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) Kiddush 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.]