The Life Cycle

Every society has always felt a need to mark the major transitions in life, especially birth, marriage and death. Many also have an initiation ceremony for children on the cusp of adulthood, such as Confirmation in the Christian tradition or Bar Mitzvah in the Jewish tradition.

The three great turning points of the human experience are, and always have been, birth, marriage and death.

Archaeological evidence, particularly found in graves and burial sites, suggest that the earliest religions emerged from man’s consciousness of his own mortality in the Middle Palaeolithic (Stone Age). However birth customs, and those associated with marriage, have also been major turning points in the human experience. All three are shrouded in custom, tradition and superstition or folk belief.


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