Coming of age ceremonies have played a vital role in all cultures throughout history. Today, with the often vast cleft between the youth and adult worlds, these rites are more important than ever.
For girls and boys coming of age ceremonies celebrate their rite of passage into adulthood and are frequently held during early teen years as secular Bah mitzvah or Bar mitzvah, sweet sixteen, graduation or a marking of a major achievement in the young adults life.
These ceremonies can be both joyous and profound as they welcome young people into the world of grown-ups and allow the passing on of knowledge and wisdom from one generation to the next. Adolescence is oftentimes a period of psychological turmoil and these ceremonies can help the young person's emotional well-being by easing the passage to adulthood.
A Celebrant will create, along with the young adult, a dignified and fun ceremony that will pay tribute to this significant life transitional stage in a genuine way. The ceremony will reflect the personality and ideals of the honoree and pay homage to their lives and the special, loving people that have been an inspiration and guide to them, such as: family, friends and mentors. All in all, a Coming of Age ceremony will be an authentic and meaningful occasion that the youngster and their community will remember with joy in their hearts for years to come.
It is not unusual to find ourselves experiencing profound growth or psychological change when we are far beyond adolescence - a change so dramatic we feel almost like a new person. Whether that change happens at 30 or 70, a Coming of Age ceremony is appropriate to mark this life passage.
One example of this is the Croning or Wise Woman Ceremony for women of around age 50. In ancient times, the mature woman or "crone" was revered as an community elder who embodied wisdom and knew the truth of cyclic existence. A Croning Ceremony acknowledges a woman's age, wisdom, and power. Of course, there are Wise Man Ceremonies to honor men in our lives. All too often becoming old in our society is not dignified to the degree it could be. Ceremonies for our elders are a platform in which we can express our gratitude to them and to pass wisdom, traditions and whole lot of love from one generation to the next.
All coming of age ceremonies celebrate us as human beings at whatever stage of our lives we are in: Act I (youth), Act II (middle-age, parenthood), Act III (elders). Let us actively embrace our life experience. It is through ceremony we celebrate the art of life!