It’s been a big year for many of us, full of lessons and reminders. The start of a new year often calls for making resolutions and setting intentions for what’s to come. But before you celebrate new beginnings, consider how you want to close the current year. What do you want to reflect on and release? How can you close the year and acknowledge what you’ve learned and experienced? What will you look back on and feel when you think about 2022?
We’ve put together some of our favourite rituals from our Closing the Year ceremony to help you acknowledge what was, what is, and what will be. Our ceremony creation platform empowers you to design your own ceremony to wrap up the year with rituals, mindfulness and intention. You can create it for yourself, or gift it to someone you know who might appreciate a little support as the year comes to an end. However you decide to close the year, consider how ritual and ceremony can support you acknowledge this ending.
What is a closing the year ceremony?
A closing the year ceremony helps mark a transition in time. It’s a way to honour the end of one thing before welcoming something new. You can also divide your ceremony into two parts, creating a closing ceremony to mark the end of a year, and an opening ceremony to welcome the next. Closing the year can be tied to the calendar year, but it can also be your own version of one year ending and another beginning.
Why is ceremony important?
Before we dive in what rituals to practice in your closing ceremony, we need to first understand why ceremonies and rituals are important. Whether you are new to this concept or a seasoned ritual practitioner, ceremonies and rituals occur often within our everyday lives.
The Celebrants Network states, “Ceremonies mark life’s essential moments. They reflect our beliefs, hopes, traditions, culture and spirituality. A ceremony can help to show people they are united and that they belong. They can motivate us, stimulate our emotions and prompt memories.
Our friend and fellow celebrant Karla Combres shares, “Ceremony comforts those who are grieving, and offers sustenance to those who are in transition. Ceremony strengthens communities while honouring important beginnings and hard-won endings. Put simply, ceremony can be transformative. I love working with people who want to pause in order to reflect, honour and celebrate life’s many milestones.”
What was, what is, and what will be
A ceremony can help you release what you want to let go of before starting anew, and also find peace and beauty in this liminal time of change.
So often we focus on the future instead of weaving in the past and the present moment. By marking the ending of a year with intention and ritual, you gift yourself with an opportunity to reflect on the events and experiences that impacted you and create space for a mindful transition into a new year.
4 rituals to say goodbye and hello
As you prepare to close the year, consider what the year brought with it. Reflect on the light and dark moments you experienced and consider what you want to leave behind and carry forward as you practice the following rituals alone or with a group:
Burning has been used as a ritual of release for decades. Take a calendar and burn it on the last day of the yaer, symbolically letting go of what was.
Crossing the threshold
Create a symbolic threshold — this could be a stick, a string, or you can draw one using chalk — and then step over that line to mark the start of a new year.
Thank you cards
Write a series of notes to the people who have supported you this year, thanking them for something they brought to your life.
Light a sparkler with intention to acknowledge the end of the year and think about what you want to carry forward as the new year dawns upon us.
Together as a community
Every month we invite our community members to join us as we learn, share and discuss the many ways ritual and ceremony can be woven into our daily lives, and to connect as part of our growing community.
- We’re excited to offer our first Ceremony Master Class on December 4th, diving deeper into how you can create meaningful ceremonies for yourself and others. This workshop is free for Be Ceremonial subscribers; email us for the promo code!
- For anyone who made a vision board in 2022, we invite you to join us for Story Visioning ~ A Year End Gathering, as we hold space for everyone to share how they started the year and all the twists and turns encountered along the way.
- We are hosting a free virtual workshop for Be Ceremonial account holders on December 27, 2022 from 2pm – 3pm PST, to guide you through the foundations of ritual and ceremony with a focus on Closing the Year, and answer any questions you may have about our services, ritual and ceremony and beyond. You can register here.
Create your own Closing the Year ceremony
Be Ceremonial’s unique platform helps you create a closing the year ceremony that reflects your story. Choose from our extensive library of secular rituals and create a ceremony to honour this time of change. You can sign up for free and then purchase a single ceremony (for yourself or to gift to someone else) or you can start a subscription and create as many ceremonies as you like.
However you choose to end the year, do so with intention and acknowledgement. It will help clear your mind and prepare you for the year ahead.
Stay tuned for our Opening the Year ceremony coming soon!