What happens at the Ceremony of Ones, and what is unusual about it this year?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 2 of The Giver Jonas and his family talk about the upcoming ceremonies in December. As they discuss the Ceremony of Ones, the noisiest of the ceremonies, Jonas remarks, "I enjoy the naming." Then, his father confides in his family that he has secretly looked at the list to see what the name of the baby he has been caring for will be if he makes it to the Naming. He saw the name "Gabriel." 

Then, in Chapter 6, it is the time for the Ceremonies. For the first ceremony, the Naming, the Nurturers bring in the "newchildren." Watching for his father, Jonas finally locates him and makes eye contact. His father waves with the hand of the baby he holds; however, he is not Gabriel. For,

Gabe was back at the Nurturing Center today, being cared for by the night crew. He had been given an unusual and special reprieve... and granted an additional year of nurturing before his Naming and Placement.

Normally, if a child has not matured properly, he is released. But Gabriel has been fortunate because Jonas's father seems to care for him.