Yes, you did read that correctly!
The purpose of a ceremony.
We see the purpose of any ceremony, a wedding, a naming, a funeral, a divorce, as an opportunity to down-tools, gather around people that are passing through a recognised special moment in life, and usher them through. To take them by the hand and walk them through the moment. There’s a community aspect to it. There’s a cheerleader aspect. And there’s an encouragement and recognition aspect to it.
It’s a moment where a person, or persons, is/are led, cheered, encouraged and at the end of the ceremony, we recognise that they are in a different place than they were before.
So what’s a divorce ceremony?
A divorce ceremony is a little more casual than your typical wedding, and it might not have the fancy dress or the flowers. But it has the same purpose. In front of, and with, a group of friends and family you make a decision about your relationship.
Sometimes when the couple are amicable they can do the ceremony together. Really!
If the couple aren’t so amicable it’s something that can happen with just one person.
A celebrant, can talk about where we have been, but the importance of the ceremony is about where the person(s) are going. What commitments are they making moving forward? How does their life change? How can their friends and family help?
If the couple are there together it’s a really good opportunity to acknowledge wrongdoings and mistakes. To bring to light weaknesses and annoyances. But don’t stop there.
After the rubbish has been aired, move on to the good things. How will life be better now? Acknowledge the positive attributes you both brought to the relationship and the family.
Encourage each other to go on to better things. And show your gratefulness to each other, your family, and friends for their efforts as well.
There’s no right way to usher people through this period of life, but if you can do it with open and honest communication and a mind to help, not hurt, you might just have the best darn divorce ceremony the world has ever seen.
There’s an amazing maturity and intelligence to recognising that you made a decision (to marry) and in hindsight that wasn’t a great decision, so now I’m making a new decision and I’m making that commitment with the same friends and family I made the last decision with.
Or maybe you made a good decision in the past (marriage, again) and that was a great decision then, and for a time, but now our lives or circumstances are different and that’s no longer a good decision.
What about marriage?
Marriage is a union entered into voluntarily for life. Full stop. You enter into marriage for life.
But it would be extremely immature to not acknowledge that people change, and that changes our commitments.
If anyone is ever in an unhealthy relationship, or in an unhappy relationship, and both parties have worked to mend the relationship unsuccessfully, then maybe divorce is a great decision to make.