Naming ceremony rituals and keepsakes are really popular ways to make ceremonies even more personal and memorable for families. Here we explore some of the better known and most popular rituals or symbolic gestures included a Humanist Society Scotland welcoming and naming ceremony.  

Sand ceremony

A sand ceremony is a unique way to symbolise family, strength and unity. Just as the grains of sand can never be separated, neither will your family.

You can use different coloured sands to represent the individuals involved. The colours chosen could reflect favourite colours or each colour chosen could hold their own meaning.

You can include just the immediate family, or also grandparents, guideparents, extended family or friends. The choice is yours. 

The completed sand art makes a lovely keepsake for you and the child or children.

Contains of different coloured sands used in a sand ceremony

Hand, foot or fingerprints

As part of the ceremony, the child or children’s hand and footprints can be made as a keepsake of the happy occasion. This can be done with paints or modelling clay. You can then date them and perhaps frame them as a memento of the day.

Sticking with this theme, you could make a ‘memory tree’ as an alternative to a guest book. Your guests each leave their fingerprints or handprints, that will look like leaves on a tree, and add their name to it. Again, the finished ‘tree’ can be framed as a memento. 

Family handfasting

Handfasting, hand tying or ‘tying the knot’ is an ancient celtic marriage ritual. The celebrant uses ribbons, cords or other materials, each representing a family member, symbolising the joining of the family. 

The knotted materials are then a keepsake from the ceremony.

Memory box

Parents can choose to create a memory box as part of the ceremony. Examples include a scan photo, hospital name tag, first toys, clothes they’ve grown out of, a newspaper from the date they were born or the date of their ceremony, a gift from a sibling, letters from parents, grandparents or guideparents. The possibilities are endless. 

A child being handed a memory box as a naming ceremony keepsake

You can then choose a significant date in the future when you invite them to open the box, such as a birthday, their wedding day or on the birth of their own child.

Two male adults and three children waving and celebrating

Find your celebrant!

Start looking for a celebrant to conduct your humanist ceremony in Scotland.

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