Saturday, December 29, 2012
A Purple Passage
During the time of planning my brother's memorial, I happened to see an ad in a magazine for the Celebrant Foundation & Institute, which trains people to become professional Life-Cycle Celebrants - people who create and perform ceremonies with and for people. I immediately knew this was for me, and I entered that funny process of coming to decide something that you've actually already decided.
At the time, I had just started working toward building my new business as a personal historian, and I questioned the wisdom of aborting that in midstream and starting another new thing. But the rightness was so apparent to me that I took the leap of faith and signed up for the training (which I'm now in the middle of).
The thing is, I knew I had found my true calling, and so many things that had happened in recent months all worked together to form one big twinkling, neon arrow pointing to celebrancy. It started with writing about wedding officiants and realizing the importance of celebrations of milestones. But the biggest thing was leading my brother's memorial. It felt totally right to me, and many people who attended, most of whom I didn't know, gave me very positive feedback; a couple of them even leaned in and whispered, "I want you to do my funeral." I know it may sound strange, but I am so intensely grateful to my brother for this gift.
I have always felt drawn toward ritual and ceremony. I've even considered going to seminary; and now, in the Celebrant Institute, I've found my tribe, my place. I'm amazed at how this vocation will draw on all my passions and talents. I'm so used to having multiple jobs, but for the first time in my life I see the various side paths all merging into one. And since focus on the client's personal story as a "hero's journey" is one of the hallmarks that makes a Life-Cycle Celebrant different from other kinds of officiants, the personal history business is also simply being absorbed into this profession.
All the bells in my heart are ringing in one accord. Hallelujah.