"May the Lord help me to believe the truth about myself,
no matter how beautiful it is!"

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Life Celebrations


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  Life celebrations can be any gathering, large or small, of family and friends to honor the living or the deceased. The following are some examples of life celebrations that I have written and conducted.
  • Two adult children decided to surprise their parents at the 40th anniversary party they hosted for them. The invitations revealed the surprise to the guests. At the gathering, I was introduced to the parents as a friend. After all the guests had arrived, I announced that I was, in fact, a minister and had been invited to perform a "renewal of vows" ceremony for the anniversary couple. It was definitely a surprise, and a much appreciated gift.
     
  • Often, a life celebration is a gathering to honor a deceased loved one. It is not a funeral, but a time to remember the joy that the person brought into the lives of those left behind. It can take place at the gravesite or a convenient meeting place. If the loved one passed at too far a distance for many relatives to attend the funeral, they may choose to hold a local family gathering to remember their dearly departed family member. Whatever the situation, I highlight the life of the honoree, offer prayers and scripture as appropriate, and encourage conversation among those gathered to celebrate the life of their loved one.
  • Sometimes, a seemingly non-related occurrence provides a hook with which to weave the life story of the honoree. A daughter told me the day before her mother's death, she saw two hawks swooping and soaring around her house. The next day, immediately before the doctor called her to tell her that her mother had unexpectedly passed away, she saw a third hawk swoop into her backyard, show its giant wingspan, and soar back into the sky. Some Native American cultures believe that the hawk is a messenger, and has the power to fly between this world and the spirit world, taking our thoughts and prayers for loved ones beyond the confines of our everyday consciousness. This story provided a beautiful starting point from which to celebrate family memories of the mother's life.
 

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Rev. Bonnie McCarthy, D. Div.
Solace, LLC, Richmond, NH
P.O. Box 123
Winchester, NH 03470
603-239-4088

Bonnie@CeremoniesFromTheHeart.ws

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