Celebration of Life

When someone is born we celebrate their entrance into our world and our lives.  We feast and celebrate when a child is born.  We celebrate each year that passes with birthday parties, marking the annual ceremony of when someone’s life began.  Why should the end of life be any different, why focus on the negative aspect of a person leaving us when we should look back and celebrate all that they have accomplished?

Celebrations of Life are becoming popular, often organised by hospices to increase the quality of life for the dying patient and to give support to the family.

They are also being organised by individuals who want to be present, and indeed to be the centre of attention, at the last celebration of their lives.  It is a time to honour and appreciate the living. 

They want to enjoy their own funeral and the opportunity it gives them to see for the last time their friends, relatives, former colleagues, neighbours, team mates and those whose lives have touched theirs.

You can acknowledge important relationships, recount stories, give and receive comfort, and answer questions. You can smell the flowers, hear the eulogy, readings, prayers, and music. You can speak of your own life and legacy, about what mattered to you and motivated or inspired you over your lifetime, and about what your relationships have meant to you. You can convey hopes, dreams, and last wishes and share in the tears and in the laughter.

Having a Celebration of Life doesn’t mean there can’t be a traditional funeral after death. It simply means that there is a ceremony with the person before they are gone, and they get to enjoy life with those they love before they must go, and hopefully pass with renewed good memories and the feeling that they’ve made peace with their life, peace with those in their life, and peace with their eventual death.

Katie and James Kayak Ceremony

Katie and James celebrated with a ceremony on South Milton Beach in Devon.  Each guest wrote wishes for the couple on rice paper and made them into boats.  Katie and James read such beautiful heartfelt Vows to each other then led all the guests in Kayaks out to the rock to release the paper boats to the elements.

After a delicious BBQ, prepared by James’ dad and brother, we sat watching the sunset

Renewal of Vows – 40 years

June and Tom celebrated their Renewal of Vows after 40 years together!  Their ceremony was held in their garden and when it rained – we all ran into their gorgeous large sun room.  They both told stories of how they met and first impressions of each other, which made everyone laugh!

Their children and grandchildren made a Circle of Blessing around the couple and, as each said a few words, passed June and Tom’s wedding rings around the ribbons.

We celebrated with Champagne and afternoon tea.  Perfect!

Ceremonies and Children

When you decide to celebrate your love in a Wedding Ceremony or Renewal of Vows, include your children as they are such a big part of you both.  They can be Ring Bearers, place flowers in a vase, light a candle, join in a Sand Ceremony and Hand Fasting ceremony and, of course hand out the chocolates for the Chocolate Ritual!  They will remember your day for the rest of their lives.

Renewal of Vows

Whether you have been together for one year, 35 years or even 75 years!  A Renewal or Vows ceremony reaffirms that your relationship has grown and means more to you than ever before and you will grow even closer in the future.   

A marriage can be tough but is cherishing and forgiving, settling for less than perfection, and compromising over the daily irritations in order to become stronger over time.  

A husband and wife can have conversations without saying a single word and they fall in love many times……always with the same person.

Your ceremony can include: walking down an aisle, giving and blessing of rings, exchanging of vows, lighting of candles, poetry, even religious or spiritual words. Symbolic Rituals to unite you could include Rose Ceremony, Sand Ceremony, Hand Fasting and Jumping the Broom, often coupes choose all of these!  I have even written Cocktail Rituals and Chocolate Ceremonies to make the wedding as personal and unique as you are.  Part of the fun is choosing which ones suit you the best! 

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