Viking Naming Ceremony

Vikings for all occasions, no name too odd!

Manaraefan Herred

Comments on this site should be sent to Roger Barry

             Some time ago I was asked to come up with and perform a Viking naming ceremony for a boy born to two members of our society.  Below is the ceremony I designed, it is cobbled together from fleeting references in a number of sagas and accounts by people who met the Vikings, I do not claim that it is in anyway true to the Vikings or any modern day pagans.  Most of the people involved were either Christians or various shades of non-believers in any religion.  The point was to welcome a new member to our society and as you can see from the accompanying photos all those involved and witnessing the ceremony had a good time and isn’t that the best way to welcome a new child to any society?

             Anyone may use this ceremony if they wish and one day I may be asked to make one up for a girl.  If anyone has any suggestions how a similar ceremony  might work for a girl I’d welcome the advice.

Hrothgar

Viking Naming Ceremony (Boy)

At a suitable gathering of the Landskab:

Principals: Chieftain, two Valkyries, Mother and Father, two sets of Foster parents.

Equipment: One Valkyrie holds a horn or mead, second Valkyries holds a bowl of salt, Father has his sword.

Positions: Chieftain stands facing the Landskab with the mead Valkyrie behind him to the right and the salt Valkyrie behind him to the left.  The Father and Mother stand behind the Landskab as far apart as practical.

Chieftain calls the Landskab to order.

Chieftain declares “The strength and unity of the Landskab comes from the bonds of friendship and family, today we will welcome new life into the Landskab”.

Chieftain declares "A new child has been born to the Landskab! Who bore this child come forth and identify yourself!"

Mother comes forward accompanied by Foster Mothers, pushing her way through the Landskab with child, and declares “I am (name………………….) and I bore this child”.  Mother stands to the left of the Chieftain with the Foster Mothers behind her.

Chieftain declares "What man claims this child come forth & identify yourself!"


Father comes forward accompanied by Foster Fathers, pushing his way through the Landskab, and declares “I am (name……………………) and I sired this child.  Father stands to the right of the Chieftain with the Foster Fathers behind. 

Chieftain takes a horn of mead from Valkyrie who is standing behind him and holds it before him, he asks the father "Do you (name…………………..) recognize the child of (name…………………..) as your son and swear by the Gods to raise him as a warrior of the Landskab?"

Father replies "I do so swear!" and takes the horn and drinks, he hand the horn back to the chieftain.

Chieftain holds the horn of mead before him and turns to mother and asks "Do you (name………………….) accept (name……………….) as the child's father and swear by the Gods to raise him as a warrior of the Landscab?"

Mother replies "I do so swear!" and takes the horn and drinks, she hand the horn back to the chieftain.

Chieftain turns to the First Foster Father and asks “(name……………….), if (name…………………) falls in battle do you swear by the Gods to foster this child and raise him as a warrior of the Landskab?”

First Foster Father replies "I do so swear!" and takes the horn and drinks, he hand the horn back to the chieftain.

Chieftain turns to the Second Foster Father and asks “(name………………….), if (name…………………….) falls in battle do you swear by the Gods to foster this child and raise him as a warrior of the Landskab?”

Second Foster Father replies "I do so swear!" and takes the horn and drinks, he hand the horn back to the chieftain.

Chieftain turns to the First Foster Mother and asks “(name…………………..), if (name………………………) falls by the hearth do you swear by the Gods to foster this child and raise him as a warrior of the Landskab?”

First Foster Mother replies "I do so swear!" and takes the horn and drinks, he hand the horn back to the chieftain.

Chieftain turns to the Second Foster Mother and asks “(name……………………), if (name……………………….) falls by the hearth do you swear by the Gods to foster this child and raise him as a warrior of the Landskab?”

Second Foster Mother replies "I do so swear!" and takes the horn and drinks, he hand the horn back to the chieftain.

Chieftain holds the horn and declares “I (name…………………) witness these oaths before the Gods!” and drinks from the horn and hands it back to the Valkyrie.

Chieftain turns to the second Valkyrie and takes the bowl of salt from her, he turns and holds it before him.

Father draws sword and dips tip into salt. 

Mother holds baby before father. 

Foster Fathers each place a hand on Fathers’ shoulder to support him.

Foster Mothers each place a hand on Mothers’ shoulder to support her.

Father holds drawn sword before baby and says "I have neither gold or silver; nor wealth which I can bequeath to thee, this is thine inheritance, with it secure prosperity for thyself."

Father places salty tip of sword the boy’s mouth (he should not cry if he is to great warrior). 

Father sheaths sword, takes son from mothers arms & holds him up before the Landskab and declares "Here is my son (name………………), welcome him to the Landskab!"

Landskab declare "(name………………….) we welcome you!"