Welcoming Baby Ceremonies to Call Your Own

January 21, 2022


Across cultures, the birth of a baby is an occasion marked by rituals steeped in tradition. Birth traditions weave us into the fabric of our community, and the process of gathering serves as a form of rallying – a means of encircling the next generation with wisdom, guidance, support and blessings. You may be aware of Baby Naming (Judaism), Baptism (Christian), and the First Laugh (Navajo) ceremonies, or a myriad of other ceremonies rooted in various religious and spiritual practice. However, what about families who are secular, spiritual but less dogmatic in matters of belief, come from varied faith backgrounds or diverse family composition, or just wish to cultivate their own unique way of welcoming a child into their lives?

Introducing, the Baby Blessing

Don’t let the name fool you. While typically performed within the first year of a child’s life, these ceremonies are appropriate to celebrate any child, regardless of age and how they came to be part of a family (birth, adoption, blending, chosen family etc.). Often they are arranged between a family and an officiant, and personalized to take on a celebratory tone reflective of the values, hopes, and intentions of the family. Baby Blessings can be held in any venue, including a family’s home. Previous clients have rented chapels or churches, or utilized community spaces in their neighborhoods.

Guests usually include any person who the family would identify as important to their child’s life, someone they trust to draw on as a source of support throughout their child’s life, and as they navigate their unfolding role of parent. Guests cross generational lines, and homage is often paid to ancestors who are unable to physically gather, but no less play an important role in their child’s life. As a nod to tradition, some clients designate Godparents for their child. Others will invite siblings or other important people to formally accept an alternate role as a knowledgeable and trustworthy guide/guardian, omitting the religious terminology that does not resonate or align with their beliefs.

The content of a baby blessing ceremony usually includes a welcoming and expression of gratitude for those who have gathered, a reminder of the collective responsibility to care for children in our communities, a “blessing”, and specific stories or reflections that represent the unique gifts, talents and personality of the child being celebrated. Friends and family, siblings too may participate in the ceremony by making statements of commitment, doing readings, lighting candles, and telling stories. Your officiant can offer suggestions on how to include people should this be of interest to you.

In terms of length, I have found the sweet spot to be between 20-30 minutes, often because there are other children in attendance, and guests and parents alike get anxious about their child’s threshold to sit or stand for too long. This length gives us enough time to make a memory, without leaving anyone to fidget through a long sermon. A Baby Blessing certificate can be provided by your officiant as a keepsake of this special occasion.

As a threshold moment, marking new beginnings, officiating Baby Blessings offers me an opportunity to be reminded of the power of a community, and how necessary we each are in the lives of children. As a bonus, Baby Blessings also give me the privilege of being involved in some of my clients’ lives for more than their wedding day <3

Costs for a personalized ceremony tend to range from $300.00-450.00.

To get a sense of what a Baby Blessing can sound like, I invite you to read a few excerpts and check out photos in the gallery below, from wives Kaleigh and Laura’s Baby Blessings, for their daughters Kinsley and Lennon (shared with permission).

Blessing Kinsley

“Loved ones, what you are all about to witness here today is truly a celebration of love, and of life, and new beginnings. Her smile, laughter, and presence enrich the lives of all who will greet her. Only 10 months old, and already she has made a difference in this world. Today we will share aspects that create a truly unique ceremony that expresses the values and beliefs inherent in all of us. Laura and Kaleigh share a common belief in a spiritual higher power. They believe in the beauty of humanity and the goodness in all people. They believe in the richness of tradition and wish to share with their daughter the traditions of their families, so as to create their own spiritual journey.

Laura and Kaleigh, the journey of parenthood is one of amazing beauty, this is clear just to look at you both. The love that radiates from and around you and your daughter today shall change over the years. We gather here because it is our wish that Kinsley grow to be a person who truly loves her life. So it is only right that this ceremony should include your promise to nurture your daughter in all ways as she grows.

Godparents … While you are not Kinsley’s parents the place that you take in her life is an important one. Kaleigh and Laura trust your motivations and your judgment and they take comfort in knowing that although there will be times when Kinsley can come to them, she will also always be able to come to you for guidance and support. By accepting the role of Godparents you make a commitment.

We ask baby Kinsley continue to be blessed and loved throughout her life. May she be guided and supported through all that she does. May she always feel safe and protected in all things. May she constantly feel loved, supported and cherished. May she find and follow her path with grace and ease“.

Blessing Lennon

“Community, Laura and Kaleigh have invited you here to share in the gift that Lennon’s birth has been, to acknowledge her importance to us all, and to formally receive her into this loving and compassionate family....

With your permission Lennon, I rub the water on the top of your head to say: You are connected, protected, loved, and blessed. You are born already wise, with ways of knowing unique to you. May you always know this truth.

I rub the blessed water on your forehead to say: All your senses are blessed, protected, and awakened. May you always know this truth.

I rub water over your heart to say: Your heart is blessed so that you may feel compassion for yourself and others. May you always know this truth.

I rub water on both your hands to say: Your hands are blessed so that you may reach out to the world, accepting the abundance that life has to offer you, and in turn the gifts you have to use. May you use these talents for the greatest good. May you always know this truth.

I rub water on both your feet to say: Your feet are blessed so that you may connect with the earth, be rooted deeply in love, and stand firmly as you walk gently in this world. Know that your spirit is strong and it will guide you through this life. May you always know this truth.

With abiding confidence and affection for you Lennon, we send you forth on your journey of life. May you be filled with gratitude and wonderment, humor and fun, hope and perseverance so that you may continue to grow in wisdom and grace. And let that big smile of yours be contagious, your expressions stay priceless and your love for others remain, unconditional“.