Ceremonies and Celebrations - classic text - Dally Messenger III

Dally Messenger III

John Hill

Carol Astbury

Kathy Hurley (d.2001)
Naming Ceremonies

David Oldfield (USA)

Poets and Writers
(Royalties paid where required)

William Shakespeare
Bryce Courtenay
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Kahlil Gibran
Rabindranath Tagore
Banjo Paterson
Pam Ayres
Christina Rossetti
Robert Burns
Christopher Brennan
Jean Bollen
Rupert Brooke
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Christopher Marlowe
e.e. cummings
Thomas Davidson
John Donne
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Kate Fisher
D.H. Lawrence
Gloria Matthew
John Milton
Oodgeroo Noonuccal
Liana Preston
James Whitcomb Reilly
Jamie Samms
Canon Henry Scott-Holland
Sir Phillip Sidney
Robert Louis Stevenson
Dylan Thomas
Mark Twain
Brian Zouch


Ceremonies and Celebrations, (the fourth Edition of Ceremonies for Today) contains complete ceremonies, vows, tributes and readings suitable for all manner of contemporary occasions - weddings, funerals, namings, graduations, house dedications, special birthdays, step family unions, even divorce!

Each occasion ceremony is born from experience, and is handled with sensitivity and relevance. This handbook is a classic for civil celebrants, clergy requiring alternatives, all those seeking a ceremony with meaning, power, and personal content.

Table of Contents

PART 1 Weddings 1
1 Your Wedding
* Organising Your Wedding Ceremony
* Helping Your Celebrant Do a Good Job
* A Personally Composed Wedding Ceremony
* Types Ceremonies
*Wedding Checklist

2 The Wedding Ceremony - Four Model Ceremonies
* Ceremony #1: Romeo and Juliet
* Ceremony #2: Mary and John
* Ceremony #3: Todd and Jane
* Ceremony #4: Linda and David

3 Alternatives (for Weddings)
* Introduction/Sections of Introduction
* Giving Away/Presentation of the Bride
*The Asking / Vows
*Gay and Lesbian Commitment Ceremony
* Ring Ceremonies
* Sharing of Wine /Breaking the Glass
* Support Vows of the Guests
* Candle-lighting Ceremonies
* Step parents and Stepchildren
* Procession of the Families
* Renewal of Vows

4 Traditions and Symbols

PART 2 Other Ceremonies

5 The Need for Other Ceremonies

6 Namegiving/Naming
* Naming Ceremony
* Candle-lighting Ceremonies
* The Single Parent
* Writing Your Own Ceremony
* Alternatives

7 Milestone Celebrations
* Ceremony at Adolescence, or Second Cycle of Seven
* 13th Birthday Ceremony
* Coming of Age
* 21st Birthday Ceremony
* 30th Birthday Ceremony
* Midlife Transition"49th Birthday Ceremony
* My 60th Birthday Ceremony

8 Transitions and Life Cycles
* Career Transitions
* Graduation of Celebrants
* House Dedication
* Recommitment/Renewal of Vows
* Step Acceptance Ceremony
* Divorce Ceremony
* Changing a Name

9 * Sorry Ceremony

PART 3 Funerals

10 The Personal Funeral

11 Funeral Ceremonies
* Ceremony 1: Henry Fontaine (aged 90)
* Ceremony 2: Alfred Langworthy (a Buddhist)
* Ceremony 3: Jasmin Reilly (23, suicide)
* Ceremony 4: Sarah Hammond (12, traffic accident)
* Ceremony 5: Rebecca Toon (baby, sudden death)

12 Alternatives (for Funerals)
* Introductions
* Biography/ Eulogy
* Reflection/Prayer
* Readings
* the Committal
* Interment of Ashes

**Dally Messenger for six years was the National (Foundation) President of the Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants (Inc.). He was one of the first to become an independent, authorised civil celebrant in Australia, in 1974.



Dally’s book is a constant companion and resource material when meeting wedding couples and talking about the myriad ceremony options, when picking a perfect poem or simply stating beloved rituals in a dignified and elegant way. In my role as an OPD trainer around Australia, I am constantly amazed at what an invaluable all-round wedding resource and god-send Dally’s book has become for celebrants … so many marriage celebrants tell me it has saved their life on a number of occasions”


Every poem or prose quote in that book seems to be chosen for a certain level of popular understanding, not too shallow. not too deep, for the public at large.


The last two days I have read the entire Ceremonies and Celebrations book. I find this book really easy to read - a good resource book. I am planning to focus my celebrancy career on “Family Ceremonies” so I found the part of the book on Graduations, Baby Namings, Divorce and Step-Acceptance ceremonies really inspiring.
I have read the entire book probably three times during the last five months. I like Dally Messengers style of writing and can relate to it.


From one of these thousands of married couples
Dally's book was just the resource we needed to compose a wedding ceremony which would be really meaningful to Sheree and me.

DA and SD

From a leading marriage celebrant
It is the indispensable handbook for a celebrant! In the many years I have been a celebrant, I have relied heavily on Dally Messenger's book. It is an essential — the best I could ever wish for.


From a leading funeral celebrant.
Dally's book has never let me down! In my fifteen years officiating at funerals, I have used this book by Dally Messenger almost every working day. No matter what the circumstances it has never let me down.


From a senior librarian.
This is a most borrowed book — an essential reference book for every public library down to the smallest branch. It is a widely popular book for borrowings as people seek ideas for ceremonies in their lives.


Purchase on Internet
The Celebrants Centre,
Box 548, Richmond Vic 3121 Australia

Phone: +61 3 9484 7443
Fax: +61 3 9443 8086
Book for £14 / $A27.00 plus £4 / $A7.90 P&P = $A34.90


CD- - £17 / $A33.60 + £4 / $A7.90 p&p = £21 / $41.30

The CD contains all the Readings in the book in Microsoft Word. For individual use only.
(only one p&p charge if you order both book and CD!)--
Visa, Mastercard and Amex accepted by phone or email.

Email: celebrants@netspace.net.au



1974 - self

1977 - self

1979 -Zouch

1978 - !CC

1984 - Dove

1999 - Lothian

2008 - Hachette-Livre




free counter