The theme of the service on Jan 27, 2013 at UUCPA was “Thresholds”. There were some intensely interesting bits in it. For instance, the Navajo ceremony to celebrate a baby’s first laugh:
The ceremony takes place because the Navajo believe the baby is connected to two worlds when he is born and may bring evil. Thus, they celebrate the birth of the child the first time it laughs. Babies are believed to sit with the Holy People and have a special connection to them and be able to communicate to them, and that is why they are unable to speak our language. When the child laughs for the first time, he is indicating that he is ready to learn to speak and he begins slowly relinquishing his connection with the Holy People. Further more, the baby is said to take on aspects of whomever made him laugh the first time. Thus, unwelcome people are not allowed around the baby. (1)
Other threshold’s mentioned:
- The Maoi(2) have elaborate entrances to their worship areas.
- Jewish people put Mezuzah’s at their door thresholds as specified in the Torah.
- Work thresholds. Why don’t we do more to indicate an entrance to a space to work?
This service also introduced me to the Threshold Choir. It is a non-profit entity that will come to someone’s bedside as they are passing the threshold of life into death. Then they sing. Sing to comfort that passing. This is a beautiful gift to give and I applaud them their work. There may be a chapter in your area.
(1) Source: http://scholar-works.blogspot.com/2010/05/native-americans-ceremonies-clowns-and.html
(2) Yes, I spelled this wrong.
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