“Ceremony – whatever brings you closer to your essential self.”
– Richard Wagamese,
Embers, One Ojibway’s Meditations
Moving Ceremonies is dedicated to re-imagining ceremony and weaving tradition with the great turning inside each human heart.
Together we collaborate and weave a ceremony that brings together your personal care for life and love. Whether a wedding, welcoming a new member of your family, a rite of passage, divorce or remembrance, your values and voice contribute to the design and direction of each ceremony.
We invite wonder and mystery to merge with modern life and create elegant, moving ceremonies to experience and mark the meaningful moments of life.
Who is Penny?
Since I can remember I have loved the art and craft of creating ceremony. As a child I remember carefully burying my goldfish in the center of my mother’s round flower garden in the backyard, using a perfect box I rummaged out of the medicine cabinet.
In Grade 7, an unconventional and inspired teacher, Mr. Reid, lead our class of misfits out beyond the football fields, through a large metal gate into a pioneer burial ground. Not found in any curriculum, then or now, Cemetery Study delivered me into a deep sense of awe at the reality of embodied human life on earth being finite and ultimately sacred. I have carried this with me throughout my life.
A longtime lover of the world’s great wisdom traditions I have travelled to countries all over the earth experiencing and participating in traditional ceremonies marking the life-death-life cycle we are all participants in.
I am a curious creative who seeks meaningful collaborations. I flourish in any opportunity to weave words to serve and express the sometimes un-expressible mysteries of love, life and loss.
I am a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant with the Celebrant Foundation & Institute, a Minister registered with the Canadian International Metaphysical Ministry and registered with Vital Statistics.
I offer services in Vancouver & Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast and Victoria in Beautiful British Columbia! I am willing and welcome the opportunity to officiate in wild and off the beaten track locations – just tell me to wear my hiking boots!!
VICTORIA, British Columbia — Two days before he was scheduled to die, John Shields roused in his hospice bed with an unusual idea. He wanted to organize an Irish wake for himself. It would be old-fashioned with music and booze, except for one notable detail — he would be present.
It was Penny’s privilege to be a part of the ceremony of farewell for John Shields in Victoria. The New York Times wrote an article about it see below.
Many thanks to Steve Cronin, of American Funeral Director Magazine for inviting me to share about end of life ceremonies.
This is timely and inspiring, although my heart ached when i got to the last line of the article. It clearly is time to re-imagine ceremony - a funeral simply means a gathering to honour the dead where the body is present. Here's to re-imagining funerals in modern...
My mother says my birth was quick! Forty-five minutes after she got to the hospital i arrived. She had been out on a boat that day bobbing and bouncing on the St. Lawrence River in Ontario. I like to think the waters rocked and rolled me into the perfect position to...
There is only one happiness in this life. It is to love and be loved in return. - George Sand. This love does not just apply to lovers - it applies to all relationships - friends, family, pets.
Weddings & Vow Renewals
What do you deeply care for and value in relationship?
What is at the heart of your unique union and affection for one another?
What are the vows and commitments you wish to make in marriage with your beloved?
Are you joining two families, and want to include children in your ceremony?
I want to know!
I will place your values and vision at the heart of your ceremony and together weave words, music, and elements, which most reflect, honor and celebrate the rare and precious meeting of two lives destined to be together.
Renewal of vows can be an opportunity to celebrate and mark the growth and bloom of your relationship and love.
We can actually go through many phases of marriage with the same person. As we grow and change and meet the profound mystery of each partner’s journey as part of an evolving couple, ceremony can serve to mark the significant changes along the way.
Through being witnessed and celebrated by friends and family, your unique bond is strengthened and deepened. It is an opportunity to offer the gift of your flourishing love with all you know!
Vow renewal ceremonies can also be created after times of difficulty and challenge, an occasion to renew and update the commitment you are making to the shared journey of love at this time in your lives.
Death, Transition, Ceremonies of Remembrance, and Body/Ash Interment
A joy shared is a double joy; A sorrow shared is half a sorrow. – Proverb.
It is natural and innate to gather when someone dies. Grief needs movement and community, breath and song, lament and lyrics, opportunities to meet and be met in shared loss and appreciation, and the challenges of meeting this inevitable threshold.
Many cultures celebrate death in the midst of life. For over two decades I have travelled in Mexico, Ecuador and Bali to participate in traditional ceremony and ritual in this regard and have been moved by the healing power of conscious recognition in this sometimes formidable crossing.
In Western Culture death is often kept on the periphery, quickly taken care of by strangers and sometimes rushed through. I welcome and invite you to slow down and take the time you need to mark this moment in a meaningful and resourced way.
No two humans are alike. Each being deserves to be honored with mindful respect, personal care. I have a deep reverence for this transition in the life cycle. I would be honored to share this loss with you by co-creating a ceremony that reflects and celebrates the reality of your loved one’s precious life and time on this earth, as well as acknowledges their death and your loss.
Green Burial, Burial and Cremation Interment
Earth and Air, Fire and Water conspire to form our living bodies. It is an important aspect of the cycle of death to offer the remains back into the living body of creation. Often times a Celebration of Life and/or Funeral do not co-inside with the timing of burial or cremation. Together we can create a ceremony that honors the transition of your loved ones body back to the elements from which it came.
Our four-legged, furred, finned and feathered friends occupy deep places within our hearts where I believe no human can tread. Their departure from our lives can be a heart-rending time, as they seem to companion us through important thresholds of change.
I have experienced the great loss of my equine, canine and feline companions through the years and have created ceremonies to honor the unique gifts each one has brought to life.
I welcome the opportunity to co-create a meaningful ceremony to honour the loss of your animal companion.
A Word About the Body:
Tending a loved one’s body, human or animal, between the time of death and cremation or burial, in many cases is not as difficult as you may think. Taking the time you need or want to say goodbye can often serve the reality and depth of this loss. I have a deep care for this transitional time.
Other CeremoniesWhatever your heart desires
Ceremony offers an opportunity to tangibly mark the visible and invisible changes of our lives.
Baby blessing & namings, Important birthdays, graduation, divorce, healing, anniversary dates, and more.
I welcome any opportunity to create ceremony with you!
Rites of Passage – Moon Time Blessing
For over twenty years I have co-created ceremony in circles of women, dedicated to honoring this potent time in a young woman’s life.
These multi-generational gatherings welcome our daughters into the wealth and wonder of women’s mysteries.
Next StepsWhere do we go from here?
First we meet in person or by Skype or phone.
You decide to engage with me in a co-creative journey to create a ceremony.
I interview you (in person for Funeral/Celebrations of Life) and offer a questionnaire for you to support the personalization of the ceremony.
You have unlimited contact with me to finalize and approve of the ceremony from start to finish.
I officiate (including a rehearsal for Weddings) on the day of, arriving in plenty of time to collaborate with musicians and all participants in the Ceremony.
AppreciationWords of Thanks
Penny was the perfect compliment to our wedding ceremony. She helped co-create an amazing experience both for us and our guests that attended and it was beautiful. Super easy to work with, down to earth, and built our core values and story into the ceremony that was one to remember. Would recommend Penny to anyone looking to create a memorable ceremony that goes beyond tradition and makes people feel like they are truly part of the moment with you. The RevaysThe Revays
I wanted to say a big THANK YOU for orchestrating our beautiful ceremony. It was magical! More than a few people told me it was the most beautiful ceremony they had ever attended, and I would have to agree! I don’t say that lightly either because we are at that stage when we attend a lot of weddings! You were so poignant with your words, you paused when one was needed, and you delivered your words so sweetly as you took us through our vows. We even had someone ask for a copy of the ceremony because they liked it so much! Alex de Chantal
The ceremony was so personalized, I love how it told our story and the reading about the dog was so fitting. Penny you are very good at what you do, you are so sincere and loving in your delivery and you guided us through a truly beautiful ceremony. Kelly de ChantalKelly and Alex de Chantal
The Wedding of a Lifetime!
Thank you so very much for marrying us!
It was great to work with you on the format of the ceremony, and the wording of our vows. It all made for a unique and very personalized special occasion.
We may be a bit biased, but we think it’s the ‘Best Wedding’ we have ever been to, and many of our guests agreed. They said it was a very memorable ceremony, which they felt privileged to participate in.
For us, it was truly the wedding of a lifetime!
Mr. and Mrs. Michelle and Paul Nash
Her attention to detail was impeccable!
Penny was a joy to work with, in co-creating our sacred ceremony of union. She offered many helpful suggestions, she was patient and easy to communicate with by email, phone and Skype, and she was very keen to learn details that might have even a subtle impact on the ceremony itself. Her attention to detail was impeccable. We appreciated her alignment with our desire to create a ceremony that was uniquely expressive of our values, spirituality, and overall vision of relationship.
When the day came, Penny was so gracious and supportive to both of us as well as our families. Her delivery of the ceremony itself was incredible. She spoke with clarity and intention, and helped us and our wedding party to stay strong and grounded, and in the present moment so we could really absorb the beauty of the day and the potency of what we had co-created with her. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect, more special person to marry us!
Devon & Sasha
Contact MePhone: 604-803-4607