What is a Family Ceremony?

As you know, it is common in our culture to mark significant milestones in our lives – the birth of a child, marriage, and the end of life – with a ceremony. An equally important stage in the life of a family is when children leave home. But, for the most part, this transition goes unacknowledged.

This fall I had the pleasure of working with a family, headed by a creative and dynamic single mom, who decided to recognize this important life transition. Her children are young adults, embarking on new adventures in work and post-secondary education. And, Jenna, their wonderful mother is stepping into a new phase in her life too.

Jenna’s vision was to gather all of the people who are nearest and dearest to both her and her children. Her goal was to celebrate one of her most cherished values…relationship and connection with family and friends. Jenna also wanted to express gratitude to everyone who has been meaningful to their family life and culture. She wanted to take some time to consciously reflect upon where they have been, and where they are going.

I loved working on Jenna’s family ceremony with her. It allowed me to stretch my creativity as a Celebrant, and it made me think about my own relationship with my children who are also young adults who will soon be leaving the nest. Like Jenna, our family is in transition. I may not have as an elaborate life transition celebration, but I’ve been inspired to mark it in a meaningful way,.

Thank you Jenna for making me reflect on family culture and the support we all need to raise our children.

Celebrant Marcia Thomson – for Modern Celebrant



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