Love…what is it?

Love is probably our most complex human emotion.

We can love food, we can love cars and boats, we love views and holidays and we can love each other.

The Ancient Greeks had a word for it…in fact they had seven!

Storge: natural affection, for example the love you share with your family.

Philia: the love that you have for friends.

Erossexual and erotic desire the physical manifestation of love

Agape: unconditional or divine love

Ludus: this is playful childish love or flirting.

Pragma: long standing love. The love in a long term relationship

Philautia: the love of the self

It’s complicated

As Celebrants we come across love displayed in many forms and in varied situations

With Weddings we see the new fresh love expressed by two people who are just starting out on their new life journey together. Hopeful and expectant of a long happy and harmonious life with each other full of anticipation and excitement. Surrounded and supported by friends and family celebrating this joyous occasion we see the love of support from them towards the happy couple.

With Baby Namings (usually the next step after the Wedding but not always) we see the love of a whole family for a new infant. A brand new life to carry on the generations with friends and family all expressing their love for the child. All making their promises to keep it safe and well. The pride that comes with the love from the Grandparents who often find a different kind of love for the Grandchildren than they had for their own, just as strong, but different.

When we see couples enjoy a Renewal of Vows ceremony we see a love that has stood the test of time, a love that has maybe seen difficulties with health or the relationship itself or maybe none at all, but simply that they couple want to refresh their commitment to each other and share that promise with family and friends. The love that has lasted for many years and grown ever deeper.

Is there love at Funerals? Of course there is. There is sorrow and sadness too, a whole range of emotions all bundled into one ceremony. The love of the deceased is often expressed with tears of course. It is a painful display of love, one that hurts as only those who have suffered the loss of a loved one will understand. But the grieving process is part of love. The love that cannot anymore be expressed to the person as they have passed away, so we grieve, we cry, we sometimes talk to that person as if they were still with us. This whole gamut of emotions driven by love.

As the famous song of the1955 movie by the same name tells us ‘It is natures way of giving, a reason to be living’ and so it is I think.

What a strange world we would all inhabit if it were bereft of love, in all its shades.

Call me  for all of your family ceremonial occasions and let’s share the love and take a break from tradition and have your ceremony your way

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