One of the greatest joys of any ceremony is the joining together of family and friends in celebration of a particular event. Be it a wedding, the welcoming of a new child, the opening of a home/work space or a memorial to honor a loved one’s passing, the support and good wishes of one’s valued community are a treasured blessing.
All of these events mark a significant new beginning. The poet, John O’Donohue tells us, “when the heart is ready for a fresh beginning, unforeseen things can emerge….a beginning invites new gifts and arrivals in one’s life, new horizons that want to be seen.” I am honored to help you find the most appropriate approach to honor this beginning with a non-denominational service.
I have many years experience relating with opposite sex and same sex couples. As an officiant of a wedding, I work with you to create the words that express your deepest sentiments. By listening to what is important to you, I make suggestions to build a ceremony that is truly meaningful. I honor your union by incorporating loving details into an introduction, adding poetry, prose, scriptural readings or symbolic rituals to extend the meaning of your commitment. Guests and family members have an occasion to participate with you.
From the perspective of a teacher, artist, parent and non-denominational minister, I look for opportunities to highlight your unique personalities in your wedding or commitment ceremony by interviewing each of you.
Baby Blessings have existed for centuries and have most often been known as Christenings. In times past, new babies were welcomed into their community by elders and religious figures. Parents introduced newborns to family traditions and religious practices.
While formal christenings are still held in church communities, many parents choose to have a more familial gathering in their home, park or community center and are referred to as Baby Blessings or Baby Welcomings. As the minister, I look for ways to involve family members, friends, godparents or “guideparents ” who will be an influence in the child’s life.
The Baby Blessing allows all present to feel the miracle, hope and infinite potential of a new life and to acknowledge everyone’s responsibility to the next generation. It gives support to the parents who realize that raising a child requires patience, juggling and lots of energy in order to experience the joy and rewards of this new life. It affirms the intertwined lives of family and friends and invites celebration with good company, food and drink.
Memorials or Life Celebration ceremonies are newer terms used to describe an alternative to the traditional funeral service. They are held in a reasonable time frame after the death to meet the needs of the family. A body is not present. Attendees have an opportunity to honor the memory of the deceased, express love and affection and most of all, celebrate the life of the individual.
As the officiant, I share a brief biography of the deceased by interviewing family members. I invite guests to share memories, reflections and eulogies, making the service personal and very memorable. Creative elements add to a meaningful commemorative including live or recorded music, singing, poetry, photo presentations and candle lighting. Some families may elect to hold separate services for family, friends, co-workers, neighbors or community members. The location should reflect the personality of the deceased such as a private home, community center, park or favorite setting of the loved one.
A House Blessing or Office Blessing marks a transition and again honors a new beginning in a new location.
The blessing may resemble a traditional “house warming” where guests gather and bring a favorite food, plant or other small gift. The addition of a ritual allows an officiant to lead guests in a ceremony to make the space one’s own. The dreams, visions, wishes, aspirations and good will of the residents are called forth and acknowledged. It is a public statement of going forward in a positive way and is supported by the good wishes of all present.