Life-Event Ceremonies

Birth, Marriage, Death and everything in between:  Coming of Age,  Menses,  Wedding,   Birth,  Baptism,  Important Birthdays,  Retirement,  Anniversaries, Wise Elder,  Life Celebrations, Memorials,  Bankruptcy,  Divorce,  Miscarriage,  House Blessing,  New Business Blessing,  Animal Blessing….  

We all pass through life stages. Some are celebrated quite easily, like birthdays and anniversaries. Others are connected to religious dogma we no longer want to emphasize. Like baptism or christenings, or passage into adulthood. Other passages are more awkward or ignored. Like divorce or bankruptcy. And others are experienced in a void of ritual. Like merging households or new business partnerships or house blessings and new business blessings.

Barry Coffin scultureThe community church used to be the place where we would go to celebrate or commemorate our life passages. If not the church, then it was the extended family that had a strong patriarch or matriarchal figure. In our 21st century world, where family is spread out all over the country and membership in community churches is no longer the norm, where will you turn to commemorate the passages in your life? Who will you ask to officiate a milestone that is important to you? What kind of person can create a ritual that will be meaningful to you, without the baggage of religious dogma and doctrine?

It is my honor to accompany you through important milestones in your life. If you want to create something personal to share with your circle of friends, please ask me. I will meet with you, listen to your situation your desires, your vision of the importance of the passage, and I will create a meaningful ceremony that will help you bring a spiritual dimension into your life’s milestones.

A young man was about to celebrate his 16th birthday. His grandmother and mother wanted this birthday to have an added dimension of “passage.” They invited me to a special ritual for just the family to witness: Grandparents, mother, sister and the young man. I asked them what they desired during the ritual, did some research to find the perfect reading and created a relaxed, friendly, positive, affirming ritual specifically geared to the family’s preferences. I spoke directly to the young man and conferred upon him a wise-woman challenge to honor all beings as he makes his way into the world of adulthood. I offered an affirmative prayer of dedication, and blessed the young man and each member of the family.

A family gave birth to a child but did not belong to a church or synagogue. They wanted to do a ritual of dedication similar to a baptism or christening, without the religious languaging. We met together so I 1givingBirthcould learn their spiritual perspective, and I put together a beautiful ceremony of gratitude, dedication and blessing for the child and his parents, grandparents, aunt and uncles. We did the ceremony at a beautiful lake front, with seagulls flying overhead. No way could I ignore those beautiful birds as I spoke my dedication to the child! He was figuratively baptized by the water, the wind and the spirit of Jonathan Livingston Seagull! May he live a life of ease and grace!

A couple had created a passionate relationship and out of it came two beautiful little boys. But the couple realized they were no longer willing to work together on a day-to-day basis to create a harmonious household. They decided to establish to separate homes and dissolve their marriage. They contacted me to help them commemorate this milestone and help them set an intention to honor each other and their two young sons. It was an honor to be a part of such an emotionally charged ritual. We stood around a fire and each of them ceremoniously dropped into the fire something that symbolized their union which was now being released. They have carried on in love raising their boys with a calm, loving support of them and of each other.

houseAnother couple was about to move into their first house. Neither the wife or the husband had ever lived in a single-family home before. Both had been raised in apartments. They were thrilled and a little bit anxious about being home-owners. We got together to talk about this milestone, and I created a house-dedication for them which we did on the day that they got possession of the house. It was a huge celebration for them, and they now hang the script of the dedication prayer at their front door for all who enter to enjoy.

A lesbian couple had been living together for 20 years when finally the state allowed their love to be honored by a legal union. I was honored to conduct a very personal, very celebratory ceremony that included the entire neighborhood, which had enjoyedholding hands their presence for many many years.

A young mother had a complicated pregnancy and was left with no choice but to deliver a still-born baby at 38 weeks. The sorrow was unbearable at first. But it became something manageable when they invited friends and family to attend a memorial service I created for them which honored the process, the child, the soul still awaiting to enter this dimension, and the family ready to receive it.

My personal theology is focused on Oneness.  Many of us are awakening to realize that this is the real Reality of life. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Everyone of us is a spiritual being, and each of us is rooted in divine Love and Life.  There is nothing we have to do to become one with “God.”  We are Divine. It is our work to awaken to that truth. And there is nothing we could do or have done that can remove us from the Divinity that we are.  “God” is known by many names. It is a presence and a power that is within and all around us, and it shows up as us. My message emphasizes good, possibilities, clarity, guidance, peace and love. I use affirmative prayer. That means that my prayers are spoken in a language of “knowing” not begging or supplication. Divine Good is available to every being. We pray in order to become aware of the good that is available to us, to open to it and to make it manifest in our lives. And, with all of that expressed, I am able and willing to create a ceremony that features YOUR language not mine.

DSC_8341Let’s create something that will lend importance to your passages of life. Let me know what kind of language you prefer to hear, what kind of activity you want to include in the ritual, who will be there and what elements you want to include, and together, we will create a ritual or event that it truly meaningful to you.

Rev. Pat Veenema

Leave a Reply