Barbara Densmore Professional Celebrant

Local Pathfinders

January 21, 2010

Happy New Year!  I’ve used this central post space to give you ideas of what a meaningful ceremony can be/do.   As 2010 begins, I’m knee deep in the midst of writing a number of ceremonies.

I’ll have more stories once the ceremonies are delivered.  In the meantime, I’d like to introduce you to some local folks who are at the leading edge of  observing  major life transitions.

Beginnings

This Saturday (Jan 23rd)  is the second “Indie I Do” event in Vancouver.  It’s a one-day showcase of services for people who are looking for original wedding ideas..the first one of its kind in Canada.

Catering to a diverse crowd, Indie I Do promises something for everyone – be it an off beat theme wedding, same sex do, or simply a traditional couple looking to add a touch of their own unique personalities into their event.

If you can’t make it to the event, don’t despair!  Links on the site lead to all  exhibitors.

Ends

You may have heard Paula Jardine, the Artist in Residence at Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery on CBC or seen some of her exceptional efforts so far.  Her newest project joins with Vancouver based artists Jan Wade and Nhan Nguyen.  Titled “Altered”, altar pieces and shrines created by the artists will be installed at the grunt gallery.  Corresponding video screenings at the Mountain View Cemetery’s new celebration hall on February 20 will explore cultural histories around Memorial and how we remember.  Info on both here.

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The resurgence of green burials started in the United Kingdom, which opened their first green cemetery in 1993.  Over 200 exist today.

My first initiation to green burial was in the HBO TV series Six Feet Under”. (looks like the series starts over again on Jan 26).   Grave Matters (fascinating read, BTW) author Mark Harris says:

I’ve long believed that Ball’s fetching view of green burial, which aired on August 21, 2005, did more to sell the idea to the greater public than any newspaper story, newscast or magazine piece at the time.

At the very same time, the Green Burial Council (GBC) was launched – a group from outside the funeral industry formed to educate the public and the funeral industry about sustainable alternatives to traditional burial. It’s making great headway.

Canadian Outreach Director Don Morris has moved to Gibsons, BC and is now heading up GBC’s Canadian efforts.  I’ll keep you updated on his upcoming whereabouts.

Don recently hosted a talk by Stephen Jenkinson, Harvard educated theologian, leading Canadian palliative care educator, spiritual activist and author, featured in the awe-inspiring NFB film “Griefwalker.” Stephen will be offering a 6 day program at Hollyhock later this year:  Homecoming: A Master Class in Living and Dying.

Transitions

A powerful divorce ceremony delivered by my gifted colleague Michele Davidson was featured on CBC’s Tapestry this fall.  You can listen to the clip here. Forward until you get to the ¾ point of the podcast.

The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.

~~ William Gibson (Vancouver Sci-Fi novelist)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

shroudwoman January 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Hello. My name is Esmerelda .
I was a costume designer until my mother died .
I shrouded her on instinct from ancient memory ,
went through a nightmare funeral home experience,
fell in love with “Six Feet Under”
began working in California’s 1st Green cemetery,
designed the KINKARA shroud,
began KINKARACO-Green Burial Products (www.greenburialproducts.com),
got called by the producers of “Six Feet Under” who purchased our shroud for the Green Burial Episode in 2005!
Life imitates Art imitates Death !

Michele Davidson March 10, 2010 at 7:51 am

Dearest Celebrant Barbara,
Many thanks for sharing my Divorce Ceremony doc with your readers. Love your blog… it’s very informative about Celebrancy and all the things it takes to live meaningfully.
Celebrant Michele

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