Tsume Tsuyu wrote:we already celebrate some of the more obvious ones - marriage, birth
Do we? How many baptisms and weddings are celebrated in/with the Sunday assembly compared to the number celebrated by the familiy more or less privately?
I do recall one Sunday, a baby being held up for all in the assembly to see - that is a celebration of birth.
And we do get the names of those infants to be baptised published ion the newsletter. So that rite is 'celebrated', though not with as much rejoicing as it deserves! And sometimes this is celebrated with everyone in a Sunday Mass, where the parents want... but is it encouraged, or do the clergy secretly prefer it to be separated from the Mass?
Carrying on with the Initiation sacraments (which are a passage from one place to another, so could be considered here), the wider family of each child for First Communion and Confirmation do come and celebrate in Church, even if they are never seen in our (or any?) Church at other times and show a distinct lack of understanding about that which they ask of us. These rites of passage are
quite often celebrated in the Assembly, even if the 'imposition' of stangers is not totally appreciated by the whole assembly!
Then largely there is a long gap until wedding/ordination (or both for those married in the permanent diaconate). Weddings tend to be more private celebrations - invitation only. Ordinations to the priesthood can and do involve parishes, especially where the candidate has spent time as a deacon and his home parish. Religious professions are more private. In this Archdiocese (B'ham), the permanent diaconate is publicly celebrated in the Cathedral, and tends to have family, friends and supporters from parishes.
Funerals tend to be more public, though I have been to some where very few people are motivated to come and others where the church is packed. So maybe this means that the 'Sunday assembly' doesn't really come, it is only those who'd normally be at daily mass, unless there is some other reason for attending - hard sometimes for those at work to get the employer to release them.
Still not convinced that we do mark 'passages' in any specific way. Ought we to?