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Great Occasions

Readings for the Celebration of Birth, Coming-of-Age, Marriage, and Death

Edited by Carl Seaburg 

All people are born and die; most of them reach maturity and marry. Around these central experiences of humanity have collected acts and words which proclaim that it is good to exist, to know the pleasures and duties of maturity, to live companioned, and to know life in its sorrow and joy."
—from the Preface

What are the great occasions in human life? Birth, maturity, marriage, and death: These are the four corners of human life. These are the crystallizing events, the distinguishable days, the great occasions. Carl Seaburg has brought together over 650 pieces of writing to commemorate these moments. Poetry and prose, the work of writers as diverse as Aiken, Pound, Dickinson, Seneca, Blake, Buddha, Brontë, Marcuse, Stevens, Sexton, Tagore, Lippman, Sandburg, Sarton, Pasternak, Lao Tzu, Yevtushenko, and Yeats-the rich expression of human appreciation and celebration of our own great occasions.

A Unitarian Universalist minister, Carl Seaburg served parishes in the three northern New England states and worked as an editor for Beacon Press, before his death in 1998. He was the author of Boston Observed and the co-author of Merchant Prince of Boston and Medford on the Mystic.

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Last updated on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

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