Imagine if you could celebrate what’s important to you

Hello there! Today’s blog is all about imagining what it’s like to celebrate whatever event is important to you.

Whatever has happened in life that you really want to celebrate, commemorate, or honour – it is possible! Sometimes, we can all fall into the trap of thinking quite narrowly about how we mark certain occasions. Our culture and society accepts, and even expects, that we have ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. But actually, there’s a lot more in life to just getting married, or the end of life. 

It’s really important for all of us to be able in life to stop and acknowledge when something whether it’s good (or not so good) has happened; and be able to mark that event in some way. You might be experiencing absolute joy, or maybe you need  a way to help you process whatever it is that’s happened. 

But even for weddings and funerals, there’s things you can do within those ceremonies as well that don’t have to mean that you have to follow what everybody else does or what’s expected.

There’s lots of misconceptions about where you are allowed or where you should have those ceremonies take place, who can arrange them, and what you can do within those ceremonies. For example, when you have a legal marriage ceremony, either with a registrar or a religious minister, there will be a very set format for what and how things are said (to ensure it is legal). But, with a celebrant lead ceremony, you can do whatever you want, you can celebrate in whichever way you want, you can be as traditional or non traditional as you like, as religious or as non religious. 

And that doesn’t just apply to weddings! With all types of celebrant-led ceremonies, anything that you want to celebrate, you can; and you don’t have to stick to a very traditional plan or route. 

There is absolutely time and space for tradition and you can go to town on it – after all traditions are there for their own, interesting reasons. And some of them are very popular – the giving and receiving of wedding rings for example. And there’s others that are less well known that you might want to pick up on – like jumping over the broomstick or a ring warming

Lots of traditions have got their roots in history, but they had to start somewhere! They didn’t always exist. So, by having a ceremony and doing it your way, actually, you’re creating your own tradition, you’re creating something brand new, that you (and maybe your children and other members of your family) can take forward. 

So what if the whole traditional wedding/funeral thing isn’t for you? There are other ways to celebrate! 

If you’re a couple, and you want to celebrate the love that you have between you can have a commitment ceremony. A commitment ceremony is purely about just the two of you, as a couple, celebrating your relationship, your friendship and your connection with each other in a really beautiful, authentic ceremony. 

Commitment ceremonies also work for families – it might be that you and your partner both come to your relationship with children from previous relationships and you are all now coming together as one new family. You can have a family commitment ceremony, where you’re all involved. 

And ceremonies don’t have to be big, huge, lavish affairs – but they can equally be as simple as just you, your partner and your celebrant. Or including a small number of guests too… the choice is really yours. 

If you’re already married (and maybe you’ve got a big anniversary coming up), you might want to renew your vows. It might not even be a big anniversary, but you just want to take a moment to reaffirm your vows and your relationship with one another. It could be that you’ve had events in your life that have brought the strength of your relationship and your commitment to one another into focus (such as ill-health or experiencing particularly hard times).

Is there anything more important to a parent than being able to celebrate their child(ren)?! Another more traditional ceremony is a religious christening to mark the birth of a baby. Quite often, when we think about what to do for this occasion, we think it’s either a religious service or nothing at all. 

Traditionally christenings or religious ceremonies are about welcoming your child into that religion and what that means in terms of that religion and faith. If that isn’t appealing to you, then a brilliant alternative is a naming ceremony. And it doesn’t have to be about a baby that’s only a few months old. It could be that your child is a toddler or older, to formally welcome them into your family and wider community.- a really brilliant way to be able to celebrate your child(ren). 

But naming ceremonies aren’t just about children. If you’re an adult that has recently changed your name – maybe because you now identify as a different gender than you were born with, and therefore you have changed your name; or another significant change in your life, such as a divorce. A ceremony can be a really beautiful way to celebrate now being known by a different name, becoming different person (or the person you always felt you were) and marking the start of a new chapter in your life. 

Whatever it is in life that you want to celebrate, we can create a ceremony around it. 

Helen, The Authentic Celebrant

There’s lots of different events in life that you might want to mark and  I’m really interested to hear what you might be thinking…is there something that’s happened in your life that maybe you’ve never heard of anyone having a ceremony for, but it’s actually something that’s really important to you? Comment on this post or send me a message to let me know your ideas.

Want to read more? Last week’s blog post was about why you would even bother having a ceremony in the first place and there’s also posts about individual traditions/symbolic actions and where they came from.

Want to know more about what I do? visit the website  http://www.theauthenticcelebrant.co.uk ; you can follow me on Facebook and Instagram (the authentic celebrant on both); sign up to keep up to date with ceremony news, advice and tips via this link.

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