While every birthday on its own merits a celebration, some carry extra significance as they mark important transitions in people’s lives. Two major transitions (communion and confirmation) are still widely celebrated in a traditional way. However, for a growing number of people, these traditional ways have lost depth and meaning. JaYesTa offers new ways in which life-transitions can be celebrated.
These celebrations are specifically designed to ease the transition of an individual into the next phase in their life, effectively closing the door of their old, outgrown life behind them. By doing this an individual will consciously move through his/her life, shouldering new responsibilities and leaving inappropriate behaviour and/or dependency behind. Celebrations for special birthdays may include:
- 7: Communion
At the age of 7, a child is ready to leave early childhood behind and enter into the wider community. With this transition comes both privileges and responsibilities as he/she is now ‘in communion’ with those outside his/her immediate family.
- 12: Confirmation
At this age, the child will be ready for exploring wider boundaries, signified by its transition to secondary level education. Having achieved a sense of self that is rooted in their family history a child is now ready to embark on a journey of self-confirmation as we confirm our love, trust and responsibility to the child.
- 15-16: Growth
Most teenagers have at this time become physically mature and will soon be entering the world of adult relationships. A ritual celebration at this time will help them shed childish dependence in favour of adult responsibilities in all areas of life and help them embrace their sexuality responsibly, joyfully and with loving care for themselves and their partner.
- 18-21: Entering adulthood
These years mark the transition of a youngster into full adulthood, ready to shoulder responsibilities and to become fully accountable for his/her actions.
- 50: Entering the middle years
As we enter the middle years, we move into a new phase in our life, a time of reflection and profound change as we grow from life-bearers to supporting elders.
- 60-65: Retirement
The period of life in which we are bathed in a golden autumn light where there still may be plenty of sunny days in which we can enjoy ourselves. Still, realisation dawns that the elder years are approaching in which the continuous well-being of the wider community relies on our wisdom and experiences.
- 75: The elder years
As the winter of life arrives time has come to embrace the reversal of roles. A shift occurs in which the elder needs to leave care-giving to the younger generation. A time to step back into the shadows where lays the new and challenging role of counsellor and wisdom teacher which they can now assume.