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Document Details :
Title: Rites of Passage in an Individualised Society
Subtitle: Personal Wedding Rituals in Flanders
Author(s): VERLINDEN, Ann
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 15 Issue: 1 Date: 2009
People have always marked the key moments in their lives with symbols, rituals and festivities. Marriage is one of these moments in life people wish to celebrate. Even in a secularised, individualised and consumption-oriented society, the need for rites of passage seems to persist. In this paper the author explains why she started an office for personal rituals and why she thought such an office would be successful in contemporary society. From her perspective as a sociologist of religion she explains why the need for rites of passage persists. However, these rites have changed over time. She illustrates that now wedding rituals, like any other ritual, are designed according to people’s personal taste and preferences. In an individualised society people wish to create or design their own wedding ceremony in a personal way. In this context, a wedding ceremony counsellor, but even a priest in case of a church wedding, is positioned more and more in the role of 'facilitator' of rituals.