Rites of Passage

Rites of passage mark the transition points of people’s lives, and bring a sense of participation in a timeless cycle of birth and death, and the various important changes in between. These are times we often feel the holy in our lives the most. We recognize these sacred events with a public ceremony in our religious community that expresses our awareness of participating in something larger than ourselves.

Rites of passage provide opportunities for connection in ways that the everyday life of the church does not. I am honored to be allowed to participate in people’s lives in this way. As major life transitions, these are times when people often need a mirror for reflection, someone to journey with them through the transitional time to help them reflect on the meaning of it all. I see these moments as openings to the holy, times when we are most vulnerable and open to an awareness of the divine within and around us. I work with people to make each ceremony meaningful to them, so no two are the same – whether a wedding, memorial or private child dedication.

I offer, but don’t require, premarital counseling for the couples I perform ceremonies for. When I do premarital counseling, I use PREPARE/ENRICH, an instrument designed to help clergy do pre-marital and marital counseling.

In all societies and cultures, people use ceremonies to celebrate life and life's passages. We mark the major turning points of life with ceremonies that make our transitions public, that invite blessings of the community and, for many, of God. These passages of life we honor go from birth to death, and everything in between. 

Together we can create a memorable wedding, a memorial service or funeral, or a baptism or naming ceremony. Or perhaps you would like to renew your commitment after many years of marriage. A commitment ceremony can be just as moving as a wedding for those who would rather not make it legally binding. 

© 2018 by Rev. Jane Thickstun