Deepening the Spiritual Side of Celebrancy

Oct 8, 2021

By Rev Lorraine McCarthy

For three years now, I have been privileged to lovingly craft and deliver ceremonies, which reflect the importance of all beliefs, no matter how diverse. In the summer of 2020, I was ordained as a OneSpirit Interfaith Minister, and this has added a whole new dimension and richness to my life as a celebrant.

In 2017 I completed one year’s training as a Family and Funeral Celebrant with the Irish Institute of Celebrants, subsequently embarking on a career as a professional. I officiated at many Weddings, Vow Renewals, Baby Naming’s, Funerals, Memorial Services and Coming of Age ceremonies. I very quickly realised how much I enjoyed the whole process, that this was my passion and calling. Through advertising and word of mouth, my services were engaged more and more often, and my business was building in a satisfactory and rewarding way.

However, I always felt there was something missing, something not quite fulfilling, no matter how busy I was. The more ceremonies I officiated, the more I realised there was a deeper Spiritual side within me.

Then I found OneSpirit Interfaith Ministry, and my life changed. I embarked on the ministry training programme in 2018, ordained a reverend in 2020.

On recognising the power of the Spirit within, I realised that the Spirit had been present at all the important times in my life when I needed help. I began to explore this and I remembered how the healing power of the Divine had taken me from the darkness of periods of critical illness to the light of strength. I felt the energy within, calling me to pursue a deeper understanding of my Spirituality.

One of the deepest changes wrought within me since my OneSpirit Ordination in the summer of 2020 is the way I engage with people through my ministry – especially families grieving at the death of a loved one, and couples preparing for marriage.

Before any initial meetings (currently via video call), I make sure I withdraw to my Sacred space in my home, and ask for guidance from the Divine. This activates the power of Love within me, and enhances the connection with those I meet.

Then, when I officiate at weddings, I actively feel the Spirit and Grace within allowing a new reverence to my words, and bringing a renewed joy and richness to all aspects of the ceremony. Couples and their families remark on the sincerity of my Ceremonies, and often say they feel they have known me all their lives.

When it comes to funerals, I feel my OneSpirit Ministry has opened my heart to listen to the bereaved with genuine love. Since the very first funeral I officiated, I have always felt the presence of the deceased, which I found very reassuring. Since my Ordination, this awareness of the deceased has been heightened alongside the feeling of the protective presence of the Divine. This allows me to be much more aware of myself, my words, my demeanor and the affect they have on those present.

The current pandemic means that most other celebrations are postponed for the foreseeable future but nevertheless, I look forward to better times ahead with confidence in the protection of the Grace and the support of my Interfaith Family.

Discover more about Rev. Lorraine McCarthy on our Register of OneSpirit interfaith Ministers.

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