Birth & Childhood

Birth is the beginning of our journey through life. Many couples are now taking the time to prepare for the conception of their baby, and want to mark this with some form of ceremony.

Once the new baby has arrives, many people do not feel that they want to have their children babtised – preferring to let the child make their own mind up when they are able – but still want to mark the arrival with some form of naming ceremony that includes the community.




Many couple these days wish to ensure that the new life that will grow into an individual, have the best possible start. These ceremonies are best kepy between the couple to avoid others asking “are you expecting yet” but may be celebrated with other who are close to the couple.


There is no set format for the ritual, but the aim is to bless the couple who are planning to conceive a child and ask that everything should run smoothly throughout conception and the pregnancy. Those who ascribe to a nature based spirituality may have way of honouring male and female withing their spiritual path and may wish to use these but the way in which the couple to choose to honour each other is personal choice.





It is appropriate to mention the sad event of miscarriage, when the new life does not come to fruition. It is not enough for the couple when others say “oh well, that one wasn’t mean to be.” No matter how early the miscarriage, the couple cherished the new life and it was very real to them.


A ceremony to say “goodbye” may help in some part to comfort them in their grief.





Once the baby has conceived, couple often wish to give thanks and again ask for a blessing for the pregnancy. This may be just between the couple or with friends and family again, honouring the couple and anointing are appropriate, as is a meal.


Welcoming the New Arrival

Once the baby has been safely delivered the new parents and grandparents may wish to welcome them.


This is best done after the mother and baby have left hospital, (if it has not been a home birth) perhaps on the day they arrive home. There are many restrictions in hospital – you cannot use candles or incense because of the inflammable gases (this is also a consideration for ritual during labour). In hospital the new mother baby are not alone and it is only when they arrive home that the enormity of parenthood is realised.


When parents and baby arrive home they might be greeted by the grandparents and the other children of the family 9if there are nay) with presents and representative tokens given to both baby and parents. Token for prosperity, wisdom and health are appropriate. The new family may be blessed but those present and the blessings of whichever aspect of the Divine Reality with which the couple work, requested. Thanks should be given for the safe arrival of the little one.


The new parents may introduce the baby to everyone assembled, each one giving a token and their blessing in turn. The baby’s lantern may be lit and the baby introduced to the tree or shrub that was planted at their conception.


Please not that mother and baby may be tired and the family may wish to be alone to recover their equilibrium before such a ceremony is performed. This is a time of adjustment for all concerned and the timing of this ceremony should be left to the decision of the new parents.



Many parents nowadays make the choice not to have their baby baptised into any formal religion, preferring the child to make their own mind up as to celebrate their naming with friends and family in a ceremony.


Yes, there is no legal requirement for naming other than registering the birth within six weeks of the event which is done be the registrar for births or the office which serves the area in which the child was born.


Parents or grandparents often conduct the naming ceremony or invite someone from their own spiritual path to do this for them, those with no formal belief may ask a close friend. Some choose to ask an experienced celebrant to conduct the ceremony so that family and friends are free to enjoy the day.


LifeRites holds a register of celebrants able to conduct the ceremony and guide the parents on what to include, and where these ceremonies can be held, and what should be included.




It may be appropriate here to mention adoption. Parents adopting a child may wish to have a ceremony to welcome the child into the family and to mark the taking of the family name. Naming many not be the most appropriate title for a ceremony of this nature perhaps “Joining as Kin” would be better. This ceremony may follow the same format as a naming ceremony or may follow ideas set out below.


Joining in Kin

Joining as kin is also a suitable ceremony for the amalgamation of families where partners each have children from a previous partnership. This ceremony may help to cement the new family structure.


Further Information

LifeRites has a network of Registered Celebrants who will be happy to conducr and/or advise on specific or general ceremonies where the individual does not with to do this themselves. If you wish to request this service, please contact us, giving is much information as to you spiritual path (if appropriate), location and date of the ceremony.


We have leaflets dealing with all aspects of birth and childhood – contact us for details.