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Monday, April 8, 2013

Ghanian Naming Ceremony

On Saturday we were invited to a Ghanian naming ceremony with a family from our church.  In Ghana, each child is given a name according to the day of the week that they were born.  Kofi is a rather well known Ghanian name due to Kofi Annan, the former president of the UN.  Kofi is the name that baby boys born on Friday receive.  Babies are also given names by their parents and this name is revealed in a wonderfully symbolic naming ceremony.  The baby is taken by a prominent member of the community and introduced to the world through a variety of actions.  The child is raised high above the head to be oriented to the sky, then brought down to the ground to know the earth.
This is the earth
The baby is given salt and sugar as a reminder that sometimes life will be bitter, sometimes life will be sweet.  The baby is given a taste of water followed by a taste of vinegar.  (The child does not like the vinegar!)
Salt, sugar, water and vinegar...representations of life itself
Call water water and vinegar vinegar as reflections of how important it is to tell the truth in life what it is.  Do not mask it.  The baby is then taken around to all gathered so that he can meet those who will love him and support him throughout his life.  He is specially introduced to his parents!
The father, big brother and mother
It is a sweet and beautiful way to welcome a new born into the world.
In our case, because the grandfathers were in from out of town, we also did the baby dedication on the Sunday following the naming ceremony.
Preparing to dedicate the baby
 It was a wonderful way addition to our weekend activities.
Asking the congregation to surround the family and all the children of our church with Christian love as they grow up