The naming ceremony is an occasion of importance to a couple, who choose to publicly out-door their newly born child or children to their families and friends, and also for the name they have chosen for the child to be conferred upon him or her.
It is God who gave Adam the authority to give names to all the creatures He created. In a world of physically created things, it is unthinkable how Man would relate to a world of other individual billions and its myriad of creatures, both flora and fauna, without their particular names.
God named His first Human creation Adam, and taught him how to name animals and later his wife. The culture continued through the naming of their children Cain, Abel and Seth and down through the ages till today. God has shown great interest in Names, since the meaning of a name can express itself on the character and personality of an individual.
God changed the names of Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, to reflect His intended purpose, blessing and destiny for their lives. Ultimately, they became “Father and Mother of many nations (Israel)” as the meaning of their new name implied.
God sent His angel Gabriel to Mary and the name “Jesus” meaning “saviour” was foretold before the child was born, because it was the Father’s will that He would grow up, and become the Saviour of the world.
Zachariah, the priest of God and father of John the Baptist, who had been dumb during his son’s pregnancy, suddenly found his speech on the day of his naming, and declared by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit “He shall be called John” even though, no one had ever been named in the family with that name.
IMPORTANCE OF PARENTS CHOOSING NAMES PRAYERFULLY
These biblical references on the importance of names and naming, is to help parents consider prayerfully what name they choose to call their child. The name given to Samuel was recognised in Heaven by God and the angels; and when God came calling the young boy in the night, He called out his name as “Samuel”. As names give our children their own identity, let us remember that the name will be recognised in heaven and on earth by God, angels and men.
THE NAMING PROCEDURE
ICGC pastors, elders, and church leaders, appointed by the senior Pastor may officiate such ceremonies in Greater Grace Temple, authority has been given to certain leaders to do this. Parents are to give reverence and appreciation to these leaders, who have been delegated the spiritual authority to carry out this function.
The pastor shares this burden of ministry with his leaders and commits himself to dedicating the children at a later date in the main church service.
Three items of Water, Salt and Honey are to be provided by the parents for the ceremony.
A clean glass, water in a sealed bottle, granulated salt and honey in a saucer or plate, and a teaspoon are to be placed in a tray, and set on a small centre or side table close to the officiating minister. Paper tissue or wipes should also be provided for the cleaning of fingers.
• The parents should be seated on either side of the minister
• The ceremony will start with an opening prayer of thanksgiving to God for the seed He preserved, watched over and turned into a mature baby, and his protection of the mother and child through the process of delivery.
• A couple of praise songs may be sung
• The minister will share the importance of the ceremony and make references to the significance of the Water, Salt and Honey
• He will ask the father to publicly announce the name, which the minister will in turn confer on the child.
• After naming, the child will taste the water and the honey with a teaspoon or a pacifier. The salt may be referred to as something the child will grow to appreciate when he or she is older and spiritually when he or she becomes “the salt of the earth” as a born-again believer in Christ’s body.
• After the final prayer for the child and parents, the bowl or plate of honey will be taken round, a drop is put on the finger of all present who will suck the honey and pronounce a blessing on the child.
• Gifts may then be received from parents, relatives and friends.
• Refreshments may then be served
This ceremony, its procedures and items of symbolism are not compulsory. The decision to have it done this way is not compulsory. Parents may choose to put a name on their child in the privacy of their homes and go through the procedure for Child dedication in church.