I have a lot to be grateful for. The name ‘Grateful Celebrant’ is kind of a give-away. That’s why a Gratitude Ceremony was something I wanted to create for weddings and vow renewals. This element of your big day could become the start of a family tradition. Noticing what we have to be grateful for and sharing that is great for our wellbeing and mental health.
What is a Gratitude Ceremony?
I have created several Gratitude Ceremonies over the last couple of years. They are all based on the idea that by noticing our gratitude and acknowledging it, we boost our sense of joy and contentment. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to feel sad when you think about what you’re grateful for? Here are two of my favourites. I hope these ideas help you include this element in your own day.
Ceremony One – The Gratitude Jar
You will need: a large jar with a lid (I like to use pickling jars). Some ribbons to tie round the jar. A label for the jar. Coloured paper cut into pieces for your notes.
In advance of the ceremony, you will each write a note for the other, on what you are grateful for in your partnership and lives together.
The Celebrant explains the purpose of the Jar and that your gratitude for each other and the lives you have is key to your happiness. They present the jar to you both and ask each of you to read the Gratitude Statement that you have prepared in advance. You then open the jar and place these notes inside.
The Celebrant then says a blessing, or explains in simple words, that this is the start of your Family Gratitude Jar. They encourage you to make time to regularly notice what you are grateful for in your lives together and to add to the jar together, as you have today. When times are challenging you, reach of the Gratitude Jar and take out some of your notes and read them together. This sharing of what you have together, what is truly important in your lives, will bring you ever closer.
Ceremony Two – Gratitude Circle
You will need: Ribbons or rope in your choice of colours. These ribbons need to be long enough to form a circle around you when tied together. Fabric pens for writing on the ribbons.
In advance of the ceremony, you will each write words of gratitude on your chosen ribbon. If you have children or family members (or pets) that you wish to acknowledge, then a ribbon for each of them can also be included.
The Celebrant stands with you in the centre of the circle. They take the ribbons and read the words that you have each written on them before tying them to form the circle around you.
The circle of ribbons symbolises the never ending circle of your love and your gratitude. Your Celebrant can read a blessing or create words to express how important your gratitude is in your relationship. At this point, you can include your vows to each other, or new promises for your future. The ribbons are gathered together and placed in a silk or organza bag for you to keep.
I hope these ideas will inspire you to include an element of gratitude in your ceremony. If you’d like to talk about your plans and see if I am the right person to help you create your own, I’d love to hear from you. You can book a time straight into my calendar here.
From my heart to yours,
If you’re interested in finding out about the career of an Independent Celebrant, take a look at the Celebrant Coaching and Training Academy. All our courses are created to help you become an exceptional Celebrant.