Sharon Roberts, B.A.
Celebrations and Rites of Passage
Many of the life-events celebrated in a religious setting are rooted in ancient traditions that existed long before "The Church" was on the scene. Quinceanera (or quinceañera), for example, can be traced to Native American cultures in Central and Latin America long before the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors and their religion. Fortunately, this beautiful tradition has evolved to embrace the values of a new generation . . . transcending cultures, nationalities, and religious heritages.
Recognizing that there are those who would like to observe certain "rites of passage" in life but are not affiliated with a religious institution, the Pneuma Center offers officiating services to allow the symbolic meaning of these traditions to be maintained and observed. In any case, the ceremony will be customized to focus on the honoree or honorees by celebrating the past, the significance of the moment, and the promise of the future.
Here are some of the celebrations and events in which the Pneuma Center can provide officiating services:
Quinceaneras or XV Ceremonies. A customized celebration of a young woman reaching her 15th year . . . a turning point from childhood into womanhood. The Quince Ceremony can be conducted in the privacy of a home or at a larger public venue. The ceremony can be customized to include readings, pledges, and gifts . . . perhaps blending traditional and contemporary elements to broaden the appeal across generations, cultures, and religious heritages.
Graduations. Private, intimate ceremonies honoring graduates, perhaps in the company of family and close friends or jointly with another graduate who is a life-long friend or relative . . . for example, a mother who graduates from college the same year her daughter graduates from high school. The ceremony might include a tribute, a reading, the presentation of a plaque or certificate, words of encouragement, and a blessing for the future.
Anniversaries. Ceremonies honoring couples whose relationship has stood the test of time. The ceremony can be customized but it may include a look back in time (world events and humorous cultural changes since the wedding), a celebration of this milestone, a tribute by a lifelong friend, and a reflection on lessons learned (for the benefit of future generations). It may also include a poem or reading from a sacred text, the presentation of a plaque or certificate, and a blessing for the future.
Naming Ceremonies. Ceremonies to celebrate the arrival of a child into a family . . . whether by natural birth or adoption. Is also referred to as a Consecration Ceremony, in light of the fact that consecration means "to join together in something sacred." The ceremony is conducted in the presence of family and friends who are invited to join the celebration and pledge their love and lifelong support for the child. It is often performed within the home where the child will receive the love and nurturing she or he needs throughout the critical formative years. For additional information, click here.