Tel: 718-634-4577

© 2016 by Dr Nancy Gahles.

 

Ceremonies of the Heart are created to recognize and signify events in a person's life that deserve acknowledgement.
FREE relationship evaluation questionnaire specifically designed to help guide you and your partner to have meaningful discussions about criteria proven to affect marital satisfaction.
Dr. Gahles is an Ordained Interfaith Minister with post-graduate training in Spirituality & Healing in Medicine from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine and the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health.
 
She has officiated at Weddings and Rites of Passage/Transition ceremonies, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Funeral officiant, Divorce and Conscious Uncoupling ceremonies as well as  Baptisms of the heart and Baby Namings.

Wedding or Commitment Ceremony

The day of your wedding or commitment ceremony is a time to create a memory that lasts forever. By making a vow, a covenant between the two of you, and signing a document in the presence of your family and friends, a miracle happens. Two lives are brought together and a new family begins. In some traditions, this day is called your mutual birthday, as you now begin life as one unity of personhood. 

Marriage is the only life ceremony that requires specific language. By law, I am required to recite specific words to officially wed a couple. Beyond that, our first visit together is the one where I get to know you and explore your love for each other and the way in which you envision your ceremony to encompass the expression of this. I am proficient in the elements of traditional faith ceremonies and have a flair for blending those of multicultural, interfaith and interspiritual traditions. We create ceremonies that range from the simplistic to the sublime. 

 I will advise you through every phase of the ceremony, from details in the script to suggestions regarding your vows, how to include family members, present and deceased and blended families, as you desire.

Vow Renewal and Special Ceremonies

vow renewal ceremony is a special one because it represents a commitment that has stood the test of time and the trials and tribulations that have made both of you stronger, more bonded, more loyal, deeper in love. 

We will create a ceremony that highlights the shared goals you have achieved, challenges overcome, milestones you wish to commemorate, life events that you have shared that are particularly meaningful to you. 

Special ceremonies can be designed for any reason that you desire. My specialty is in listening to you and crafting a meaningful experience that makes your vision come to fruition.

Rites of passage mark time periods of life with meaning and community acknowledgement.

Birth and death are two common passages. 

Cultural significance is also given to passage from adolescence to young adulthood with Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, in the Jewish tradition; Holy Communion and Confirmation in the Catholic tradition. Non-denominational practices include Sweet Sixteen and the Mexican Quinceanera. Your teen celebration is customized to your beliefs and to the traditions and values that you want to instill into your young adult. 

Rites of passage from adulthood into midlife, also called croning, is one that I am deeply pleased to officiate. There is much to bless and to call forth from our elders as women pass to mid-life. The wisdom secrets of aging gracefully unfold in ceremony and ritual. 

Endings need to be memorialized in a meaningful way in order to afford proper closure. Whether the ending was good or bad, closure is necessary in order to move forward with ease. I have officiated at divorce "parties", retirement, leaving a job or home for another and"empty nest" rituals to ease the passage and create transitions to a "new normal". 

Baby Blessing, Celebration of Parenthood

The miracle of the birth of a baby has no parallel. It is awe inspiring. Welcoming a new life into this world can be a time for ceremony, celebration and the sharing of joy.

 A shower, a baby naming, a baby-welcoming ceremony or a Baptism of Light, can be a wonderful ways to share your joy with loved ones, with a large or small group, including the baby’s mother, father, brothers, sisters, grandparents and godparents, other relatives and friends.

The birth of a baby can also be a celebration of parenthood—complete with its blessings and responsibilities, its own sacred vows, and a joint commitment to raising a child together with shared values.

Funeral, Memorial Services, Celebration of Life services

When a loved one has passed, I meet with the family members to discuss the elements of a eulogy. Depending on the requests of the deceased, desires of the family and particular religion, if applicable, I can attend the wake, or Funeral Home, say a short eulogy and lead the attendees in prayer. I can go to any House of Worship and say the eulogy. I can be at graveside to provide final prayers as well. 

For those of the Jewish faith, I do the Unveiling Ceremony in traditional Hebrew or fashion a prayer of your choice. 

memorial service, can also be called a ceremony or celebration of life. This gathering provides an opportunity for family, friends and colleagues to come together to honor a special person who has passed. While there is no certain right time to have a memorial service, it is traditionally held sometime after or in lieu of the funeral. The celebration of life is unique to each family and individual and we create this together. You may want to include family members and friends to speak, read a prayer or poem, and share fond memories. Your service may be joyous or solemn or a mixture of both. I will work with you to construct an event that celebrates and memorializes your loved one so that the event has meaning for all in attendance.

End of life, Comfort Care, transitions to palliative care/hospice 

End of life, comfort care , transitions to palliative care/hospice are rites of passage that need tending to.  This is often a complex and murky area of life.   Dying is chaotic. Dying is not only a medical event. It is about relationship. With myself, those I love and my perception of God. 

There is a labor to dying like there is to being born. We are as doulas at the end of life assisting in birthing to the other side. 

 

My experience and training in this area is one that is constantly unfolding as we all grapple with the Mystery of death and dying. To be a companion to those who are dying and to their significant others is a willingness to bear witness to Life itself and the transition of that Life is a sacred act that I honor. No one should have to make that passage alone. 

Pets

Our pets are an important part of our lives and are considered an integral part of our family.  When a beloved pet dies the grief is the same and as intense as the loss of human being. My pet burial, memorial and goodbye pet ceremonies include the same care in designing the event where the love for this special friend is acknowledged, and feelings of gratitude and completion are achieved.

Spiritual Counseling

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.  We are spiritual beings having a human experience. ~Pierre Teihard de Chardin

 

My practice is one of deep, compassionate listening.  I hold sacred space for honest communication in order to foster a safe place to inquire within. All the answers are within. The trials and tribulations of the life experience often clouds or obscures our vision. With guided discourse, we can come to a place of peace and harmony. 

 

Spiritual counseling is applicable to all relationships. Pre-marital relationships is one.  A course of 3 sessions is taken to streamline communication skillfulness. 

 

Spiritual counseling is a source of solace when one has suffered in any way, spiritually, mentally,, emotionally or physically.  Revisiting the painful experience, in the presence of a skilled listener, allows one to process it, to put the pieces together in a meaningful way, to allow for movement toward a happy life. 

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FEES:


My fees vary according to the type of ceremony, the number of elements involved, the equipment needed, and the amount of writing, preparation and travel that is necessary. I will always quote an estimate within 24 hours after our initial meeting. Upon agreement, I would request payment of a non-refundable 50% deposit before work begins. The balance is due before the day of the ceremony.