“Ceremony brings connection, support and hopefully, a knowing that the butterfly will emerge.
This is Trust. This is Faith.
As Interfaith Ministers and Officiants we are here to remind folks of this Loving Truth”
On Memorial Day, 2013, after four days and three nights collaborating with a talented and dedicated developer, Erin Prieskhorn, Graceful-Mournings, Interfaith Directory went live. “Erin,” I said, with an exasperated sigh,” “I feel like we just went through childbirth – exhausted and delighted beyond words.” We laughed – but it’s true, it was a labor of love. This dream had been wrapped in protective silk of visioning sessions, contemplation, and meditation for three years. I had personally been in a chrysalis state, immersing in my spiritual practice and manifesting websites in support of promoting Interfaith Funeral Officiants and related services to the public.
Many dreams evolved when I began a spiritual practice at fourteen years of age; desperately seeking peace as I was living in fear of my brother being drafted into the Vietnam war. I also began dating his friends, emotionally wounded veterans – and my heart was broken. I yearned to support our veterans that returned home to an awful state of neglect and judgment and vowed to somehow be of support, yet I had no idea when, where or how.
The dream hung by a thread for many years. Later during this time, I began learning and serving as a hospice volunteer. And I had a short term contract as an executive assistant to a director of NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) that fueled my passion to offer services for death – transition – graduation from earth school, and loss of health. Bringing an inkling of light to the dark and beauty to sadness with rites of passage ceremony and meaningful rituals – this was my yearning.
Having then officiated quite a few weddings after the launch of “Vows and Kisses™, wedding officiants and more”, in 2009, I recognized the need for Interfaith Ministers to somehow promote their services for funerals, celebration of life, and grief support for all life transitions. With the glimmer of light to support veterans and all folks navigating loss I was driven to have the launch of the new website, Graceful Mournings, to be on Memorial Day.
A couple months after the site was live I received a call; “We did a Google search and found you. I am the HR Manager and we need to do some kind of a service to help the employees here – one of our VPs died suddenly and the family isn’t having a memorial. Can you help?”.
Unprepared for a result this soon from the new website, quickly, I duplicated and modified the forms and contracts from “Vows and Kisses™, into Graceful Mournings documents in support of the needs for funerals and Celebration of Life Services. Once we completed the consultation over Skype, (the service was to be in Silicon Valley) I created a non religious ceremony, appropriate for a corporation of employees numbed by the sudden loss of a well respected executive. With the information gathered and included inspirational readings and rituals. The service was warmly received and appreciated. Having been educated as an Interfaith Minister served me well to meet the needs of a diverse population.
The experience motivated me to become more focused on the success of Graceful-Mournings Interfaith Directory, with the hope of reaching more people in need. Some of our Graceful Mournings associate ministers have received calls from Funeral Homes, where a Google search led them to their Interfaith Minister’s profile page on “Graceful Mournings”. Relationships were formed and services performed. The funeral home directors were relieved to locate a qualified, professional Interfaith Celebrant to Officiate funerals and celebration of life ceremonies at their facilitates. From scattering ashes to readings and rituals in Celebration of Life services, families needs were fulfilled. How Divine!
Graceful Mournings celebrants are encouraged to specialize in meaningful rituals as we have witnessed how profound it is to offer folks an interactive experience – a way that is tactile – an opening – a portal to the Divine, as we process loss, grief and the celebration of our loved one’s life. This becomes a creative process reminding guests of the importance of forgiveness. It is a rediscovery of what we knew at birth – that there is no separation between God, and us and that we are indeed, all one. Ceremony is a way of being reminded of Truth; the loving truth of the “I am” One with God and all. The pain of loss like a cocoon, can be dark and gooey… it can feel very lonely. Ceremony brings connection, support and hopefully, a knowing that the butterfly will emerge. This is Trust. This Faith. As Interfaith Ministers we are here to remind folks of this Loving Truth. (Not to convert anyone as many traditional religious organizations do.)
We are now getting ready to re-design the nation wide website and promote it to more Spiritual Practitioners so that communities and families, hungering for Interfaith/Multi Faith, Non-Denominational services may find us. We lovingly support LGBTQ, Agnostics and Atheists.
I hope you will signup for my newsletter, Seeds From My Garden, a short, quarterly publication to provide information and inspiration.
If you wish to support this effort – and to be supported – please contact us for a complimentary consultation.
To learn more about Graceful-Mournings and Vows and Kisses: About Interfaith On line Directories
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