Rites of passage are common to every culture. It’s a term used for the ceremonies and rituals we use to mark and celebrate stages in life: from starting and leaving school, loosing teeth to fairies and learning to drive to other markers of independence and coming-of-age: 18th and 21st birthdays, leaving home.
Interested in training for celebrants? There’s a range of workshops out there provided by Humanists and independent celebrants.
These days, we often look upon a funeral as a celebration of life as well as an opportunity to mourn a death.
Funeral, ceremony, wake, memorial… whatever you call it, these goodbyes are all ‘rites of passage’ – events for friends and families to come together after a death to say farewell and honour a life. Ceremonies called ‘life celebrations’ may also be held before a death.
Dying can be a very scary prospect. The end. The unknown. Losing connection with those we love and life as we know it. Towards the end, people can feel waves of anxiety and euphoria in turn, whether in principle they are resigned to death, accepting of it or maybe even welcome it.