As many people move away from organised religion the concept of a Baptism or Christening is not as common as it was. Naming ceremonies are giving individual a choice in how they celebrate the introduction of a new family member (alongside the wonderful concept of Adoption Ceremonies) …
However, many people feel they have missed the boat as a child moves of the toddler phase – they are already known in their community so what is the purpose of holding a ceremony now?
And so, we are now seeing a rise in Coming of Age ceremonies – in fact I am organising one for a family as we speak!
A Coming of Age ceremony was once a critical part of a young person’s life – girls would have dances and enter society as young women. Many cultures such as the Japanese still hold these celebrations - many religions honour them - Jewish, Pagan ( Wiccan).
A Celebrant service combines the family inclusiveness of a Naming with the purpose and meaning for entering the adult world.
The young person is fully involved in the creation of the service.
Rather than god-parents they might choose mentors – individuals they see as part of their own support network and who they turn to for guidance. A chance to also give thanks to those that have supported them up to this time.
It’s a chance for them to express their hopes and dreams – to talk of their goals for the future.
It’s a chance for those in their life to talk of their love for them and their wishes for them in life. – something that we often do in a Naming but which the baby or young child has no memory of.
They might create affirmations of the person they wish to be – defining their intentions.
It is a chance to declare - This Is Me !
Together with their Celebrant they can create and include something symbolic which grounds them for future – perhaps planting a tree which blossoms as they blossom and grow or get arty and collect handprints of all those present at the ceremony to mark them being in their lives – a reminder they always have someone to turn to.
The script would then be a lasting reminder of the words spoken – words that will hopefully stay with them and carry them through life challenges in the future.
It is wonderful as a Celebrant to be asked to create and officiate at this type of ceremony – to get to understand what the young person wishes in their life and hear things directly from them. And it builds a bond between the family and carers present.
If you would like to talk about booking a Coming of Age Ceremony, then do drop us an email via the website. We would be honoured to be involved.