in addition to the work i am doing around writing a trans theology, i am also trying to write some liturgical pieces surrounding different aspects of transition. the first piece i have been working on is a naming ritual. this piece is decidedly christian in a lot of the language. i realize that for some that might be a turn off, but i also think there really needs to be specifically christian rituals for transition (in addition to rituals from other traditions or no tradition, however since i do come from the christian tradition it is from that tradition i write). i would love any feedback you might have on this liturgy.
If you’d like to use it, you are welcome to, so long as you let me know that you are using it and credit me. you can find my contact info on the contact page.
By our names we are called into existence, but sometimes the name no longer fits and so it must be changed.
Jacob become Israel
Simon become Peter
Saul become Paul
And we carry new names, with new weights like Peter, the Rock.
New names that symbolize new roles.
Names are given by someone trusted, they are given to symbolize roles in the community. Names become spoken into existence by the need for a new reality.
So today we speak you into a new name. We speak you into a new role in this community. We recognize that names are important and so we honor your new name and your new place in this community, even as we also honor your previous name and contributions to this community, recognizing that that name and role no longer fit.
By what name do you wish to be called? (name is spoken aloud)
(reflection on the meaning of the new name; why the name was chosen. i imagine the minister or person leading this ritual to spend some time talking about the various meanings of the new name, or the person being named to share with those gathered the reasons they chose their new name.)
We recognize you, (name), as a treasured member of this community and by the name (name here) you shall be called. So say we all.
Congregation: So say we all.