Baby Namings, Coming of Age Ceremonies,Ethical Wills, Memorials

Additional Services

Baby Namings, Coming of Age Ceremonies,
Ethical Wills, Memorials

Your Personal Ceremony
baby naming ceremony
Joanie Levine

Several couples - some who we have married and others who are friends of couples we married - have called and asked us to create baby naming ceremonies for their newborn child, both girls and boys. These have been family affairs, including the grandparents, aunts and uncles and close friends, in people's homes. The purpose is to honor this new person shortly after they are born and to bring the family together to acknowledge their commitment and support to the young family. It has been an honor to be asked to officiate at these ceremonies. So when you are ready to begin your family, please think of us - or if you have a friend wanting to ceremonialize the birth of their new child - we are delighted to do so. In the same manner as our wedding ceremonies, we co-create a meaningful ceremony with the couple's input - and meaningfully include all those present.

Coming-of-Age Ceremonies

Coming of AgeIn most cultures around the globe, children, when they reach puberty, are acknowledged by a coming-of-age ceremony. In our culture, many times this kind of acknowledgment that the child is going through a significant life change is missing. In Judaism, children are Bar and Bat Mitzvah'ed, a process requiring several years of study to attain the required mastery to lead a congregation in prayer. In some Native American tribes, children are trained to take on the tasks of adulthood and brought into a deep relationship with their spiritual side through a vision quest - staying alone in nature for some period of time. In our contemporary culture people seek different ways to acknowledge their children-becoming-adults - through bringing together close friends and family to gift the youngster and to offer advice as they enter the next stage of life, and, as well, to pledge support for them and their family as the child enters into the exciting stage of adolescence.
We are most happy to meet with families to help them create a ceremony for their 11-15 year old in harmony with their beliefs and desires. Joanie has been a B'nai Mitzvah teacher, has worked at Camp Avalon, a coming-of-age camp in Eugene, as well as helped numerous friends and families to create special gatherings and parties for this special time.

Most of us know the importance of writing a will which transfers our material possessions to those we wish to benefit. But what of those attributes that we wish to pass along that cannot be tabulated on an adding machine? Ethical wills are an ancient tradition symbolizing the passing of wisdom through the generations. Such a will can be a vehicle for sharing values we hope to imbue in our children, actions for which we wish to be remembered, blessings we wish to pass along, and desires we hope will bear fruit in future generations. It is something that can be shared before our demise and revised as our wisdom continues to grow and develop. It is an aspect of spiritual eldering that allows us to put on paper what may be uppermost in our minds, but which is difficult to verbalize or otherwise pass on to children, friends, relatives, spouses and community.

Through answering a series of questions, you will have the opportunity to explore the life you have lived so far and to put the past into a structure that tells a story with deep meaning. Reflecting with a witness present will keep your goals in mind as you untangle a seemingly confusing web of events and translate them into both the lessons you have learned and the insights you have gained.

What will be written on your gravestone - patience, courage, caring, generosity? Are you living these now? It's not too late. Once reminded of who we want to be, we can recommit to bringing our values to the forefront of our daily lives.

Many people have clergy who perform final rites for their loved ones who pass on. Some people are not connected with religious groups and/or want a more intimate sharing.

This is the style of funeral we can offer to facilitate - a small, quiet sharing of poetry and stories with a group of family and friends who desire to not be so formal but rather, in a garden or living room, to honor the deceased friend or relative. We can also help a relative who wants to facilitate this kind of gathering organize their thoughts, find appropriate poetry, etc. It is always an honor to share life passage moments with families.

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