Importance of Ceremony
By definition, a ceremony is a planned event or ritual commemorating, celebrating or remembering a person or occasion. A funeral, memorial service, or a celebration of life service are all ceremonies that give reverence, respect and allow all involved the opportunity to share and acknowledge their loss. Our lives are a series of chapters marked by important rites of passage such as christenings, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and so on.
Why would we not choose to have a ceremony commemorating our final earthly event? These kinds of ceremonies are not for the deceased, but for the bereaved in honor of the deceased.
There has never been a more memorable or poignant moment in twentieth century American history as we, a mourning American Nation, watch a young John F. Kennedy, Jr. salute his father’s flag draped casket as it is pulled by a horse drawn caisson through the streets of Washington, D.C. Why is that image so iconic?
Perhaps, even through the eyes of an innocent child, the acknowledgement of a life well lived and the opportunity to say “goodbye” resonates in our minds and gives validation to one of our most basic needs, the need for closure.
Nothing replaces the value and basic need that we have as human beings to personally come together, mourn, celebrate, embrace and acknowledge loss in a meaningful manner that gives closure no matter the religious background or financial status.
Ceremonies give the bereaved a voice in a time when they are without words.