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The Healing Power of Rituals in Every Stage of Life

Uncategorized May 18, 2020

As life's milestones pass by while many parts of the globe remain under a Stay at Home Order, we are all feeling the importance of celebrations and rituals to mark the rites of passage that are passing us by; prom, graduations, weddings, Mother's Day, birth of a child, or the death of a loved one. The general public has adapted with drive-by birthday celebrations and virtual proms, but we find families are still reeling for wedding and funerals lead by trained professionals. We had no idea that our "Performing Rituals" course with Lois Heckmen would begin in the middle of a pandemic, but we are finding that the timing has the possibility to be more beneficial to others than we ever could have planned. 

With the increasing number of people who do not identify with a religion, there is a growing need for secular rituals of all types. This is particularly true when it comes to celebrating the end of a life. Funerals, memorials, end of life celebrations, and living funerals, all provide opportunities for celebrants to offer a much needed service to a growing population. These ceremonies are a particularly important skill for a Celebrant to master, which is why our End of Life Celebrations Track is four-course intensive path toward a specialized Associate Celebrant Certificate. This track begins on June 3, 2020 with the "Performing Rituals" course. 

Celebrants and Officiants are responsible for knowing the "HOW" when it comes to performing meaning rituals (we got the list of types and tips covered!), but your clients may need help finding the words to explain "WHY" they feel the need for a ceremony during a particularly difficult time in life (divorce, deployment, loss). When it comes to marriages, couples can fall into the habit of ignoring the ritual all together. So why are rituals important? Take it away, Liz!

“This is what rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don't have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down. We all need such places of ritual safekeeping. And I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn't have the specific ritual you are craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken-down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resourcefulness of a generous plumber/poet.”- Elizabeth Gilbert, "Eat Pray Love"

One thing we know for sure, it is the ceremony and the ritual(s) performed that individuals, families and guests remember most-- and they NEVER expect it! Rituals are simply part of being human-- daily, annually, or once in a lifetime-- they are part of the fabric that makes for a rich life. It's easy to overlook something so inherent, and it's our job to do the legwork that keeps rituals a seamlessly meaningful part of life. 

Learn more about our End of Life Celebrations track, and each individual course requirement in our Learning Library, click the image below! 




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