© Noel Harrower 2018
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      IDEAS FOR GREENSPIRIT IN EXETER 2007:  THE RITES OF PASSAGE Welcoming a child                  Entering Adult Life                                       Committing to a Partnership                                                                   Retiring from Employment                                                                                                        A Final Celebration These are five Staging Posts, which deserve ceremonies to mark them – times to be shared with loved ones. In all societies, since the beginning of recorded history, there have been accepted religious ceremonies as part of the life of the community, which help believers on their journey. Today, we live in an impoverished society, in which many people with a sense of spirituality would like to publicly affirm their new baby, but are shy of a traditional church christening – there is no ritual for entering adulthood and teenagers and their parents often suffer the consequence – there is often a failure in commitment to share one’s life with a partner through all the ups and downs, and a wedding can become an occasion for dressing up and bingeing – people are often not sure when or how to retire – death is not spoken of and funerals can be very expensive and inappropriate occasions. The idea for these meetings was born when Jenny and Noel went to see their solicitor to remake their wills.  What sort of a funeral would they like for each other? Would they like a woodland burial or ashes to be cast on the sea? Who would see it all through? The idea slowly emerged of a series of meetings with people, young and old, who had similar decisions to make at different times in their lives. There must be many such people around – possibly some in every street? Could we help one another? We are not trying to take over from the places of worship, simply to complement them with an alternative  ceremony for people who believe in the divinity of life.                                                         Suggested Meetings  Early Spring   A time of new life and a time to plan celebrating a birth and an appropriate naming ceremony with some parents and their new-born children. Towards Summer A time for entering into the fullness of life and a time to plan a suitable ritual for some young people and their families.  Midsummer A time for celebrating with those who wish to enter into a long

term commitments to love and support each other.

Autumn        A time to relax and plan for the third age of life. Winter          A time to plan a celebration for a life well lived. There is a thread running through this series concerning the need to develop a compassionate awareness at all stages of life.
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