• Patricia Bentley

lovely baby - lovely ceremony

Updated: Mar 22, 2019

Baby naming ceremonies are probably remembered by everybody in attendance - except, of course, the star of the show, the baby.  I became aware of this when a couple whose beautiful daughter's baby naming ceremony I had conducted a couple of years earlier asked me to do the honours for their second daughter.  It really is a huge privilege to be invited back - whether it's for a funeral after a second family member has died - or, as in this case, another happy family event.

Two years earlier, I had visited them in their Brighton apartment overlooking the sea and met their little girl, a strong wilful independent but enchanting beautiful child.

The ceremony took place in one of Brighton's Irish pubs.  The groom's family members amused with their tales and their Irish brogue added character to the brilliant atmosphere as they gave their blessings.  But the speaker I remember best was the female partner of the baby's grandmother.  She spoke passionately about her hope that the little one will feel empowered by the wonderful family she has and that she would hold her own in a world where sometimes women have to fight for their place, for their position in the world.  It was a powerful speech, widely appreciated by the guests.

So, when I went to meet the family again, the strangest thing for me was that this lovely little girl, who had made a real impact on me, hadn't a clue that we had met before.  We renewed our friendship as her parents and I chatted and made arrangements for baby number two's formal welcome to the world.

And this is where I got my second surprise.

This little girl was going to have an Irish name but not the Irish ceremony that her sister had.  This time the ceremony was going to be in the Grand Hotel, the poshest hotel in Brighton.  I spoke with the baby's step-grandmother. No, she said, she wouldn't be making a speech this time.  I think, like me, she felt that it had exactly the right impact first time around.

It was a lovely ceremony.  My favourite memory of the day was being offered a glass of bubbly.  You just know it's going to be a great ceremony when that happens before the ceremony has even started.

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