Ceremony and Rites of Passage
Our culture often overlooks the value of ceremony and ritual to mark life transitions and rites of passage. The keystone events of birth, marriage and death continue to be honoured with family and community, yet the religious institutions who have overseen these rites for centuries have less cultural significance today and many people find themselves uncertain how to meaningfully mark these profound transitions in our lives.
Other rites of passage - such as entering adulthood, or menarche and menopause are not widely acknowledged and yet these too are significant times of change where we cross from one phase of life into another and these transitions deserve to be celebrated and honoured to support us on our life journey.
Ritual and ceremony has been a way to mark transition in cultures around the world and throughout time. Ritual which means ‘thing done’, is a way of both symbolising and enacting the change. The three stages of ceremony of beginning, middle and end create a special or sacred space wherein the activity of honouring, marking and making transition takes place, and then from this special place the space then opens out back into the flow of life.
Ceremony can be a highly creative and enjoyable communal activity where people comes together to contribute and participate in the event and through their involvement in the process make a direct and meaningful connection to the experience both for themselves and those they are witnessing.
Some suggestions for a simple naming ceremony to
welcome a new child
Glennie Kindred has some wonderful books and articles to help create ritual and ceremony www.glenniekindred.co.uk She can also refer you to celebrants who have trained with her and Annie Keeling.