Rites of passage

Other rites of passage

What do we really mean when we talk about Rites of Passage?

In the simplest terms, rites of passage are times of change and transition in our lives. Sometimes they are things we have chosen, such as to get married.

Sometimes they are imposed upon us, such as a loss or bereavement. Yet, there are so many other points in our lives where we might pause to examine the path that we have taken to this point, and the journey ahead. These may be personal or health matters, relationships with others, new opportunities with work or self-development or family concerns, such as moving house. But it is in this pause of reflection, between the old status and the new, that some people may find a ceremony useful, and indeed healing and consolidating. We rarely take time to stop in our modern world, yet this can be deeply empowering and help us to move forward with clarity.

Examples of less common Rites of Passage Ceremonies:

• Health and physical wellbeing is a hugely important part of our daily experience. Coming of age, menarche (starting menstruation), milestones birthdays, accepting changes in our bodies, perimenopause and menopause, are all big transitions.

• Family events such as the birth or adoption of a child into the family, moving house, starting school, graduating from college, welcoming and saying goodbye to pets are a few examples here.

• Work or business. Perhaps you would like to bless a new business venture, a promotion, successful project or retirement?

• Your personal identity. If you have taken on a new identity or gender or had a change in status, such as being Ordained or getting a PhD, here is another wonderful opportunity to use ceremony to cement this into your personal timeline.

• Please remember that ceremony doesn’t always have to be about celebrating. It can simply be a threshold to a new beginning. Forgiveness, parting of ways and cutting ties can be hugely beneficial too.

If you are interested in a bespoke ceremony of this nature, please discuss it with your SICA celebrant. They can help you navigate a pathway to creating the perfect, unique ceremony for you.


Rachel Cheer, September 2023



scottish independent celebrants association