Celebrating The Lifecycle
from the cradle to the grave
honour the endings and new beginnings in your life
There are many significant occasions in the life cycle - not just births, deaths and marriages! Life is ever changing - a perpetual cycle of endings followed closely by new beginnings. Endings are not inherently good or bad - they just are. It's how we deal with the changes in our lives that determines whether we can maximise the opportunity for new personal growth and self awareness.
Consider all the other milestones as wonderful opportunities to gather friends and family together to celebrate your unique journey through life.
Birthdays - any birthday!!
The beginning of adolescence is a very exciting and turbulent time for everyone, but in particular, for the young person stepping out into the world as a teenager. A ceremony which acknowledges and celebrates the young person’s life experiences and growth so far can contribute to a rich and rewarding transition on the roller coaster ride to adulthood.
Family Blending - Welcome to Family Ceremonies
There is an old African proverb which reminds us that ‘often members of the one family are not born under the one roof.’ The challenge of blending new families as part of a new beginning is often a difficult one. A highly personalised ceremony acknowledges the new family and welcomes each member as an individual with their own unique potential for contributing in a happy and positive way to the new family.
Children who are part of newly blended families need to know that they are loved and precious and important to all the new people in their lives - step parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends. A ceremony which celebrates the new beginning can help children and adults to adjust to different arrangements and expectations.
Engagement / Betrothal
The etiquette of engagement has changed markedly over the centuries reflecting the changes in social mores, the age of consent, the age of majority and family patterns. Sometimes the bridegroom-to-be asks his intended bride’s father for her hand in marriage, but it’s becoming more common for couples to tell their families about their forthcoming marriage rather than ask permission!
One tradition that has retained its place is the engagement ring which is a public display of their intention to formalise their relationship and become husband and wife. You may like to celebrate your engagement with a party in which you share with your guests your journey so far, your plans for your future and make some promises to each other in anticipation of your marriage vows.
Gather your family and friends for a great celebration of your love, and your hopes and dreams for the future! Honour your love for one another in a commitment ceremony in which you publicly declare your intention to live your lives together as a couple. While not legally binding, a commitment ceremony celebrates your physical, emotional and spiritual bond and unites you in true partnership.
Renewal of Marriage Vows
Reaffirm your commitment in marriage in a renewal of vows ceremony. Relive your marriage ceremony, or create a new celebration which reflects your journey so far, and looks to the future with all its possibilities.
Loss or Transition
A ceremony which is relevant to your experience of loss or transition, can help you to put the issues into perspective and symbolically lay them to rest. Only then will you find the energy and motivation to enter into your new beginning with positivity and joy.
Separation and Divorce
This can be a very difficult experience and can leave deep emotional scars. An acknowledgement of the disappointment, hurt and anger in a meaningful and symbolic way can be a significant step towards healing and can be empowering.
Change of Name
Changing your name in a ceremony can assist in coming to terms with the past and stepping into a bright new future.
Retirement from paid work is often eagerly anticipated but can occur before a person is really ready. Feelings about retirement can vary from relief to uncertainty. It is important for the retiree to acknowledge the losses, to identify the feelings surrounding retirement and be empowered to fully enjoy the leisure and freedom. In a uniquely-crafted ceremony, retirees can ask for support from their family and friends as they adjust to their new life and can share their dreams of continuing to contribute to the family and their community in positive way.
Coming of the Age of Wisdom
Honour your family elders and mark their transition to Elderhood. They are the witnesses to all the developments in our lives, and to the changes in society. Their life experiences are unique and valuable and contribute to the community as a whole. Recall their stories to celebrate their contribution to your life, and to say thank you for their love and influence.
Achievement, graduation, new career
Celebrate your courage to follow your dreams to successful completion, thank those who have supported you, and anticipate your delight and further success as you build on your achievements.
To make your new house into your own home, your ceremony might include the story of finding your house and the feelings you are experiencing about having your own special place. I can help you to create a ritual to cleanse each room of its old vibes, feelings and associations in preparation for a blessing and a celebration to make it truly your own. You may wish to share some of your plans for your home with your guests, incorporate a wine ceremony, a candle lighting ceremony, plant a tree, and of course, cut and share the welcome cake!
You may have some ideas of your own! The music you might choose to play at your house warming can reflect your own good feelings about this new venture which may represent a turning point or transition in your life.
Funeral and Memorial Services
A Funeral Ceremony is...
- a time of mourning
- a time to share grief
- an opportunity to pay tribute to the person who has died
- an acknowledgement of past relationships
- a step towards healing
- a time to nurture family and friends
- a celebration of a life once lived
Some letters of thanks :
It was a sad day just before Christmas when my father passed away and I called on your skill as a celebrant to help us through the funeral. I know it was a particularly busy time for you both personally and professionally and the time you gave us was far more than we would have imagined. Your patience, warmth, genuine sincerity, sensitivity and attentiveness in our time of grief were overwhelming. You created the space and opportunity to share our memories of dad and respected our wishes and ideas. Your beautiful words so accurately represent this in the ceremony in a way that captured the essence of the man he'd been and his relationship with his family.
The ceremony was beautiful reflecting our personal, cultural and spiritual beliefs and individually tailored with some very special touches creating an uplifting and joyous ceremony which gave us the opportunity to pay tribute to his life. Your approach was caring, supportive and professional, and helped us as a family to share our grief and assist with the healing process. On behalf of my family I would like to thank you Merrilyn, for the incredible effort you made at a highly emotional time. You helped to make this time of grief a celebration of my father's life. Thanks again.
Thank you for your wonderful services for Jason's funeral. Your kindness and support is greatly appreciated.
I'm taking this opportunity to THANK YOU for the way you conducted the service for my dad last Saturday. Mum made an excellent choice, as your care and feeling certainly shone through. Several of my friends commented on what a lovely person you are. Thank you also for your loving support towards Mum. I'm sure it has helped her through this difficult time.
Thank you so much for your warmth, caring and professionalism during this difficult time for us. I know I can speak with confidence on behalf of the whole family to express our most sincere thanks. Warmest regards,
A Funeral Ceremony for your baby is ...
- the hardest thing you’ll ever do
- a time to express your love for your baby who died
- a recognition of your baby's importance in your family … always
- an opportunity to share lasting memories of your child
- a time to share grief with your loved ones
- a time to reflect your thoughts, feelings and emotions in ways that are right for you
A Memorial Service is ...
- similar to a funeral service
- a celebration of a precious and unique life
- is usually held at a later date - after burial or cremation
A living funeral is ...
- one which celebrates the life of a person suffering a terminal illness
- offers the opportunity to celebrate your own life and your relationships
- This way you spend time with your important people giving them the chance to thank you for your influence in their lives, you can speak your own truths, say your goodbyes ... and enjoy the party afterwards!