Naming Rights Link Parents to God’s Creative Work

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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The burden a parent feels in naming their child floated to the top of our collective consciousness this last week, when the future King of England finally made his appearance.

"George Alexander Louis’ parents presented him with a name, but also with an identity. In selecting the name George, the young royals showed continuity with the British monarchy. Yet they also did something far greater than that: They offered a blessing to their son," wrote Rev. Christopher Keating in the Washington Post.

Keating notes that our culture is interested in naming rights ("the legal privileges of purchasing the right to advertise your brand on a sports stadium or something similar"). However, he says, "I don’t think we pay enough attention to the spiritual obligations and tasks associated with naming. Naming is more than just putting something down on paper. It is a holy task, an action deeply rooted in our human vocation."

From Adam naming the animals God created to the name God gave His son, scripture is full of naming traditions and symbolism. Keating calls naming children a beautiful privilege, and encourages the Church to recognize it as a holy ritual.

Read more of Keating's thoughtful discussion.