To LISTEN, click the player at the top or the bottom, or visit the Episode Index.
Treasury of Celebrations: Create Celebrations That Reflect Your Values and Don’t Cost the Earth, the last edition of the classic series Alternative Celebrations Catalogs.
Part 4. Rites of Passage, such as birthdays, anniversaries and funerals
Wedding Alternatives: Create Celebrations That Reflect Your Values and Don’t Cost the Earth (Angela and Pete, above, contributors to Wedding Alternatives Supplement)
Treasury Intro: SLW! podcast episode 4 (the need to simplify all our celebrations)
- Part 1: Making Choices, including Simple Living | Gift Giving | Food and Celebration | Getting Started
- Part 2: Gifts
- Part 3: Celebrations
- Part 4: Rites of Passage
Rites of passage are rituals or celebrations that mark the passage of a person through the life cycle, from one stage to another, from one role or social position to another. In the pre-modern world, these rites served at least four functions: Safe passage | Moments of learning | Connection to community | Transformation experiences
The place of rites in modern society
Resist the pressures of the consumer society and observe the rites in ways that enable you to recover the renewing and maturing power they are intended to have by focusing on the following:
- People, instead of the gifts and other paraphenalia used to aid or celebrate the transition.
- Values and ideals, instead of mindlessly celebrating to anesthetize the person(s) to the trauma of transition.
- Community, instead of the consumer culture’s narcissistic privatization of life transitions.
- Change. Rites help people visualize the desired outcome of the passage and to see themselves on the other side — occasions of transformation.
Creating our own rituals
Although some of life is logical, much of life is not. Even when we are young we come to understand that life is full of mystery. Without rituals and ceremonies within our communities and families, we feel adrift and cannot understand why.
Overview of Rites of Passage (alphabetical, not chronological order)
- Adoption Day
- An Alternative Wedding Service
- Bequeathal of organs and tissue upon our death
- Early Passages, such as tooth rites and starting school
- Hospice Care
- In the Faith Community — Confirmation for Christian youth and Bar or bat mitzvah for Jewish boys and girls
- Memorial Societies
- Rites of Passage (intro)
- The Second Time, remarriage
NEW – Green Birthday Parties contributed by long-time friend and former board member Dick Webster from OH.
Wedding Alternatives, which also has been published as the Alternative Wedding Book includes:
- Outward Signs of Inner Values: What Matters for Your Wedding?
- Create Your Own Ceremony: Beyond “Here Comes the Bride”
- Planning an Alternative Wedding: Food, Flowers and Festivities
- Wedding Timeline/Checklist
- Wedding Budget Worksheet
The original version is available free online, including a more recent supplement. The book version, called The Alternative Wedding Book, is still in-print from Woodlake/NorthStone Publishing, BC, Canada.
It you think this resource may be out-of-date, read this testimonial for Alternative Wedding Book that I received in late 2013, signed Arizona Bride.
Inspired by Arizona Bride, we’ve added a line for Tithe in the Wedding Budget. The couple included 10% of their wedding budget as a charitable contribution for environmental causes.
She plans to continue giving the book to friends who are preparing to wed. By the way, it’s available free and complete as Wedding Alternatives at SimpleLivingWorks.org; also in Spanish as Nuestra Boda.
I hope you’ll find my blog Occupying the Flagstaff Bridal Fair both humorous and enlightening.
And I’ve added Meredith Gould’s helpful book Getting #Married: Using Social Media to Celebrate the Sacred to the Wedding Alternatives Supplement.
I hope that you can see the values of these free resources and will use them as needed, or even better, acquaint yourself with them now so that you’re prepared for your next event.
Mentions in This Episode
Laurel Gray’s new book, THE EVOLUTION OF A PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN: Making Dramatic Turnarounds Along Life’s Unpredictable Journey (a spiritual autobiography).
Link to my blog Fundamentalist ≠ Evangelical, explaining why I decline to call conservatives and fundamentalists “evangelicals.”
Another note from another friend. . .
Keep us posted whenever you play or mention my songs and we’ll help spread the word any way we can. Thanks for all you do for our Amazing Earth!! Blessings, Joyce EarthMama Rouse
EarthMama provides some of the theme music for this podcast. Hear her complete version of Simple Gifts on episode #2.
I’ve renewed a friendship with Paul Canavese and his spouse Ann Naffziger. They hosted Rita and me while we were on a speaking tour of Calif. Paul now operates GospelLiving.org and ThePastoralCenter.com. They contributed to the Supplement to Wedding Alternatives (see their wedding vows). And the LINK to the Travel Journal of that Calif. tour (scroll to POST #58).
Colleague Lee Van Ham of Jubilee Economics is progressing well with his new book Blinded by Progress, including his numerous interviews.
In addition to this podcast and its show notes, we post new SLW! blogs several times a week. We hope you’ll read and subscribe. This BLOG is the companion to our two-times-a-month podcast. The content is different, though the subject is the same. Click on blog at the top of the show notes for each episode.
You’re welcome to share your thoughts on these subjects. Email a message to Feedback AT SimpleLivingWorks DOT org.
Leave a comment on our Facebook page or on the SLW! blog.
In future episodes, you’ll hear from Vicki Robin, the co-author of the classic best-seller Your Money or Your Life. Her new book is Blessing the Hands that Feed Us. Also, preparing for Pentecost and Ordinary Time, and info about Alternative Summer Festivals.
In May, I plan to start a series called Tony & Shane UNCUT – the complete 3-1/2 hour straight talk between Tony Campolo and Shane Caliborne about simple living and global justice. Parts of that dialog became the DVD “Simply Enough,” which has been re-issued by World Vision Canada as “Choose Justice.”
For hard copies of Alternatives’ resources at nominal cost, contact ELCA Archives contact info, 321 Bonnie Lane, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 * (847) 690-9410 * firstname.lastname@example.org
Mentions Last Episode
A community educator, Cecile is active in the transition movement in the United States. She’s the author of The Circle of Simplicity: Return to the Good Life (1998) | Slow is Beautiful: New Visions of Community, Leisure and Joie de Vivre (2006) | Less is More: Embracing Simplicity for a Healthy Planet, a Caring Economy and Lasting Happiness (2009) | NEW! Living Room Revolution: A Handbook for Conversation, Community and the Common Good (2013)
To LISTEN, visit the Episode Index.
RELATED: Reimagining America: An Evening with Gus Speth & Juliet Schor | Speth and Schor discuss innovations in collaborative consumption, ways the sharing economy is changing our country, and opportunities to define a new American Dream.
Helpful Articles on SPRING Festivals
(We talked about Lent and Easter (April 20) – in Episode #13.)
- International Women’s Day (March 8) | “What time of night it is” | Celebrate women! | Host a Women’s Day dinner | “Take Back the Night” march | Ecumenical Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women | Celebrating the unnamed ones | Litany of Solidarity with Women | Knowledge is the first step to change | Tabletalk for International Women’s Day
- St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) | The wearing of the green | Tabletalk on St. Patrick’s Day
- First Day of Spring (March 20 or 21) | Tabletalk for the First Day of Spring | Celebrate Spring by Celebrating Life | Celebrate Earth | A Rite for Spring: Begin to Recycle | Let Earth breathe! | All-night vigil
- Central America Week (week of March 24) | The spirit of Archbishop Oscar Romero | At home
- Passover – Tue., April 15, 2014 – 7 days – Mon., April 21. In the USA, Passover ends one day later, Tues., April 22. | Freedom from slavery | What links are in place in your community?
Mentions in Recent Episodes
- Simple Living 101: Tools for Activists (shy or bold) | Share the Joy of a Simpler Lifestyle Through Speeches, Workshops, Events, Study/Action Groups, Simplicity Circles and Social Media + BONUS: Social Media Supplement – Jerry’s Excellent Adventure
- Self-Starters Needed!
- Lenten sermon series
- Free coaching for groups on the internet
- Let’s Get Ready for a Simpler, More Meaningful Lent and Easter
Lent/Easter: 10 Tips for a Simpler, More Meaningful Easter | Article/ART Index: Easter | Bulletin Inserts are indexed in Articles by season. | En Español (all) | Lenten Calendars and 40-Day Guides - For the current liturgical cycle (A), use #6, 9, 12, 15, or 18. Some are not based on a cycle and can be used any year. | Sing Justice! Do Justice! New Songs & Hymns to Familiar & New Tunes: Lent/Easter, e.g. #19 | Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes and Art for Simpler Living and Global Justice ( Foreword by Cecile Andrews | Introduction | How to Use This Collection | QUOTES | ART )
- Treasury of Celebrations: Part 1: Making Choices — Simple Living, Gift Giving, Food and Celebration, Getting Started | Part 2: Gifts | Part 3: Celebrations — Jan-Apr (LENT | EASTER), May-Aug, Sep-Dec, Advent, Christmas | Part 4: Rites of Passage
- Who’s Risen from the Dead, Anyway? A. Reflection/Activity Guides (two guides for each cycle – total of six); B. Passover and Easter Seders; C. Posters and 40-Day Calendars; D. Bulletin Inserts & Covers (#551-559) | Those Who Speak for God: Household Studies on the Minor Prophets
- Worship Alternatives: Worship Items (Litanies, Hymns, Prayers, etc.)| Sermons | ART for Lent/Holy Week/Easter
- Guides for Sharing These Resources: School of Layout | Reaching Out Through the Media
- Overflow Project 50-Day Challenge | my blog SIMPLIFY + GIVE + CHANGE = WATER
- Bring Simpler Living to Your Group!
- Simple Living Works! web site home page | Themes/Seasons Index
- 10 Tips for Simpler, More Meaningful Easter | Celebrations | SPANISH: 10 puntas
- For Lent/Easter SEASONAL HELPS, including links to AV and Text resources, see episode 13.
- SEASONAL HELPS from *Treasury of Celebrations: Create Celebrations That Reflect Your Values and Don’t Cost the Earth: Winter Festivals: Jan.-April | LENT | EASTER
Share your thoughts on this podcast and this episode. Email Feedback AT SimpleLivingWorks DOT org [or SimpleLivingWorks AT yahoo DOT com or SimpleLivingWorks2 AT gmail DOT com], leave a message on our Facebook page or on the SLW! blog.
To learn more about SLW! – our MISSION, for example — listen to episodes #1 and 2. We produce a half-hour podcast twice a month, to educate and inspire you, your family and your congregation or group. We blog several times a week.
To LISTEN, click the player at the top or the bottom. To SUBSCRIBE to email notices, click Comments below, then check
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Episode Index: #1-3: Getting Acquainted | #4-5: Beyond a Consumer Lifestyle | #6-11: Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway? | #12: Living More with Less UPDATED | #13: Let’s Get Ready for a Simpler Lent & Easter | #14: Simple Living 101 + Social Media BONUS | #15: author Cecile Andrews | #16: Alternative Rites of Passage
Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist
Click ABOUT for Music and Cover Art Credits.
*GRAPHIC: Angela and Pete, contributors to Wedding Alternatives Supplement
We do not solicit or accept donations, nor do we sell anything. All our resources and services are free of charge. We’re an all-volunteer organization. Instead, we urge Alternative Giving. Give away 25% of what you spent last year on all celebrations – Christmas, birthdays, etc. — to local, national and international causes.
Copyright: Creative Commons non-commercial attribution share-alike license.
*Treasury of Celebrations: published by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake Publications, BC, Canada, best known for its Seasons of the Spirit curriculum.