s

my darlin wee one, The hale wurld welcomes ye: The mune glowes; the hearth wairms. Let your life hae luck, health, charm, Ye are my bonny blessed bairn, My small miraculous gift.

``My darling little one, the whole world welcomes you: the moon glows, the fire warms. Let your life have luck, health, charm, you are my beautiful blessed baby, my small miraculous gift.``

Bairns

When my baby grandson Lochlan was visiting recently, I was out walking with him in his pram one day, when an old lady who I’d never seen before stopped to have a wee look at the baby, and then she did something very familiar to people in Scotland…. she went into her purse, took out a silver coin and put it inside the pram, saying, “There you go wee one, I hope your purse is never empty.”

This ancient Scottish tradition is called ‘Hanselling’ and the giving of the coin is said to mean that the child will never want for money, and is another example of how we can use old but beautiful rituals in everyday life to bless, give thanks or to welcome a newborn into the world. Hanselling is just one of a number of old traditions that symbolise a collective joy and recognition of the importance of a new life coming into the world. But there are also other traditions around marking the birth of a baby that don’t elicit the same affection.

When my two children were born in the 80s, I had them both christened. Not because I was religious, but because I felt it was very important to celebrate their arrival, and the only real way to do that at the time was to have a christening in the church. However, the only ritual I can recall from the ceremony was the minister dripping water on my sons’s head to “wash away his sins”. Today I find that parents are every bit as eager to mark a wee one’s arrival, but most don’t want to have any religious rituals included. Luckily they have much more choice than we did in the 80s, and nowadays a child can be welcomed into the world in a number of lovely ways.

To celebrate the arrival of a new child, I offer 3 types of baby ceremonies – a Wee Welcome, a Wee Blessing and a Wee Naming (but of course you can include all 3 in the one ceremony!)

Wee Welcome

A Wee Welcome is ideal for those parents who don’t want to include a Blessing or a Naming, but still want to mark the important arrival of their wee one. There can still be songs, poems and/or readings. but the focal point of the ceremony will be everyone giving thanks for baby’s safe arrival. A Wee Welcome is also an ideal ceremony for a blended family or adoption ceremony, and is a perfect opportunity for friends and family to show their support to the both the parents and the child.

Wee Blessing

Scottish Baby BlessingThe purpose of a Wee Blessing is twofold. Firstly, it is to give thanks for the miracle of a new life and secondly it is a spiritual (not religious) ceremony, where friends and family can come together to welcome the wee one into the world and to bestow joy, love, laughter, good fortune, and good health for the future. In a Baby Blessing Ceremony, there might be readings and/ or poems and most blessings will include a symbolic ritual such as a Clootie Blessing, Gift Giving or Time Capsule Ceremony.

Wee Naming

Many couples choose to have a Wee Naming as an alternative to a traditional christening ceremony. Naming ceremonies can also have particular importance if parents belong to different faiths, if there are children from a previous marriage involved, or if a child has been adopted. A Naming Ceremony might have poems/ songs and/or readings as well as a symbolic ritual but the focal point in the proceedings will be when the child is given his or her name. 

Below I have tried to answer some commonly asked questions around baby ceremonies, but if you have a question that is not answered here, then please drop me a line at: lindy@ayedoceremonies.co.uk

 

Will it be religious?

Not unless you want it to be. Usually if a couple want to have a religious ceremony of any kind, they will choose to go to a member of the clergy. However, it is important to note the difference between a ‘religious’ ceremony, where the focus is on whichever God that particular faith group follows, and a ‘spiritual’ ceremony, which holds more meaning and focuses on our intention to bring love, happiness, joy and peace into this wee one’s life.

Is there a legal element to a Baby Ceremony?

No, a Wee Welcome, Wee Blessing or Wee Naming is purely ceremonial in nature and so there are no registration forms to fill in. However, following the ceremony you will receive a keepsake Commemorative Certificate.

Can we appoint Guideparents (Godparents) at a Baby Ceremony?

Yes, of course and many people do.

Can we include other members of the family such as brothers and sisters?

Yes! Absolutely and I can share lots of ideas with you about how they can be involved.

Can we have music?

Yes, absolutely! I provide all music as long as it’s available on Spotify or YouTube and it’s played via my portable Bose sound system. You could also choose to have a singer and/or musician play at the ceremony.

Can we include a prayer or a hymn?

Yes, of course you can. I’m more than happy to accommodate this but what I would say is that if the venue doesn’t have an organ then having a hymn can be a bit of a problem. You could choose to have the hymn played as a song with people singing along but to be honest this doesn’t always work very well. But if you do want to have a hymn, we can chat more about how this can be included.

Will we receive a certificate to commemorate the occasion?

Yes, you will receive a beautiful commemorative certificate in a presentation folder.

Can one of our friends give a reading?

Yes and I always try to encourage friends and family members to be involved as this makes the ceremony even more personal.

How much is a Baby Ceremony?

Please click here to find out more about Ceremony fees.

 

Lindy Irving, Celebrant

Handfasting

Click here to find out more about the ancient ritual of Handfasting.

Lindy Irving, Celebrant

Oathing Stone

Click here to discover more about the beautiful ritual of the Oathing Stone.

Lindy Irving, Celebrant

Quaich

Click here to find out more about the very meaningful ritual of a Quaich Ceremony.

Lindy Irving, Celebrant

Clootie Blessing

Click here to find out about the Clootie Tree, an 'Aye Do!`` original ritual

Lindy Irving, Celebrant

More Rituals

Click here to find out more information on putting together your Ceremony Vows.

Lindy Irving, Celebrant

Poems & Readings

Click here for a selection of readings that can be included in a Wedding Ceremony.

Lindy Irving, Celebrant

Fees

Click here for information on our Ceremony fees.

Lindy Irving, Celebrant

Celebrant Training

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Lindy Irving, Celebrant

Enquire

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