“Rites of Passage” as you enter stages of your life

There are  lots of books written about the “stages of life” one goes through.  I like to refer to them as “rites of passage”.

The major ones that come to mind would be: Birth, Leaving childhood and becoming an adolescent, Leaving home, Weddings, and Death/Funerals.

A rite of passage, which marks a time when a person reaches a new and significant change in his/her life, is something that nearly all societies recognize and often hold ceremonies for.

These ceremonies are held to observe a person’s entry into a new stage of life and certainly a marriage is right up at the top of the list. Most rites help people to understand their new roles in society. They can also help others learn to treat people in new ways after they experience certain rites of passage.

Most rites of passage fall into three main phases:

1. In the separation phase, the participant is taken away from his/her familiar environment and former role and enters a very different and sometimes foreign routine that they need to adjust to and get comfortable An example would be one’s birth or leaving for college or military service.

2. The transition phase, parties learns the appropriate behavior for the new stage they are entering. This phase can include the time when a person becomes engaged to be married. At this time, they are learning about the new stage of life they will soon enter — marriage. They are also adjusting and preparing for it, or making a transition. Another example would be adolescence and all the changes that are made when moving from a child dependent on parents, to becoming independent.

3. Incorporation into a new role. The last phase is happens when the person is formally admitted into the new role. Marriage is a good example of a rite that would take place in the incorporation phase. After people are married, they have taken on a very new and different role, having prepared for it in earlier transition and separation rites.

Elopements are significant in that the privacy of the wedding is between the Bride and Groom is open to the world once the “announcement” is conveyed to their family and friends. Parties and celebrations do follow most of the time.

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