Why we need to think beyond births, deaths and marriages

By Natasha Johnson

April 29, 2018

birth, Celebrants, ceremonial rites, ceremonial rituals, creating ceremony, death and marriage, rites of passage

If we think about it, being a Celebrant isn’t really anything new, is it?

It’s new in the sense of what we call ourselves and how we currently carry out our work and serve our communities, but the art of ceremony and the practice of ritual is most definitely not.

Celebrating and commemorating our community members through ritual goes back to time immemorial and transcends all cultures, races and geography. It can be said that the practice of ritual is what creates and strengthens a community. It’s what makes a community what it is.

As Celebrants, the three main life events; births, deaths and marriages have for a long time been the staple events which we help our communities to express their understanding of, through celebration and commemoration. They are the main events for which most of us as Celebrants make a living from and run a successful business around.

There are pockets of Celebrants who have long broken away from these staples and offer many different forms of ceremony and ritual to their communities. From pre-birth blessings, house blessings to divorce rituals, the seeds have already been sown. 

​​But is it now time for the rest of us to think along these lines too and sow even more seeds which can flower?

There is so much more in life and death to celebrate and honour than we currently do. There are so many more rituals and rites of passages that our communities can be helped with. And rituals that are yet to be created, but which should be available to those who want them, and those who are yet to know that they want or need such rituals.

There are many reasons to spread your wings and to increase your skill-set and offerings.

  • You may be in an area where the market for staple ceremonial events is difficult to penetrate
  • You may want to widen the range of services that you offer
  • You may want to offer rituals which are more in line with your own beliefs or experiences
  • Your previous career or academic background may lend itself to introducing new forms of ritual
  • You may have great ideas for new offerings and rituals, which don’t currently exist

At our ‘The Future of Celebrancy,’ retreat convention this coming November, Fellowship of Professional Celebrants’ Founder and Celebrant Trainer, Terri Shanks is going to be exploring this very subject. 

Terri is going to be leading a presentation and workshop which will look at how we can serve our communities in different ways and to create rituals which go beyond births, deaths and marriage, whilst looking at the different ways that this can be done. For more information about Terri’s workshop and the rest of the retreat schedule, download the schedule here

Whether you are coming to our retreat convention or not, it’s safe to say that this topic is a fascinating one. If your interest has been piqued, then you should really think about taking the next step, and then, take it.

As Celebrants, the future of ceremonies and ritual is dependent on us. It’s down to us to develop, create and provide rituals for the communities that we serve, so let’s do just that and empower them with more choices and options.

We’d love to hear from you if you’re feeling inspired to make changes to your practice, or perhaps you already have. Let us know in the comments area below.​​


The Celebrants Collective is a membership platform for Celebrants, from all over the world, who want to undertake ongoing career development on a monthly basis. From live Q&A sessions with industry experts, a Resources Room full of useful and regularly updated celebrant-related material, to celebrant-related articles and tutorials, the Collective is about empowering Celebrants to be the best they can be. Take a look at our full benefits here.

Ps. Have you joined the Celebrants Collective Facebook group. Made up of over 1000 Celebrants worldwide, it’s a great spot for support, advice and camaraderie. Come and join us now.

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About the author 

Natasha Johnson

Natasha is the founder and co-director of awesomeness at the Celebrants Collective, with her business wife, Claire Bradford. When she's not overseeing celebrant development and supporting the hell out of their members, she can be found drinking fabulous Spanish wine, dancing to Beyoncé and hanging out on her veg patch, sometimes all at the same time. She lives in Malaga, Spain with her two favourite humans, three dogs, eight chickens and two giant African snails. (Don't ask!)

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