Be Ceremonial

A Ritual Story for a Celebration of Life

By Jo-Anne Haun

Be Ceremonial’s Legacy Jar ritual gave me new insight into the power of ceremony as I helped plan a Celebration of Life for a friend. This is a fantastic resource, especially those who work in the end of life space.

As a death educator and death doula, I’ve helped a lot of people navigate the death and dying process. Yet, I don’t have much experience creating ceremonies. When a colleague passed away, I offered to create a ritual during his Celebration of Life to bring together the different people and communities in his life. 

I’d heard Megan Sheldon speak on CBC radio about Be Ceremonial and I thought the app sounded interesting. It was very easy to use and gave me some insight into how to introduce a ritual into an event like this. I wanted to help my colleague’s grieving fiancée connect with people from his past and maybe hear some stories she didn’t know. I landed on the Legacy Jar as I thought it would be a good way to collect and share stories about our friend. 

People sat around their tables at dinner laughing and crying as they told stories. They were then encouraged to write down some of those stories and put them into the Legacy Jar that his fiancee would take home with her. The ritual brought everyone closer together; it also gave his partner something to hold onto following the Celebration of Life – a wonderful way to preserve those memories.

The app gave me a large variety of rituals to choose from and helped me find a way to honour a friend. It also helped me think differently about how to introduce ritual into those simple, ordinary moments of everyday life. I hadn’t realised how rituals and ceremonies could be used for any occasion, and that just by changing the intention of something, I could change an everyday routine into a meaningful ritual.

The variety of ceremonies being offered is amazing, and rituals are not as complicated as I had previously thought. I think it’s a fantastic tool for everyone, especially those who work in the end of life space. 

~ Jo-Anne Haun, co-founder of Death Doula Network International

Be Ceremonial’s Legacy Jar ritual

Our unique ritual offers you different ways to create and connect with someone’s legacy after they’re gone.

1. Invite everyone to think about the person who died and any words that describe them or unique characteristics they held. Think about any stories or memories that arise, and distill those thoughts into a few simple words.

2. Write those words on one of the pieces of paper and share it with the group as you place it into the Legacy Jar.

3. Once the jar is full, close it up and bring it home with you. Whenever you want to reconnect with the memories from this day, or be reminded of the impact your person had in this world, shake the jar, open the lid, and pull out a word.

4. Sit with that word for as long as you need to and then place it back into the jar. Pull words as needed to support your grief journey.

5. You can pass the Legacy Jar around to others, or invite family and friends to pull out a word when they visit you. 

This is only one of the hundreds of rituals that exists within Be Ceremonial. Sign up for a free account to explore the App, and then you can purchase one of our many ceremonies. You can also start a subscription, giving you the ability to create unlimited ceremonies for yourself and those you care for. 

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About Jo-Anne Haun

Jo-Anne Haun is a Dead-u-cator and Death Doula. She runs a company called End of Life Alternatives dedicated to helping explore their end of life options and alternatives. She is also an educator, community builder and co-founder of the Death Doula Network International

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