Poems and Readings for a Christening or Naming Ceremony
Most of the following poems and readings could be used for either a christening or naming ceremony, although some celebrants do not permit references to God in a naming ceremony. If in doubt speak to the priest or celebrant about your choice of readings.
Being Parents Children Learn what they Live
If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn;
If children live with hostility,
They learn how to fight;
If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy;
If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty;
If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient;
If children live with encouragement,
They learn to have confidence;
If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate;
If children live with fairness,
They learn justice;
If children live with security,
They learn to have faith;
If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves;
If children live with love around them,
They learn to give love to the world.
Dorothy Law Nolte
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
“Walk a little slower Daddy” said a child so small
“I’m following in your footsteps and I don’t want to fall.
Sometimes your steps are very fast,
Sometimes they’re hard to see;
So walk a little slower Daddy,
For you are leading me.
Someday when I’m all grown up,
You’re what I want to be;
Then I will have a little child
Who’ll want to follow me.
And I would want to lead just right,
And know that I was true;
So walk a little slower Daddy,
For I must follow you.
A Mother’s Wish
I hope my child looks back on today
And sees a mother who had time to play.
There will be years for cleaning and cooking,
But children grow up when you’re not looking.
Tomorrow I’ll do all the chores you can mention
But today, my baby needs time and attention.
So settle down cobwebs; dust go to sleep,
I’m cuddling my baby, and babies don’t keep.
A Poem For Parents
There are little eyes upon you,
And they are watching night and day;
There are little ears that quickly
Take in every word you say.
There are little hands all eager
To do everything you do;
and a little boy who's dreaming
Of the day he'll be like you.
You're the little fellow's idol;
You're the wisest of the wise;
In his little mind, about you
No suspicions ever rise.
He believes in you devotedly,
Holds that all you say and do,
He will say and do in your way
When he's grown up like you.
There's a wide-eyed little fellow
Who believes you're always right;
And his ears are always open,
And he watches day and night.
You are setting an example
Every day in all you do;
For the little boy who's waiting
To grow up to be just like you.
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