“In ceremony…all is made new; everything becomes sacred.” – Sun Bear
Do you know how to create a ceremony?
The true purpose of a ceremony is to change things or to recognize a change that has already occurred. While the intention of the ceremony is directed toward a specific goal, each individual participating in a ceremony may experience it quite differently. Ceremonies often contain ritual practices that have been performed for generations. These ritual practices promise a connection to Spirit. However, a ceremony also allows space for creativity, spontaneity and some unexpected magic.
There are 4 elements that make up a successful ceremony:
Invocation - an invitation to the forces outside of ourselves. They can be forces of natural like wind, fire, earth and water. Or, they can be spiritual forces like angels, Allah, Jesus or Buddha. The power of these forces create a scared space in which to hold a ceremony. When open, sacred space creates an envelope around the ceremony in which anything is possible.
Transformation - the magic within a ceremony. It is the action that shifts things and opens our hearts. In a marriage ceremony the vows and the pronouncement transform two individuals into a united couple. At a funeral it might be the snuffing out a flame of a candle representing the end of the life just lived. All that remains is the smoke, the soul moving on into the afterlife. No ceremony is complete without a transformational element.
Closure - an essential part of any ceremony. Closure helps the participants in a ceremony reawaken their physical bodies and step back into their normal lives. Activities such as singing, saying a prayer or simply sitting in silence within the community are very grounding. At this time it is appropriate to close sacred space by thanking and releasing the forces that were invoked to hold sacred space for the ceremony.
Celebration - just as important as the other three elements of a ceremony. During the celebration participants tell stories, give toasts, dance, sing or just visit with other participants. Connections are made and much healing occurs during the celebration.
I recommend that you step into ceremony throughout your life by holding sacred space and practicing rites of passage.