What are rituals and why are they important? I’ve been pondering this question for a little while and decided to share my thoughts.
What is a ritual? The Cambridge English Dictionary defines it as “a set of fixed actions and sometimes words performed regularly, especially as part of a ceremony”. This includes everyday rituals, such as having a biscuit with your morning cuppa or kissing your loved one goodnight. But they also include those bigger, rites of passage moments; hitting those ‘milestone’ birthdays, getting married, deciding how to ‘send off’ your loved one after they die.
In the past, many of those important moments were marked in a prescribed way, dictated by your chosen religion or by the traditions and mores of your culture. My feeling is that they were important because they were familiar and that meant they felt safe. You would know what to expect depending on the situation and everyone around you would know it too.
However, because the words and actions were fixed there would be little opportunity to personalise the ceremony to include the things that were important to the individual or couple involved.
As our society becomes more secular, people often feel that they want to retain some of the old rituals and traditions but don’t want to be tied down to a religious ceremony. Which is where Celebrants can really come into their own.
With a Celebrant preparing and delivering your ceremony, you can keep any traditional ‘rituals’ (walking down the aisle, ‘old, new, borrowed, blue’, the kiss) whilst also adding elements that make the ceremony truly unique. How about writing and reading your own vows, playing wedding ‘bingo’, developing a ‘gin and tonic’ ceremony to fit with your love of all things gin? These are just some of the elements (or rituals) that our brides and grooms have chosen to include.
Using a Celebrant also means that you aren’t tied to venues, numbers of guests and days/times for the ceremony. If you want a full moon midnight wedding in your favourite forest that can be arranged.
Talk to us about the rituals that are important to you and we’ll include them in your ceremony. We’ll even dress up if you’d like us to – Harry Potter anyone?