A Celebrant's Journey- Opening up to Naming and Welcoming Ceremonies
I am finding it interesting that my Celebrant journey is ever evolving. 5 years ago I attended the funeral of a friends mother.
It was a graveside funeral by a female Minister.
The Minister made us aware that she had not known the deceased personally. As the service progressed you would not have known that. I was very impressed and touched that despite not knowing this fine lady personally she opened up our eyes to this person’s life in such an honouring and respectful way that for me it was riveting.
It must have been playing on my mind because as I walked into my workplace at the time, I stopped in my tracks and had a compelling flash realising.. “ that’s what I want to do!” meaning, that at every opportunity I wanted to make sure that a person’s life was really honoured at this difficult time for the family.
As I was not in a position to do funerals as it required being available during the week with very little notice, I commenced my Celebrant studies, completed them, and then successfully undertook the registration process with the Attorney General’s department.
I started doing Weddings and loved it. I loved hearing the couples relationship stories and then to be able to guide them to make sure that together we created a ceremony that really reflected the people that they were, that touched their hearts, and allowed them to feel at ease on the day knowing that they could trust me to get it right in all areas!
I have to admit that I don’t do things by half. When I decided to became a trainer a number of years ago, I obtained the qualifications required, selected a role model or two that I admired, plus did extra study to ensure that I had the best skills that I could have to perform the job well. I undertook a 6 month communication course and went on to many years of being a Trainer in a number of fields, however my love was personal development and inner resilience for people to be able to take command of their lives.
The same with my Celebrancy. I obtained the qualifications, selected a role model that I admired- one of the best in Australia, Wendy Haynes, and then joined Coffs Harbour Toastmasters. I figured that If I was going to be out there public speaking, I was going to make sure that I conducted myself in the very best way that I could. That was over 4 years ago and I am still there every fortnight making sure that I keep my skills sharp.
The day finally came when I was in a position to do Funerals and it has now been 12 months and it is even more rewarding than I could have imagined!
Lately I have been getting inquiries about Naming Ceremonies so I decided that it was time to really look at this as part of my Celebrancy work, so I started pouring over all the information I could find.
It is opening up another new world to me. It is taking me on a journey of how important this naming and welcoming ceremony is to our children and our community, as my own experience did not instill in me the significance.
I was baptized and had a godmother and godfather but it sort of ended there.
I found out that naming and welcoming ceremonies have been practiced for 1000’s of years. I can see that a naming or welcoming ceremony for a baby/child has a real role to play on many levels. From giving a child a sense of belonging, being really welcomed into the immediate family, the larger family and the community, to understanding the significance of the given name in many circumstances.
I can see how amazing this symbolism would be for an adopted child or for blended families. How wonderful that through ceremony, a child’s family, sponsors, guardians, godparents, understand and commit to their role in the child’s life.
The child may not be aware at the time, however with the mementos, photos, certificates to look back upon, this beautiful significant celebration of such a significant life event, I would imagine, plays a very important role in the development of all concerned.
I will be embarking of this next phase of my celebrant journey with great respect and joy.