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  • Writer's picturePetra Tayler

Beautiful readings for your naming ceremony

Naming ceremonies are made all the more special by choosing the perfect readings. These might be delivered my parents, friends, other family members, or guideparents and they make for really beautiful moments where your sentiments for your little one can be spoken aloud. Here are some of my all-time favourite readings that are just perfect for weaving into your naming ceremony.

'Home' by Donna Ashworth

To my children

whatever choices you make in this life

wherever you go

whomever you choose

to share it with

I want you to keep

coming home.

I want you to know

that in this fast-paced

crazy world

in which we live

you always have a safe place

to rest your weary head

and your heart.

This door

it will never close

not to you.

I will try

with all my might

to refrain from judging you.

I get it

this is your life now

your path

and you need to walk it your way

but I am here.

I have walked many paths too

so if you need any advice

ask me

I will always try

to see it your way.

The wonderful thing about family is

we need never face anything alone

and in that vein

anyone in your home

has a home in my home too.

Fly high

dream big

live loudly

love fiercely.

Show the world

what you are made of my love.

Show them your light

let it shine out there.

And when your light won't beam

the way it should

I will be here to help switch it back on.


From How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

“I loved her, instantly. Of course, most parents love their children instantly. But I mention it here because I still find it a remarkable thing. Where was that love before? Where did you acquire it from? The way it is suddenly there, total and complete, as sudden as grief, but in reverse, is one of the wonders about being human.”

'Don't be Beautiful' by Nikita Gill

“They keep saying that beautiful is something a girl needs to be. But honestly? Forget that. Don’t be beautiful. Be angry, be intelligent, be witty, be klutzy, be interesting, be funny, be adventurous, be crazy, be talented - there are an eternity of other things to be other than beautiful. And what is beautiful anyway but a set of letters strung together to make a word? Be your own definition of amazing, always. That is so much more important than anything beautiful, ever.”

From Neil Gaiman's speech, 'Make Good Art'

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.”

'Reasons to Live Through the Apocalypse' by Nikita Gill

Sunrises. People you have still to meet and laugh with. Songs about love, peace, anger, and revolution. Walks in the woods. The smile you exchange with a stranger when you experience beauty accidentally together. Butterflies. Seeing your grandparents again. The moon in all her forms, whether half or full. Dogs. Birthdays and half-birthdays. That feeling of floating in love. Watching birds eat from bird feeders. The waves of happiness that follow the end of sadness. Brown eyes. Watching a boat cross an empty sea. Sunsets. Dipping your feet in the river. Balconies. Cake. The wind in your face when you roll the car window down on an open highway. Falling asleep to the sound of a steady heartbeat. Warm cups of tea on cold days. Hugs. Night skies. Art museums. Books filled with everything you do not yet know. Long conversations. Long-lost friends. Poetry.

'Born Yesterday' by Phillip Larkin

Tightly-folded bud,

I have wished you something

None of the others would:

Not the usual stuff

About being beautiful,

Or running off a spring

Of innocence and love—

They will all wish you that,

And should it prove possible,

Well, you’re a lucky girl.

But if it shouldn’t, then

May you be ordinary;

Have, like other women,

An average of talents:

Not ugly, not good-looking,

Nothing uncustomary

To pull you off your balance,

That, unworkable itself,

Stops all the rest from working.

In fact, may you be dull—

If that is what a skilled,

Vigilant, flexible,

Unemphasised, enthralled

Catching of happiness is called.

From 'Continue' by Maya Angelou

My wish for you

Is that you continue


To be who and how you are

To astonish a mean world

With your acts of kindness


To allow humor to lighten the burden

Of your tender heart


'Be in Love' by Donna Ashworth

Be in love

with your life

every minute

it's your trail

blaze it and blaze it brightly.

Be in love

with yourself

think of how you'd like to be loved

and make it happen

show the way for others.

Be in love

with your partner

really love them

as if there were no tomorrow

and all you have is

right here right now.

Be in love

with your home

never mind the mess

the things you don't like

pour some sparkle

on what you have.

Be in love

with your family

none are perfect

but they are your blood

and your history

you need each other in this life.

Be in love

with your job

look at all the positives

and be thankful you have it

if you can't

then change it

life's too short.

Be in love

with being in love

create that life

full of friendship

stolen kisses

unnecessary hugs

food for the soul.

From A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

“I have never been one of those people—I know you aren’t, either—who feels that the love one has for a child is somehow a superior love, one more meaningful, more significant, and grander than any other. I didn’t feel that before Jacob, and I didn’t feel that after. But it is a singular love, because it is a love whose foundation is not physical attraction, or pleasure, or intellect, but fear. You have never known fear until you have a child, and maybe that is what tricks us into thinking that it is more magnificent, because the fear itself is more magnificent. Every day, your first thought is not “I love him” but “How is he?” The world, overnight, rearranges itself into an obstacle course of terrors. I would hold him in my arms and wait to cross the street and would think how absurd it was that my child, that any child, could expect to survive this life.”

‘Welcome’ (Anon)

Welcome to sunlight

Welcome to the soft rain on your face

Welcome to the rush of the wind

Welcome to the hush of the sea

Welcome to much joy and a little sorrow

Welcome to birdsong

Welcome to music and laughter

Welcome to the leaves on the tree

Welcome to the miracle of words

Welcome to the whispering of rivers

Welcome to dreaming

Welcome to everything you can see and name

Welcome to your mother’s care

Welcome to your father’s smile

Welcome to the love of all here

Welcome to the world.

Songs for Our Sons by Ruth Doyle and Ashling Lindsay

Born on this star-scattered night,

Kissed by the cosmos -

A child made of moonbeams.

In your newborn cry, Songs of peace long for release. So unfurl your fragile fists, Little one.

The world holds its breath at the wonder you bring

All coiled-up potential, Like a seedling in spring.

So dance-up your dreams; Sing out your spirit-song And let the light that’s inside you, Guide you along.

Never change, Fib or follow, Just to try to fit in.

Be proud, free and happy In your own, unique skin.

Be a sequinned sparkler, A dynamic dazzler,

A kaleidoscopic colour-catcher.

Or a rain-bouncing, Puddle-pouncing,


Mud sculptor!

Honour your huge heart - Your feelings are real And pain is a big deal That crying can heal.

If anger invades you,

Breathe out long and slow

And let in the joy,

As the bad feelings go.

Your true power and value Can’t be measured in size.

So don’t judge or be judged By what’s seen with the eyes.

Be a nature-explorer, A wonder-discoverer

See the shapes inside snowflakes,

The path that the hare takes, Hear the rhythms the rain makes;

Birds singing as day breaks.

Keep a still place inside

That you can always call home

And know how to find it, Wherever you roam.

Weave wise words as weapons,

Be a barrier-breaking rapper

A champion of change

A fearless truth-writer

A tender defender

And non-violent fighter.

Knowing that we’re all the same inside, Rejoice in the differences you’ll find,

Be universally kind

And stand hand-in-hand With the whole human nation

In a chain-breaking, Life changing,

Mutual ovation.

So get ready for life, Planet earth has been waiting

For the gift that is you And the hope you’re creating.

Sing the song of your heart,

Be an enlightened wrong-righter And help build a world So much gentler and brighter.

Ready to plan your perfect naming ceremony? Drop me a message and let's get the ball rolling!

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