ceremony, ritual + blessings

whether you need to mark a transition, celebration, or loss - i can help you find the words to capture the essence of your message. 

i craft custom wedding ceremonies, end-of-life memorials, retirement celebrations, birth rituals or birthday blessings. 

send me a message to chat more about options and ideas.  

sample wedding

Caitlin and Ryan have gathered everyone here today because they believe in celebrating what matters. They believe that community matters. That love matters. That children matter. That each of you matter. 

 

None of you are here by chance. You are here because you are a piece of their community - a part of the fabric of their lives. They welcome you to celebrate with them today. To witness this moment in their ongoing journey of love... 

 

While life has not always been easy, their love has been been surprisingly uncomplicated. They love each other freely and care deeply about the others’ needs. This love has only grown deeper and more nuanced as they have journeyed together and supported one another through all of life’s transitions. 

 

Ryan and Caitlin are not unfamiliar with pain and challenge. Their love has been forged by fire and through the flames, they have been one another’s safe place. They know what it means to love and lose and grieve. But, they also know what it means to struggle well together. 

 

Caitlin and Ryan know that they are good companions in the midst of hard times. They have cried together but they also play and laugh together (a LOT!)...

Reflective, kind, community-focused, opinionated, fun-loving and empathic - these are words that describe them both. Anyone who knows these two has benefited from their wisdom, deep care, and passionate hearts. 

 

Today is not the beginning of their story, rather it is a trail marker on their journey together. A pause to celebrate and commit to walking together for all that lies ahead. 

Theirs is a journey of lifelong learning. 

Learning to love one another well.

Learning how to walk in the world with compassion and integrity. 

Learning how to move together through the good times and the hard ones. 

Learning how to see the world through different eyes and how to share that wisdom with others - through writing, teaching, and investing in the lives of those around them. 

Theirs is the kind of learning that comes from classes (the ones offered and received) but also the kind of learning that only can be found on the journey itself. 

 

There is a saying in Spanish: ”Caminante no hay camino... Se hace camino al andar” - "Traveller, there is no road; you make the path as you walk" 

 

Caitlin and Ryan do not walk alone. They also walk their beloved Cedar pup (multiple times a day!) And, they have gathered all of us here because we share this path. You have all been companions to them at some point along the way - whether as housemates, treasured aunts and uncs, cousins, lifelong friends, wise elders, and the best parents they could ask for. 

 

And today, they are saying to one another that they will walk together, hand in hand. That they are committing to share this journey of life - knowing that whatever lies ahead, they want to face it together. 

And we know, that theirs will be a journey full of laughter, deep questions, critical reflection, and selfless service. 

 

By gathering us here - they are asking all of us to walk with them.

Love cannot survive in isolation, but it thrives in community. They know the deep value of friendship and the inseparable bonds of family. Whether it is someone to watch Cedar or to help them move, to join on a camping trip or to share a meal; by being here today - we are also making a commitment to invest in the lives and love of Ryan and Caitlin. To offer support, wisdom, friendship and deep care - as they offer so much to us in return. 

 

Today, we rejoice in their love. This is a joyous day and we are here to celebrate Love. To celebrate the commitment that Caitlin and Ryan are making to one another — to continue to walk together on the path of Love. 

birth blessing

(for bethany)

this is a blessing

to welcome new life.

to all that is being 

born in you. 

to all that you are

welcoming. 

all change.

all gifts. 

all sacrifice. 

this is a blessing

for sleepless nights.

for the unexpected, 

the anticipated. 

the feared, 

and the longed for. 

for all the learning,

all the new joys, 

all that is still to come. 

this is a blessing

for the wild ride of love. 

blessing for ministry

(for margaret)

outside these walls

where so many walk alone

shuffling to the rhythm of

yet another closing door

 

where there is so much to

learn outside of books 

and so much to respect 

beyond these titles.

 

outside these walls

where so many gather

to share stories and laughter 

and a bottle or two 

 

where who you know and 

who's your brother 

creates bonds beyond blood,

sometimes bloody

 

outside these walls 

where shelter is scarce and

souls hunger for more than

bread alone. 

 

where line ups and checkboxes

fill the empty spaces

from pay cheque to yet 

another waiting room.

 

outside these walls

in the spaces between what

is known and seen, there is a

deeper knowing, 

another face to these streets. 

 

this is holy unholy ground,

some remove their shoes,

others utter divine speech

kneeling by the way to pray 

their words unintelligible 

on the sidewalks edge

as many pass on by.

 

blessed are the ones who walk, 

who walk this road

alone, together, 

with the many

silent voices. 

 

blessed are the ones who 

dance in traffic, 

the drummers

with their primal beat, 

the tired weary wanderers. 

 

blessed are the mothers scraping dollars, 

mourning yet another little one in

a home away from home.  

 

blessed are those who mourn,

who pour one out for a fallen 

brother as tears mingle 

with memories.

 

blessed are those who hunger and thirst, 

for justice, 

for bread, 

for a place at the table. 

 

blessed are the peacemakers, 

the wayfarers, 

the left behind, 

out of line, 

those lost in these changing times. 

 

blessed are the children, 

the sons and daughters, 

fathers, mothers, 

those outside these gendered lines.

 

blessed are the First Nations, 

the ones who’ve fled, 

the ones who’ve been taken, 

the ones who’ve never forgotten. 

 

blessed are the street corners, 

with their preachers and sex workers, 

those with hands held out 

for just a little more. 

 

blessed are the wild ones, 

the sad-eyed, 

the vacant ones. 

the ones with beds 

and those with nowhere 

to lay their head. 

 

blessed are the fragrant, 

the terrified, 

the institutionalized. 

blessed are the beautiful, 

the creative, 

the dreamy-eyed. 

 

blessed are those who nod, 

who beg for more, 

whose bags are full and always packed, 

those who search for dimes. 

 

blessed are the comforters, 

the accompaniers, 

the daily walking side by side, 

the holy loiterers. 

 

blessed are the friendship circles, 

the new homes, 

the centres working for change,

choosing hope instead of fear.

 

blessed are the survivors, 

the strong ones, 

those who brave each day, 

waking from nightmares

fleeing trauma's haunting ghosts.

 

blessed are the safe spaces, 

community places, 

the lives remembered, 

the meals shared,

blessed are those who reach out. 

 

blessed are the cries in the night,

the whispered smoky prayers, 

the needle's piercing search,

the elusive detox bed. 

 

this is holy unholy ground

that we walk together,

side by side, 

knowing that we do not

walk alone. 

 

knowing that the One who

walks before us, 

walks beside us on these

cracked sidewalk stones. 

 

the body and bread, shared and broken

at St. John’s Kitchen, 

the blood and wine poured out

on city streets

 

the hands held in silent vigil

at Mary’s Place, 

the doors opened in welcome

at the many Menno Homes. 

 

outside these walls, 

we all are walking

this holy unholy ground, 

we all are sent beyond this shelter.

 

beautiful are the feet of those 

who bring good news, 

who proclaim peace, 

who walk together on these city streets. 

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