Last week, I started my video blog series of ceremony readings with a powerful wedding reading. Today, it’s the turn of baby naming readings, and I’m sharing another profound reading from the Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran.
You may have heard The Prophet (Let there be spaces in our togetherness) at weddings. On Children is also hugely popular, and it’s a favourite at baby naming ceremonies. Gibran’s big theme is freedom, the idea that if we love someone, we’ll set them free.
That’s a powerful message, especially today, when we’re bombarded on all sides with voices telling us to wrap our children in cotton wool. By choosing this reading for your baby naming, you’re giving your child a gift, the freedom to be who they are.
Here I am reading the first verse of On Children. Have a listen and let yourself be enriched by the words of Kahlil Gibran.
A hugely popular baby naming reading.
I’ve got lots of ideas to make your baby naming creative, authentic and unique. Take a look at my baby namings page to find out what you can expect.
For the next four weeks, I’m going to be doing a video blog series where I’ll be sharing some beautiful readings you can choose for your ceremonies. There’s such a range of readings available, it can send your head into a spin when you’re trying to choose. I’m hoping these video blogs will make it easier for you to choose a reading that fits your ceremony.
I’m going to feature one reading for each of the four main ceremonies I offer. This week, it’s wedding reading, from St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. This reading is a favourite at weddings and includes the well-known line, ‘Love is patient and kind.’
But there’s another section of that reading which I think goes even deeper in expressing love. It’s unapologetic in declaring that without love, we are nothing. ‘If I give away all my possessions and hand over my body, but do not have love, I gain nothing,’ it states. If you’re going to be declaring your undying love on your wedding day, you may as well go hard or go home.
I’ve also chosen this biblical reading because I want you to know that even though your wedding isn’t happening in a church, your ceremony can still be spiritual in tone. As an independent celebrant, I have the flexibility to deliver a ceremony that fits your beliefs. You can choose entirely spiritual readings or a mix of spiritual and secular readings – it’s up to you.
If you want to find out what else I can offer you at your wedding ceremony, check out my Weddings page.
So, here’s me reading the extract from St Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians. Hope you find it as moving as I do.
This video shows me reading from St Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians.
And if you’d like me to help you choose beautiful readings for your special day, give me a call on 087 6959799.
Last week, I talked about how to add spirituality to your ceremony. But spirituality isn’t for everyone. So, this week, I’ve decided to concentrate on secular ceremonies, which I’m also delighted to offer as an independent celebrant.
I believe a secular ceremony is just as meaningful. It gives you the freedom to be true to who you are and to share the values are important to you, whether that’s friends and family, nature or creativity. And above all, you get to show people how much you love each other.
In this week’s blog post, I’m going to share some rituals, readings and music that I hope will inspire you to plan the perfect secular ceremony.
Ideas for Readings
There’s a wealth of beautiful literature that you can dip into for ceremony readings, poems that eloquently express your deepest feelings. You can go for a classic poem from Shakespeare, Dickinson or Yeats, or try a fresh, modern voice like Raymond Carver or ee cummings.
Plenty of people write poems specifically for ceremonies, like ‘A Message to My Child by Jessica Weslock’, which is popular for baby namings. I’m also dying to show people poems written by writer friends of mine. If they choose those poems, that can be sure that those poems will be completely new to the people who attend your ceremony.
We all need rituals in our lives, no matter what your beliefs are. Rituals are as old as time, and they’re powerful symbols of love, unity and family. You can choose a ritual for your ceremony that fits with who you are. Wedding rituals like sand ceremonies and unity candle ceremonies are a powerful reminder that you are now united.
Rituals for baby namings like creating a memory box or planting a tree help you make memories. You can then share those memories with your child as they grow up. And at a funeral, you can find comfort in rituals like offering gifts and lighting candles, which show that your loved one’s light will never go out.
If you want to find out what rituals you can avail of, hop onto my ceremonies page. Then pick the ceremony you’re most interested in finding out about.
Music adds joy to a wedding or baby naming ceremony and can bring great comfort to mourners at a funeral. For a secular ceremony, your choice is wide open. You can be guided by your own musical tastes, whether you like a heartfelt guitar ballad, a dramatic song from the musicals or even some heavy metal!
For traditionalists, the sweet strains of classical music can add a touch of class to your ceremony. At the end of a baby naming I officiated, we all sang ‘The Bare Necessities.’ What a glorious way to end the ceremony!
I would be only too happy to chat to you about your secular ceremony. Being an independent celebrant gives me a brilliant excuse to chat about poetry, music and candles.