|CHILD BLESSING: This ritual is performed to place a newborn under the protection of the gods and spirits, and to charge the immediate Pagan community with the care of the child. The child is not usually dedicated to the religion; Pagans believe that dedication to a religion should wait until the child is old enough to make an intelligent and informed choice.
COMING OF AGE: When a boy or girl reaches sexual maturity, they may choose to undergo a coming of age ceremony. The gist of the ceremony is "You're a big kid now; you have new rights and new responsibilities, and we adults will recognize your rights, but you'll have to pay attention to your responsibilities, 'cause no one else will do it for you."
HANDFASTING: This is like a wedding, only a bit more flexible; it may indeed be a legal marriage. Many Pagans will cheerfully handfast same-sex couples so that their union is spiritually recognized, even if it is not legally recognizable. Another difference is that the time scale is more flexible; hand-fasting may be made "for as long as love shall last" (which can be part of a legal ceremony); or it can be for a year and a day, in which case the couple is expected to return to ritual space on their anniversary and either renew their commitment for another year, or part ways peacefully. The ritual itself usually involves tying the couple's wrists together and having them jump over a broom as they leave the circle--the ancient symbol that the man and woman now leave the houses of their parents and establish their own household.
REQUIEM: Pagan rites for the dead are usually not performed in the presence of the corpse, as the next-of-kin are likely to be non-Pagan. The focus of this rite may be to help the spirit of the deceased let go of its connection to the material world and find its way to the proper place -- often described as the "Underworld" or the "Summerlands", where the spirits of the dead are said to rest and renew their strength so that they may return, and be born into the world of the living again.