Honoring One’s Heritage

Sarah Ritchie Family Celebrations, Holidays

My celebrancy work has been a potent catalyst in my exploring my ancestral connection to Scotland.  Although I visited Glasgow and Edinburgh decades ago, it wasn’t until I had the pleasure of working with Scottish couples that I felt a deeper connection to this part of the U.K., learning about their history, customs, holidays, and such.   And, so today, I …

Homespun Christmas Memories

Sarah Ritchie Family Celebrations, Holidays, Rituals

I’ve always appreciated the quotation from the writer Paul Pearsall—that family helps us understand what everything means and how to make everything meaningful.  For those of who embrace the Celebrant life, we try to imbue all of our traditions with meaning, and I find that especially so during holidays. I do not have children, and as an adult I have …

Consciously Uncoupling

Sarah Ritchie Divorce

A few days ago, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, married for a decade with two children, released a public statement on her website Goop saying they were “consciously uncoupling.”  They have received quite a lot of ridicule and sarcastic jabs in the popular press, with writers claiming that as mega-stars they have tried to “pretty up” what others of us …

Rituals for Everyday Meals

Sarah Ritchie Rituals

Compared to most holidays, American Thanksgiving has stayed true to its original intent. By the millions, Americans travel to be with other family members. Those of us who are not near family—orphans—gather together to partake in a meal with friends. Unlike holidays such as Labor Day or Memorial Day, Thanksgiving maintains a connection to the concept of its founding in …

The Unending Gifts of Being a Celebrant

Sarah Ritchie Family Celebrations

A fundamental principle of the Celebrant movement is that a well-lived life marks and honors important events, rites of passage, and transitions—those filled with joy, as well as those marked by sorrow. Celebrant-led ceremonies are not merely “events” noting some significant life milestone, but they provide context, resonance, remembrance, understanding, and healing for those involved. I believe that I was …

Meg Cox: How to Create Great Rituals

Sarah Ritchie Rituals

Long before I became a Celebrant, I had a little glimpse into my future work. Some years ago, I became aware of a terrific, fun book called The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Everyday. The book was written by Meg Cox, who is married to the fellow who was my boss at …

Beginning Again in Middle-Life

Sarah Ritchie Ceremonies for Healing

The “Great Recession” that we have all endured over the last couple of years has left many individuals struggling to find their way after a job loss. Millions of Americans, due to no fault of their own, have lost jobs that provide social and intellectual satisfaction, in addition to an obvious means of financial support. And, unlike other economic downturns, …