Emotional Wedding Haka+ Rites of Passage

Emotional Wedding Haka + Rites of Passage

I wanted to share a video with you that went viral a couple of years back.  The last time I checked, it had been viewed over 34 million times.

I’m sharing this with you because of the way that it moves me - literally to tears - every time I watch it. This ‘call and response’ from loving and dedicated community is the essence of what keeps the community strong and intact. The Haka is fierce display of a tribe's pride, strength, and unity, and it is sometimes used during Maori ceremonies and celebrations to revere guests or mark a milestone. This emotional wedding haka video offers us a transmission of something ancient, beautiful, powerful, enduring and rare, and we can viscerally and intuitively feel its impact no matter who we are, where we come from, or what our traditions are.

But most of us in this culture don’t have anything like the haka to deliver us across the threshold of marriage. Nor do we have the kind of steadfast community that will keep us accountable to our vows and commitments.

As a wedding officiant who is passionate about finding “insightful ways of comprehending the great human transitions and reinventing meaningful ways of ritualizing them,” I’m always thinking about creative, non-appropriative ways of bringing in that palpable kind of love in a way that feels authentic to each couple and what they’re invoking for their marriage. I’m always thinking about how we can honor the enduring, universal human impulse to gather and celebrate life-passages, AND creatively reimagine our ceremonies, rituals and rites of passage so that they have real relevance to who we are and where we are now.

Do you have a favorite ritual from your culture or faith of origin that needs some dusting off and freshening up? Is there a ritual from a religion or culture different than your own that inspires you? If so, please share it in the comments below!