West Sussex County Times

A naming ceremony for a baby girl

- By Jean Francis

Susie had always been enchanted by the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty where, at her christenin­g, 12 fairies were invited to be godmothers, who offered personal gifts to the baby. When Susie had a baby daughter she invited 12 women friends, chosen for their special qualities, to be fairy godmothers to Isla. They were asked to wear red hats with matching highheels.

Everyone gathered for the ceremony in which Isla Rose was welcomed and named.

Islalay wrapped in a shawl in her mother’s arms as I read the story of Sleeping Beauty, inviting each godmother in turn to come to Isla and announce her gift:

Anna’s gift was spiritual strength.’ Anna gave Isla a special crystal representi­ng those qualities

With an elegant twirl, Suzie gives Isla the gift of dance, offering to teach her as soon as she is able.

Liz’s gift to Isla was a sparkly pink ball, so that she can bounce to

wherever she needs to be.

Anne presented Isla with a bunch of lavender and sweet-scented herbs. This she passed around the circle, asking that each person imbue it with the sweetness of love and friendship. These qualities were her gift to Isla.

Chelsea gifts Isla a love and respect for nature. Having recently returned

from the Amazonian Rainforest, she gives Isla a necklace crafted from seeds, made by the natives.

Chloe’s gift to Isla was a velvet purse full of crystals, that in her wisdom she is at all times gentle with herself.

A collection of feathers is Margaret’s gift to Isla as a symbolic invitation to fly high, above all expectatio­ns.

The love of music is gifted by Karen, who plays a tune on a hand-made wooden flute before placing it amongst Isla’s gifts.

Beauty, inside and out is Isla’s gift from Sarah. These qualities are symbolised by a bonsai tree with beautiful foliage.

A bouquet of roses is given to Isla by Pearl, ensuring that her cheeks always reflect the fairest blossoms.

Kathryn gifts Isla a star, saying ‘May your eyes be full of twinkling stars to remind you of the magic of life’.

Carrie’s sense of humour was reflected in her gift, a book of jokes for children.

This is an edited version of one of 30 baby naming ceremonies in my yet unpublishe­d book.

Jean Francis is a One Spirit Interfaith Minister and celebrant. She is the founder and inspiratio­n director of Last Wishes, an organisati­on which seeks to encourage people to think about their legacy and have open conversati­ons with their loved ones about their end-of-life wishes.

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 ??  ?? Isla’s naming ceremony was inspired by Sleeping Beauty
Isla’s naming ceremony was inspired by Sleeping Beauty

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