Every ceremony has a story
At the heart of each ceremony is a story unique to those who have gathered together. Storytelling connects us in a way that nothing else does; it opens us up and invites others to experience a part of our world. We hope you can find solace and inspiration in reading how others have used ceremony to help them celebrate, heal, and honour life’s moments and milestones.
Here are some stories from people in our community who believe ceremony has the power to change lives. Browse the different topics and categories to find ceremonies that resonate most with you.
We set out to design a ceremony about love – love for each other, love for our community, love for our planet. Planning our wedding helped us break free from convention and these rigid norms we thought we had to follow. Our wedding ceremony became a reflection of us.
My feeling of being a woman was so tied up with my ability to create a baby. I felt robbed, and yet I didn’t mourn, I didn’t grieve. I didn’t know how to. My husband felt like he couldn’t be sad, that he had to be strong for me. We pretended everything was normal. There was no ceremony, there was no goodbye. This was my new normal.
hen we talk about giving every day, it’s about being intentional with our energy. Giving is a practice. Giving compassion, kindness and gratitude are all acts of giving, yet if we don’t do it consciously, it doesn’t become a habit or ritual. I like to say my daily give out loud – I’ll be out walking and I’ll decide to do something simple, like picking up a piece of garbage. I’ll recognize that act of giving in the moment, say it out loud, and them move on with my day.
Some days, I meditate to clear my mind and find inspiration. Some days I pray and try and connect to a greater power. Often, I’ll end my meditation with a prayer – a thought for someone I know, or a manifestation of something I’m trying to bring into my life. I’ll sometimes even do the sign of the cross and namaste. As I honour both practices, and acknowledge their roots and intentions, I’ve started to blur the lines more and more, realizing it’s all one and the same for me.
There’s a ceremony shaped hole in our society right now. We’ve become so separate from each other and from ourselves when it comes to how we celebrate and grieve. I think it’s different for people of colour, since most of us were raised in the church, and there’s ceremony there. Yet, as people of colour, our experiences aren’t always valued or seen. I’ve learned that ceremony and ritual is something I can bring to people, and I’m trying to be more intentional with how I bring it.
Kids come to ceremony very naturally, it’s baked into them. Kids recognize what is so precious about life and they approach it with curiosity, with a readiness to be amazed. Ceremony enables us to approach something with respect and deference. Storytelling is the part about how you capture that. Kids quite naturally follow that arc in how they engage with everything. In an interesting way this is what ceremony enables me to do: to build myself a route to what kids connect to more naturally.