I was raised in a Roman Catholic household…my mother, was in fact, a nun for about 20 years of her life and catholicism was a bit of a big deal in my house. When I was young I loved going to church and Sunday school, but as I got older some of the values that the church held sacred, weren't necessarily values I felt I could support. Spiritually, we all need to find that place where we can feel free to be ourselves…that space where we can identify. This is merely one example of so many healthy and beautiful ways to celebrate spirituality.
My dear friend had decided to take on the task of bringing sacred ceremony to the children of our community.
Every time the seasons change we hold a child specific ceremony.
I wanted to share our experience in hopes that it may inspire gatherings like this for those of you who can identify.
Once everyone had gathered the ceremony began with the ringing of a bell…
time to begin and quiet down.
The stump in the centre with cedar boughs, stones and talking sticks
We all met in my teepee and sat around the table in the centre.
We honoured the four directions, Mother Earth, our centre, each other.
We smudged with sage.
Stories were told about the sun, about summertime.
A song was sung.
At the end of the ceremony, each child was given a piece of cedar to bury on their property…
it was suggested they could bury it with a wish or intention they had.
And then each child was invited to choose a special stone to take home with them.
The circle was then closed.
Ceremony for children need not be complicated…we do this every time the season changes,
(4 times a year).
The purpose of it is to get the children used to the idea of creating a sacred space…
this is especially nice for children who do not participate in organized religion.
There is no age limit…we had babies in arms…moms and toddlers…our community elders.
After the ceremony, we gathered the children and had a summer Solstice parade!
Luckily we live in a very small town where spontaneous parades are encouraged and let's face it, a bit expected from time to time.
One of our community elders wrote a beautiful song in honour of our celebration.
We sang it on the way down to the village.
Afterwards we gathered for healthy snacks, a visit and playtime.
It was a beautiful event, one that we or our children won't soon forget.