceremony for. The man and woman are standing close together, with tall trees behind them. Photo courtesy of the couple.

Do you have Irish roots? Why not renew your vows in Ireland? I’ve got loads of ideas for a vow renewal ceremony that will help you connect with your Irish past. You can have a Celtic vow renewal filled with ancient rituals like handfasting ceremonies, the tying of hands with ribbons.

Have a look at this video, which will show you what a vow renewal ceremony looks like.

Video from DS Media that shows you what a vow renewal will look like.

I will help you plan your vow renewal with the same care as if it was your wedding. You have found each other again and your love is stronger than ever. That kind of commitment deserves to be celebrated.  If you like the sound of that, give me a call on 0876959799 or email info@celebrantderv.ie.

Funerals

As a funeral celebrant, I aim to deliver ceremonies that celebrate life. I create funeral ceremonies that define how a person lived, not how they passed away. My ceremonies offer you the opportunity to pay tribute to your loved ones in a way that shows people who they were. They will help you remember your loved ones in the way they deserve to be remembered.

This photo aims to convey the idea that life is worth celebrating, even when we are grieving.
This is a picture of a yellow rose with rich green leaves around it, supported by a wall or fence with wooden slats (Photo Credit: Simon Coury.)

Memorial Ceremonies

As well as funeral ceremonies/celebration of life ceremonies, I offer memorial services for people who weren’t able to mourn their loved ones at the time of their passing. I also offer death anniversary ceremonies, scattering of ashes ceremonies and graveside rituals.

Planning Your Own Funeral

I can also help you plan your own funeral. Believe it or not, this is becoming more and more popular. You decide what happens to you while you’re alive – why shouldn’t you decide what happens to you after you pass away? I’ll work with you to organise an end of life celebration that your loved ones will always remember.

I work closely with funeral directors, but if you want to arrange a funeral, you’re also welcome to contact me yourself, to arrange a funeral for yourself or your loved one. You can give me a call on 087 695 9799 and I’ll be happy to talk to you.

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