I took my dad out for Sunday lunch recently at a nice little place and in a neighbouring room we heard laughter and much chaos. Voices were raised and a few time I heard things like “Yes Nanna, its champagne” and ” We’re waiting for the cousins before we cut the cake”. The occasion was a 100th birthday and it soon spilt out onto the lawn for photographs and more merriment.
The party were a mixed group and Nanna was in the midst of it all, the young people flitted around her, helping her across the lawn , attending to her whilst she gave them her fullest attention. It made me think of the many debates we hear about the gaps between the generation (not all of them positive) but on this occasion the give and take and mutual respect was so evident and I think we see it at gatherings like this.
It made we wonder how we can make more of these moments to give them more an air of ceremony? To weave in the loving exchange of ideas and wisdom between the young and the old.
Do we make enough of this at weddings, birthdays, namings and funerals?
As a Celebrant I believe that we could design and add in so many meaningful and beautiful gestures into these moments of ritual and celebration. Here are some ideas you could discuss with your celebrant.
- Have people write on hearts or star shaped paper a piece of wisdom or advice and share them with one another.
- Have the younger people give flowers to their Elders , like Iris, Sage and Salvia which symbolise wisdom.
- Have the Elders hold hearts made from Crystals, Fabric or a Heart shaped stone and imbibe it with their love and wisdom and with some words from the celebrant gift these to the younger generation so they have the love and strength they need to find their own way.
- The celebrant or the Elders could read favourite stories of the Elders for the younger people to enjoy acknowledging that this story is being passed on.
- Plant a fruit tree that will give shade, blossom and fruits to all. Speak of the seasons which like life and the generations each offer their own richness.
- The Elders can offer beautiful seeds to be planted so growth continues.
- Take a new wine and an older vintage and taste them both reflecting on the joy they can both bring in different ways
Good luck with your celebrations and services, I hope as you design them this gives you some inspiration for including something about the richness of the different generations.
Need help with this and other ceremony ideas do get in touch Tina