Rituals: Not just for Celebrants

By Elaine Voci, Phd.  Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®, Author and Coach

I love rituals, don’t you?  They have been around forever: rituals have been core elements of the customs and traditions of indigenous peoples over the eons.  Rituals can be found everywhere in modern life, too, and are often associated with religious and spiritual practices.  Rituals have even recently become a new interest area for workplace research and have been shown to strengthen desirable employee behaviors, to create a sharper mental focus on goals, and to help foster a sense of belonging – all factors that contribute to increased productivity.  An article published by the Harvard Business Review Blog Network showed how “rituals make us value things more. https://hbr.org/2013/12/new-research-rituals-make-us-value-things-more

As a Celebrant, one of my favorite tools in my vocational kit are rituals, rites of passage and ceremonies.  As someone said at our graduation ceremony, “Celebrants have never met a ritual they didn’t love.”  But rituals are also treasured by other people who appreciate creating and celebrating meaningful life events.  I recently read an article about a new idea called “Ritual Salons.”  These events bring ritual enthusiasts together with groups of friends and colleagues to create and utilize rituals for everyday life.  Here’s how the salons are described by the author, Daren Polito, “My salons are a laboratory where about ten friends and I explore creating rituals, doing one together and then discussing its impact over a potluck dinner.  (http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/blogs/posts/the-ritual-space/) I plan to adapt this great idea to my practice, and will be glad to share my experiences with you on this blog later in the spring.

As January arrives, one of my favorite rituals in our Web-based world is watching on television as the New Year is rung in across the globe. It’s a thrilling spectacle that brings me a direct experience of being connected to One Humanity.   It never fails to choke me up with emotions of gratitude, awe, and joy.  May I take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful year of rites, rituals and ceremonies – and,  from my heart to yours,  have a Happy New Year!!

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