Baptism and Naming Ceremony
by Oran of the Sibylline Order
- This ritual was originally performed in a labyrinth, but any sacred
space with clear quadrants will do.
- The “Elder” is a respected member of the parents community
and may be a Priest or Priestess. Above all this role should be taken
on by someone who cares for the family and the child and supports them
- The ritual can be adapted for a male child, a single parent, or parents
of the same gender.
Cast Circle: (this should be cast in the manner to which
your path dictates.)
Parents approach Elder with baby.
ELDER: Hail Lady, Goddess, Mother. We ask that you join us
in welcoming this child to your moonlit earth. Hail, Lord, God, Great
Spirit. We ask that you join us in welcoming this child to your sunlit
earth. We also ask that this child’s ancestors, especially [ancestor]
and [ancestor] join us at this special time.
We have made this sacred space this evening to celebrate this young life
and spirit that through your care has come to us healthy and full of life.
Who names this new traveler?
PARENTS: We do.
FATHER: This divine gift, conceived in perfect love and perfect
trust, before the Lord, Lady, and all present, we name [child’s
ELDER: Lady, protect [child’s name] with
your vigilance. Let her breathe in the fresh air of the forest. Let her
be strong, free, and independent, but guide her search for her own path.
Protect her through the darkest of nights, and help her to ponder the
infinity of the starred sky.
Lord, guide [child’s name] in the
ways of kindness and courage. Let her be valiant and wise, and warm her
through her long quest for knowledge.
Parents take the baby to each Quadrant in turn and hold her up for each
----- East -----
MOTHER: Hail East, Powers of Air! Know this child, whose
name is [child’s name] Fill her with your breath,
and give her the gift of a strong, intelligent mind. Help her to soar
in the limitless sky of thought and imagination, and send her gentle breezes
to guide her on her path.
ELDER: [child’s name], take these books as a sign of
your first step on the path to knowledge.
Presents BOS and holy books to child (passing them to Mother), then touches
her with feather and offers own blessing.
----- South -----
MOTHER: Hail South, Powers of Fire! Know this child, whose
name is [child’s name] Light her way. Give her
the gift of desire, and an unquenchable passion for life. Warm her, strengthen
her Will with your energy. Send your light to help her know and face the
ELDER: [child’s name] take this candle
as a sign of the fire that burns in your heart.
Presents candle to child, holding up the candle so that the baby’s
eyes will follow the flame, then offers own blessing.
----- West -----
MOTHER: Hail West, Powers of Water! Know this child, whose
name is [child’s name] Wash her with the waters of hidden knowledge,
and help her to find the mysteries that hold meaning for her. Awaken her
gift of intuition, and help her to swim strongly in the dark seas of emotion
and empathy. Send your waters to cleanse her of doubt and confusion.
ELDER: [child’s name], take this mirror
as a sign of your search for the answers to life’s questions. Know
that you must know first yourself.
Presents mirror to child, anoints her with water from the chalice, then
offers own blessing.
----- North -----
MOTHER: Hail North, Powers of Earth! Know this child, whose
name is [child’s name] Teach her your resilience,
and give her the gifts of health and material stability. Give her foundations
that help her stand firm on Mother Earth as both Her child and Her guardian.
ELDER: [child’s name], take this symbol of earth, to
represent your inner strength and stability.
Presents pentagram to child, places a few grains of salt on her tongue,
then offers own blessing.
----- Center -----
Parents return with baby to Elder in center.
ELDER: [parent] and [parent], as [child’s
name] parents will you love her, care for her every material need,
and support her quest for knowledge and spirit?
PARENTS: We will.
ELDER: Speaking to the God-and-Goddess parents. The traditional
appointment of God-and-Goddess parents is a reminder to us that children
need many sources of support. These chosen people have a special relationship
with their Godchildren: they are there for them when they need someone
outside the home to talk to. They share their experience, and may act
as a “neutral,” loving advisor should the child need help
on his or her journey.
A parent moves with baby to the first godparent and asks the following
question. The Godparent then takes baby from their Quadrant slowly into
the center of the labyrinth and out again into the next quadrant where
the next Godparent is waiting. He/she asks the next Godparent the same
question before handing baby to them.
MOTHER: [Godparent’s name],
will you help to nurture [child’s name],
show her love, and support her if she needs you?
Godparent: I will.
Last Godparent returns baby to her parents.
Parents move with baby to center of labyrinth to join the Elder.
ELDER: Speaks a 5-fold kiss while the parents kiss baby.
Blessed be your eyes, that you may see clearly.
Blessed be your ears, that you might hear with compassion.
Blessed be your lips, that you might speak the truth.
Blessed be your hands, that you might help others.
Blessed be your feet, that you might walk the path of Beauty and Spirit
all the days of your life.
[child’s name], may Nature care for you,
may your Ancestors attend you, may you always know love, and may the
Gods always be with you. Blessed Be.
Close Circle and celebrate.