Name changes can be both liberating and intimidating. Whether the change is brought about as a result of conversion, or by other means, taking a brief moment to recognize the holiness of the act, and to affirm the dignity of the recipient of the new name, can be transformative. This short meditation was designed to accompany my own name change ceremony, scheduled in just a couple months. It works as an accompaniment to a larger ceremony, or on its own.
Beyond our names—beyond the sounds made to call us, the symbols used to evoke us—there is a soul. Pulsing with life, electrified, animated with perception and perspective, each soul is a glimpse of Elohim. Beyond our place, beyond what others call us, or what we once have called ourselves, the soul may speak. In speaking, the soul may express a new name—a new arrangement of sounds and forms, a new symbol to declare itself.
Today, a soul prepares to speak. We prepare to listen.
In the midst of loving community, the name is affirmed. As God may be called by many names, so we, who are created b’tzelem Elohim -- in the image of God -- may be called in countless ways.
We call, and we are heard. We are called, and we answer. Amen.
[Following a minute of silent meditation, the individual undergoing a name change will state their new name three times. Following each declaration of the name, all will respond.]
Individual with new name:
I am __________________.
You are __________________. We hear you.
You are _________________, and you are nameless. The sparks of Elohim which reside in your soul defy categories, titles and labels. You are infinite, and you are finite. You are welcome, and you are safe. You are ___________________.
[Ritual concludes with a reading from the story of Creation, or from other relevant passage as Leader or Individual with new name sees fit.]