This consists of gathering everyone together in a circle. First, light a candle to represent the start of the ceremony.
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Then state the intention for the gathering. You can then say a prayer, invocation or poem to anchor the intention. Because this is a community ceremony, each woman states her name and a short intention for being there to bring her energy into the collective field and have everyone feel connected. Once the container is open, the woman going through the rite of passage shares her limited beliefs, fears, doubts and worries about the transition. If she is open to receiving support from the circle, others may contribute their encouragement to release those fears.
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Once she has shared all of her fears, she acknowledges the death of her old self. With any rite of passage, you are transitioning out of one stage and into the other and will never be the same again. By acknowledging the death, we are then reborn and learn from the lessons of our past.
She can share the lessons she has learned so far on her journey leading up to this rite of passage, and acknowledge the shadow of death and all that she feels about it. A few ways to physically demonstrate this in ritual form is: walking down a pathway in the middle of the circle, the women can all make a tunnel where she walks through the middle, or the ones who have not been through this rite of passage stand behind her while the ones who already have stand in front of her.
Next, she sets her intention for the next stage of her life. What does she want to create? What is she looking forward to?
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What desires does she hold in her heart? Once she speaks about her future, she can then either cross over a line marked before her, or do something to symbolize the passage to the other side. Once she feels complete with speaking about her journey, the community then offers blessings. Those who have completed this rite of passage already can share inspiring and empowering stories about their own transitions. Those who have not can share encouragement and support for who they see her becoming.
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A ritual such as creating a dreamcatcher, birthing necklace or painting symbolizes the community putting their collective intentions drawn from this Ceremony into an object to remind her that she is supported. Finally, the community places healing hands on her to give her nurturing touch and let her know they are physically there for her when she makes it to the other side.
Then everyone eats together usually potluck style to ground the energy and shift from sacred to social space. Using this format, the community can then add in specific rituals that pertain to the type of Blessing it is. Most significantly, the community shows up to give their energetic, emotional and physical support to the woman so that she finds the courage, strength and faith to go through this transition. Rarely do we talk about the grief and fear that a woman experiences as she finds herself in the midst of transition.
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By performing these Blessing Ceremonies for the women in our lives, we reinforce sisterhood, letting women know they are not alone on their journey, giving them a safe space to talk about what they are experiencing and permission to feel all that is coming up. Through Blessing Ceremonies, we normalize and integrate the shadow, creating healthier, more empowered women on the planet.
With this level of nurturing and support, women feel so much more empowered as they pass from Life Season to Season, from one stage to the next, finding life more meaningful, rich and sacred. Have you been given or performed a Blessing Ceremony? What was your favorite part?
Please contribute any rituals that you loved so that we can collectively share.
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If you are in need of a Blessing Ceremony, share this with your sisters to help you create one for yourself; you deserve it. After developing a proven curriculum for circle, Tanya has been training women around the world how to create and lead their own circles. She is known as a tribe builder and web weaver, with a special talent to create communities wherever she goes. Catholic dogmas and doctrines relating to death and resurrection have been reflected in the liturgy, devotions and customs surrounding the death and burial of the faithful.
Christian belief in the sacredness of human life, here and in the world to come, must be reflected in the Christian response to death. The private and liturgical prayers, the meditation and reflection, and the ceremonies and rites connected with the funeral and committal express our participation in the great Paschal Mystery and its promise of eternal union with almighty God. The events which surround death also call for a response from the Christian community.
Christian consolation is rooted in that hope that comes from faith in the saving death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christian hope faces the reality of death and the anguish of grief but trusts confidently that the power of sin and death has been vanquished by the Risen Lord. When possible, those who were part of the Catholic community are buried in a Catholic cemetery.
Not only is the Catholic cemetery a sacred place, a place of prayer, and a place reflecting our beliefs and traditions, it also expresses the communion of all the faithful, living and dead. We have worked to study, acknowledge, and respect the cultural origins of many blessing ways, and in no way seek to appropriate spaces which are not meant for outsiders.
However, we do subscribe to the belief that all birth is powerful, all life is sacred, and a gathering of pure intent can be designed to honor each individual mother. We seek to honor you, the mother, and we hope to bond the ties you have with your most trusted support tighter for this time when you will be stretched and tested. If you are interested in learning more about how an Honor Circle can be a part of your pregnancy celebration, we would love to help you plan and execute an event to your liking. Be it for a 1st, 2nd, 4th or 10th baby, we would love to foster the growth of your personal village and affirm you in this incredible rite of passage.
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