Celebratory Rituals - Sue Lewis


I’ve written before that I am running counselling courses (Certificate and Diploma) at the Banbury Counselling Academy, and how much I enjoy them. It’s wonderful watching people grow in skills, knowledge and confidence. 

Yesterday we held a Graduation ceremony for all those people who had completed their course in the summer, and awarded them their certificates. It was a real joy to see everyone – some people I didn’t know too, as I hadn’t been teaching them – and to celebrate their achievement. Ritual and celebration is such an important part of our lives, marking the end or the beginning of something, or an achievement worthy of honouring. It also gave us all a wonderful sense of our community, and connection with like minded people on similar paths. For some who had just started, it gave a chance to see people who had achieved what can seem like the impossible, and for those who nearer the end of the path it was good to look back and see how far they'd come.

It seems to me that we all need celebration, ritual and connection in our lives – when was the last time you had something like that?

We’re about to enter one of the largest in our culture of course – Christmas. Sainsbury’s is already full of mince pies, and Christmas films have actually begun appearing on some TV channels! The early beginning of this ritual has become part of the ritual itself now, with people commenting on and complaining about it. It’s one of the greatest opportunities we have for celebration and connection, although it often doesn’t feel like that for a lot of people.

Still, let’s enjoy Autumn first….