What is OPR?
The Office of Public Ritual (OPR) is a service that creates bespoke rituals for significant occasions or life events. We work with clients to develop a set of actions, sequence of performances or an order of programme for personal, group or public use. We are interested in how objects, environments, structures and people perform and how such ‘performance’ creates meaning. We also explore this through a public programme of exhibitions, talks and events.
OPR believes that performing and understanding ritual in a non-religious context is beneficial because it is a creative and meaningful way of thinking through circumstances in life, relationships and things we own or encounter. By ‘ritual’ we mean any acts that are habitual, repeated or repeatable in a way that allows them to gain symbolic meaning. As such, OPR aims to explore together with clients how the idea of ritual can be used to consider more slowly and deeply the meaning of things in everyday life.
What Rituals can OPR create?
Here are some examples of possible rituals. But these could also just be starting points. Each person is unique and we will work with you to hone in on and identify an area or issue that is important to you.
- Civil unions, weddings or anniversaries
- Opening / Closing events – Sports, corporate AGMs, festivals, etc
- Significant birthdays
- Puberty parties
- Good luck or Bon voyage occasions
- New home / New business
- Marking loss or grief: memorials and vigils
- Illness / Recovery
- Child adoption or birth
- Coming out or any form of self-disclosure
What do I do if I want OPR to design a ritual for me?
Contact us to arrange a time to visit our office for an initial meeting. At this first meeting, we will discuss your initial ideas, get more detailed information about what you need, and answer any questions you may have about OPR.
After this, a facilitator will be assigned to you who will contact you for a private consultation where you can develop together a more detailed plan for the ritual and future meetings.
How much does it cost?
OPR is a social project aimed at benefiting society and the community. Currently it runs on a donation basis where, if you feel that the work has been beneficial to you, we ask that you ‘pay forwards’ (i.e. give a donation of any amount you judge to be appropriate) in order to enable the next person to benefit from our service.
However, while the ritual design service is free, you would have to pay for any materials or productions costs your specific ritual requires. For example, you would pay for a specially designed cake for an anniversary ritual, or the hire of musicians for a memorial service. We would act as your agent in sourcing the materials and spaces needed for your ritual.
Who is OPR?
OPR consists of a group of artists, designers and makers who are interested in the way ritual can function in contemporary life. See the OPR Team page for information about each member.
Would OPR take all requests?
In a word No. OPR may refuse requests that may cause harm to you, us or others, rituals that may be grossly offensive or lead to criminal acts, or simply those that we don’t have the expertise or the resources to accommodate.
But we won’t say No outright and are committed to having a conversation and to working something out.