Think of the exchange of rings at a wedding or lighting a candle at a memorial. These are symbolic actions. They are a section in your ceremony where you actively take part in something to symbolise love, unity, life and so on.
So what symbolic actions can you use at a naming ceremony?
Well it depends on the type of naming ceremony, the age of the child(ren) and the purpose of the symbolic action so I'll show you three simple actions that can cover different situations.
1. New baby naming ceremony - fingerprints/handprints/footprints
If your baby is still fairly diddy then prints are a lovely symbolic action to include because they easily become a keepsake for you.
Example - fingerprint tree (there are lovely examples of trees, balloons and hearts on websites such as Not On The High Street and Etsy).
During the ceremony, the child, parents and key guests can start off the fingerprint tree with their prints. After the ceremony, all guests are invited to leave their prints too. The prints will then make up a picture that symbolises all the love in the room and those who came together to wish the family well and celebrate baby's arrival or adoption. It is also a great alternative to a guestbook.
You'll need baby-safe ink, wipes/cloth, paper or a picture as mentioned above and a pen for guests to write their names next to the print.
2. Family of four (or five or six) - sandblending
If you want to celebrate your latest addition, you want to celebrate the feeling that your family is complete or perhaps you are a blended family (also known as step and half siblings) then a sandblending is a great way to get children of varying ages involved and again it provides a keepsake. This is also a really nice way of having older siblings involved if they have been feeling a little pushed out.
Example - blended family of four sandblending
You need 4 glasses/bottles/pots each with a different colour of sand plus a main vessel to pour these into (you may also need a funnel depending on the size).
Each person ahs their own colour and takes it in turn to pour their sand into the main vessel.
It results in 4 or more distinct layers and symbolises the fact that you are now one family. Each individual remains distinct but your bonds and love cannot be separated.
3. Transgender naming - tree planting
A transgender naming ceremony is a celebratory ceremony for those who are starting to transition, who feel they have completed transitioning or want to celebrate the recognition of their gender and name in law for example.
As the person's transitioning experience unfolds so too will the sapling change and develop. The tree planting ceremony can make reference to the need for care and nurturing and equate this to the support required from the person's friends and family during the process. Nature is also great for positive mental wellbeing during this difficult and trying time.
Example - tree planting at home around the start of transitioning
You'll need a tree sapling, a shovel, a patch of ground where you'd like the sapling to go, a watering can. You'll probably having the hole already dug out and ready to go before the ceremony so all you'll need to do on the day is pop the tree sapling in, fill in the hole then water.
You could also have people write on tags with positive message of love and wishes for the future and hang them on the branches after the ceremony.
Hopefully you can also see that each symbolic action mentioned can be swapped about and used in the other categories too. Hope you enjoyed the read and it sparked your imagination :) Let me know what symbolic actions you love!