A lovely local community hall in Gloucestershire was the setting for both the ceremony and her birthday party. We held the ceremony in a corner of the main hall, with all the children sitting in the front row, close to the ‘action’. There was a box for all present to record and post “Wishes for Willow” and a drawing of a bare willow tree that family and friends were asked to add leaves to by putting their fingerprint and name as a record of the day. We also remembered loved ones, who although no longer with us, remain present in our hearts.
The ceremony began with pledges from Willow’s parents, her grandparents and her 5 ‘guide parents’. All made commitments to give Willow all the love, protection and guidance she needs as she grows up and beyond. Willow’s mummies and some of her guide parents read personal promises.
We told the story of the love that led to Willow’s creation, how her parents chose her name, and the qualities associated with it, which include tenacity, flexibility, strength and healing. Her mummies then sprinkled rose water on her feet to complete the naming ritual.
We ended our ceremony by going outside. Here, Willow’s parents released balloons for missed loved ones, then everyone released balloons in celebration.
It was a truly meaningful and heartfelt occasion and I am sure Willow will treasure the mementos of the day her parents have saved for her.
For more information about naming ceremonies see Family and Community.
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