A Name Day Ceremony always seems to confuse people, especially anyone who has been asked to be a godparent to the child, or to say a few words or make a short speech to mark the event.
The problem that some people have is that they feel like they are stepping on eggs and they don’t want to say something bad or upset the parents or the family by saying something religious.
In fact, if you search online for suggestions on what to say in a nomination speech, time and time again you’ll come across the ‘religious’ dimension. It comes in the form of ‘BUT’.
‘Here is a beautiful poem you could quote, OBJECTIVE you’ll have to skip the religious parts… or ‘Here’s a beautiful traditional Irish blessing, OBJECTIVE I’m not sure if a blessing of some kind would be welcome at a naming ceremony.
But what is acceptable?
The answer to this question is simple: anything you say that is upbeat, uplifting, happy, and thoughtful is very welcome. After all, this is a wonderfully joyful, uplifting and happy event.
If you have to give a speech at the naming ceremony, my advice is to think about the three most important things about the naming ceremony and say something lighthearted and uplifting about each of them. For example:
1. The day itself: Tell everyone how happy and honored you are to be selected to say a few words on this very special day.
2. The new child’s name: Discuss why the parents selected this name. Tell everyone about the meaning of the name and the connection it has to the family. And tell everyone how this name will now mean something very special to you for the rest of your life.
3. The beautiful boy: tell everyone that he is a charming boy with the beauty of the mother in his appearance and the charm of the father in his happy smile.
And then why not use one of the most beautiful love poems of all time to praise and extol the beauty and virtues of this beautiful child? It’s William Shakespeare – Sonnet #18
Should I compare you (Insert child’s name) to a summer day?
You are more beautiful and warmer:
Rough winds shake the dear buds of May,
And Summer’s lease is dated too short:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
and often his golden complexion darkens;
And every fair fair sometime declines,
By chance or by the changing course of nature untrimmed:
But your eternal summer will not fade (Insert child’s name)
Nor lose possession of that beautiful west of yours…
This is such a beautiful sonnet to say aloud about the child at a naming day ceremony, which I am sure will be a huge hit. This, of course, is just one example of what you might say. But, as a professional speech writer, my experience is always that ‘Poetry’, especially the poetry of well-known poets, is almost a religious dimension in itself when spoken in a sincere and meaningful way.
Alternatively, if you are a good singer, you could announce that you would like to sing a special song for this special child. Stand next to the child when you are singing the song and place your hand on the child’s crib when you are finished.
So let me give it to you again.
1. Start by introducing yourself and telling everyone how happy and honored you are to be here on this wonderful day at this happy event.
2. Talk about the child’s name. Do your research ahead of time and tell everyone what the name means and why parents have chosen this name for their child. Tell everyone that you think it’s a lovely name.
3. Tell everyone that the lovely boy and the happy event combine to remind you of an uplifting piece of poetry. And then continue reading the piece of uplifting poetry with sincere feeling. Alternatively, if you are a good singer, you may prefer to sing a song.
But whatever you do, don’t use rhyming nonsense. Use really good poetry and you won’t go wrong.