skip to Main Content
Reflection On The Rite Of Elderhood

Reflection on the Rite of Elderhood

As I reflected on last Sunday’s service with our Bishop, it seemed to me to be one of stating our personal vows to live into the stage of life’s journey that is present before us, and of the Bishop affirming us within the Christian framework of our lives. At the same time, the service was a reflection of the stages of life – where from infancy forward we are growing and changing, yet guided by the love of God and the fellowship of those around us. It is our commitment to live into those vows with God’s help that supports us individually and holds us together in community. As Father Mike said, what played out at last Sunday’s service was a Liturgy of Life.

It seems as if when we age, however, those milestones that bring celebration and affirmation become fewer and fewer, perhaps only by marking the birthdays as the year pass by. And so do the times of making a formal commitment to something larger than ourselves. The last time I uttered formal vows (with the exception of renewing my Baptismal vows) was at my wedding, many years ago. So to be standing there last Sunday with my beloved friends, the ones who have shared their deepest thoughts and feelings in real time, the ones who have gained my deepest respect and trust, the ones who share so honestly how the setting in of the aging experience plays out in their daily lives, the ones who were willing to commit to the vows of the aging and who needed a holy affirmation as much as I did – to be standing there with those people in front of God, the Bishop, Fr. Mike, and the congregation of St. Philip’s was stunning, humbling, hopeful, and so very meaningful.

I am grateful to have had this experience of commitment and affirmation in the autumnal years of my life. It is my hope that St. Philip’s will embrace this opportunity annually for seniors that are so inclined to experience this Rite of Passage from Senior Adulthood to Elderhood. Although not sacramental, it is a ceremony that is every bit as meaningful as the vows we have taken within the church that have come earlier in our lives. Thanks be to God.  — Barbara Edwards

Back To Top