The changes to society in the last 200 years in western culture have brought many benefits, but also many negatives
- people are separated from family support and roots by employment needs and thus young and old alike are more isolated. Thus at higher risk of depression.
- the wedding is too late for relationship education. Becoming an adult, leaving home, getting engaged are better times to gift those services to loved ones.
- family support for elderly people now falls on one or two people, usually women - who are already disadvantaged re their long term support when they are older.
- men are no longer long term employees whose knowledge and skills are valued as they were in the past.
- Australian's high sugar, fat and alcohol diets mean an ageing population with high risk for type two diabetes. Thus the need for the focus to be the ceremony, not just the food and drink.
- memory loss and dementia rates are predicted to rise. Memory does deteriorate with age anyway - so family gatherings where one of the purposes is to create a "living eulogy" is important.
Note this would be a higher cost package from your celebrant, but when a shared cost a great investment for your family.
- documenting a personal story would be important if your family member needs to go into care. Many of our elderly are now looked after by strangers - such resources would mean a little more compassion and understanding for their care.
- the related aspect is "Don't expect your kids to know anything about you when you die".
Documenting family member's stories is important for younger generations. This could be a service celebrants offer for a fee, without ceremonies and well as with. Gift certificates for such a services with the products able to be gifted to grand children etc.
- Creating quality time for groups of people where the focus is love and respect - as an important counter to the mass production of violence and death currently coming from mainstream film and TV and other forms of 'entertainment'.
Adding a ceremony to your celebration means adding to your quality of life and that of your family and to longer term health and well-being.
Consider hiring a civil celebrant to hold ceremonies as a group gift, instead everyone buying individual presents, for your special occasion !
The gift may be worth $ 2,000 - but divided between 50 people that is only $ 40 per head. Or 100 quests $ 20 per head.
Then, saving everyone the time and effort to coordinate the ceremony (not "entertainment" but meaningful engagement for the gathering), the celebrant can:
do in-depth interviews to capture the person or couple's story
organise photos and text into a Memento Album
arrange a DVD of a collection of photos of the person or couples along with their favourite music
design a special ceremony for the celebration
work with family and friends to make short tributes during the ceremony
organise family and friends with special singing or performing talents to participate in the ceremony
take responsibility to conduct the ceremony so everyone present is able to relax and be involved