We created this baby naming and welcoming ceremony for my daughter that took place by the sea. Read the story behind the ritual here.
1) Gathering time: Play a musical selection as everyone gathers.
[We played “Ilu Finu” and “Here Comes the Sun.”]
2) Someone carries the baby in and places her in the arms of a relative who is waiting in a chair. The chair can be decorated as a Miriam’s Chair if desired.
3) Welcome remarks from the parents.
4) Sheheheyanu Blessing in Hebrew and in English.
5) Reading of “Ilu Finu” excerpt in Hebrew and in English.
[This can be prefaced with explanation of what the text is, or why it is meaningful to you.]
6) Explanation of the baby’s names.
7) Meet and Greet: Going around the room, each guest says their name and greets the baby with a wave.
8) Include any short readings that are meaningful to you or relevant to the baby’s name. Debra Nussbaum Cohen’s book has a wonderful collection of ancient and contemporary texts.
[We selected two, which were read by the baby’s aunt and great-aunt:
–“Blessed is she who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Psalm 118)
–“Who is she who shines through like the dawn, beautiful as the moon, radiant as the sun?” (Songs of Songs 6:10)]
9) Blessing over a daughter, read by the parents.
10) The prayer recited over wine on Shabbat, holidays, and other joyous occasions. and L’chaim!
11) Foot-washing ritual in the ocean: whoever wants to can join to dip their feet in the ocean.
[This part can include the m’kor mayim hayim blessing found here.]