My Celebrant Manifesto

by Elaine Voci, Ph.d, Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®

I was inspired to write a manifesto after reading a transcript of the most recent broadcast of “On Being” with Krista Tippett, featuring an article titled “The Monk Manifesto” by guest contributor Christine Valters Paintner ( in which she spoke of living life with intention, and having a clear sense of purpose and personal mission.  These are topics that often come up with my clients in life and career coaching, and they are at the heart of my own career decisions, including the one to attend the Celebrant Foundation & Institute to be trained as a life cycle celebrant.  Here is what Christine’s article prompted in me:

  • Celebrant:  Someone trained in the art of ceremony
  • Manifesto: A public declaration of principles and intention, from the Latin for “clear”

My Celebrant Manifesto is, thus, a clear public expression of my commitment to live a compassionate, regenerative and creative life while working in the service of others.  Here are my commitment statements:

  1. I commit to finding time each day to be quiet and grateful for my gifts of creativity and compassion, and to resist the larger culture of constant noise, stimulation and emphasis on ‘doing’ rather than on being.
  2.  I commit to offering hospitality by welcoming people who find me and seek my services to perform a ritual, rite of passage, memorial service, a wedding, a funeral and other celebrations of life that mark life cycles/milestones.
  3.  I commit to kinship and fellowship with other celebrants to help create a community of soul friends with whom I can share my deepest feelings, longings, and aspirations, and with mentors who can offer wise guidance for my work.
  4.  I commit to cultivating awareness of my kinship with creation and a healthy discernment of how I use my energy and creative gifts, letting go of what does not nurture me or others, in order to flourish in my life and in my practice.
  5.  I commit to bringing my best self, my fullest presence, to the sacred work I do, holding a heart of gratitude to express my service to the world with purpose and meaning.
  6.  I commit to the rhythms of my celebrant career to honor times of quiet and renewal that allow me to grow, to reflect, to contemplate and to honor my own internal process of being and discovery, resisting the culture of busyness that would define and measure my worth only by what I do/produce.
  7.  I commit to ongoing acts of service through my work as a celebrant, knowing that I have chosen this path of transformative human experiences to connect with others supportively to honor life’s milestones.

If you were to write a manifesto for your own career/life path, what would you declare as your guiding principles and intention?  How might you frame them in the context of your life and your work as a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®?

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