Over the last couple of weeks here in the UK, Channel 4 has broadcast a remarkable documentary called Rites of Passage. The fabulous Grayson Perry casts an anthropological eye over rites of passage around the world to inspire similar rites here in the UK. I have to say I am really enjoying the opportunity to reimagine the typical rites of passage in our lives and his work dovetails with the work of celebrants.
This week's episode showed Grayson help a couple plan a Divorce Ceremony as a way to offer hope and healing to their family. I was touched by the loving, sensitive and artistic way in which Grayson crafted a ceremony that offered support to the whole family as they entered this new season of life.
However, I have to say that there were times in both this episode and the last where I felt he could have offered so much more. For example, the civil ceremony took place in a somewhat soul less venue. Celebrant-led weddings can take anywhere - you do not have to be restricted by rules! I love Grayson's art and I felt like he missed a trick to incorporate his art into the ceremonies more. I guess I had expected more!
Having lived through divorce in my own family I can imagine how freeing a divorce ceremony could be. But I felt like Grayson cut off the couple speaking their vows and while I understood the sentiment of cutting the piece of art in half, to me, he missed the opportunity to have everyone at the ceremony help create a new work of art in a more creative way than just sewing it back together. You see, this is the difference between any old ceremony and a celebrant-led ceremony. Celebrants will go the extra mile to make your ceremony all you have dreamed AND MORE! Frankly, it's why most of us became celebrants...to use our creativity!
Rites of passage do not have to follow a prescription. Where there is a need to recognise and honour these rites of passage, you have the freedom to do anything that speaks to you so that you can celebrate, mourn and heal in the way that means the most to you and your celebrant will be there to offer advice and INSPIRE!