CEREMONIES, COUNSELING AND OTHER SERVICES
Terri Daniel, Oregon Wedding Officiant/Planner
(541) 549-4004 or (541) 537-1012
Below you'll find a list of ceremonial and counseling services that include weddings, memorials, baby blessings, grief & separation rituals, puberty and midlife ceremonnies, same-sex commitments
and religion recovery counseling. Please scroll down...
In our culture, we've relinquished our right to reckon with death by handing the entire process over to funeral homes and churches. As a result, most memorials don't have much personal relevance, and hence, offer little comfort. A Humanist funeral does not invoke any deity, god or religious concept. There is no heaven, hell or purgatory, no taboos or superstitions. Only the understanding that the body is no longer occupied by the person we knew and loved, and that our task now is to honor the memory and recognize the gifts this person has given us. A Humanist funeral involves the friends and family by inviting them to stand and speak about the person who has died. This creates connection, communication and completion, making the grieving process a bit easier to navigate.
I am a very vocal activist on behalf of the rights of same sex couples to marry. Unfortunately, at this writing, only a few U.S.states recognize same sex marriage as full, legal marriage, but we're doing our best to change that. In the meantime, many states and counties offer "domestic partnership" certificates. But even without a legal document, a ceremony that publicly declares your intent and commitment is extremely powerful, both socially and emotionally.
How sad that in our culture transitions like marriage, death and buying a new house are observed, yet divorce and separation are dark demons acknowledged only in heartless courtrooms or alone in our empty beds. What we don't often realize is that relationships don't really end... they just change form. And these changes -- whether they happen in a marriage, a family structure, a friendship or a business partnership -- are vital turning points in our lives. They require honor, acknowledgment and closure.
These critical life passages are almost ignored in American society, yet in other societies they are high ceremonial events. The Judeo-Christian system gives puberty a nod via Jewish bar mitzvahs and Catholic confirmations, but these are steeped in religious dogma, and probably not too relevant to those of you who've come to this site. And as far as menopause or midlife is concerned, every niche of society from churches to the medical community is either baffled, repulsed or terrified by it. All the more reason why coming of age and midlife should be honored by a gathering of friends and family to assign these passages the reverence they are due, and to bring us back into harmony with life's natural cycles.
Religion Recovery Counseling
The vast majority of people who visit this web site are refugees from the religions of their parents. They are people who've taken risks by thinking for themselves and forging their own paths, and in the process have abandoned the religions traditions in which they were raised. Religions that teach fear, guilt and self-doubt have a crippling effect on a developing human mind, and although many people succeed at breaking free, the process is not an easy one. People seek help with this struggle for many reasons. Sometimes it's because they're planning a wedding in the midst of a family conflict over religion. Others are starting families and are being pressured by their parents to baptize the children or raise them in a particular religion. Some are simply questioning what they've been taught and are looking for alternatives.
HOW THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT FEELS ABOUT NON-RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES...