Ode to Ritual and Ceremony
I have not experienced much ritual or ceremony in my life. Yes, there were the periodic graduations, the weddings and the occasional attendance at a religious ceremony. But, not really anything much for which my breast swelled and my eyes teared up. The events of the past week made me realize that I was poorer for missing out on such opportunities.
I had friends that regularly attended mass, wouldn’t miss a holiday ritual and marked their calendars boldly and early for events like christenings and baptisms. They seemed to get a lot out of those events, but I couldn’t understand the attraction. Perhaps it was because my childhood church looked down on ritual and thought ceremony to be pompous.
But as I watched the inauguration celebration last Wednesday, my heart welled up in my throat and I was continually wiping my eyes to dry them. It wasn’t a newly found love of country, nor a response to a great show, though both of those were true. Profoundly, I had discovered my ability to mark something significant…a virtual rite of passage for me.
So, as I heard the fanfares, the drum rolls and the songs that punctuated a peaceful transfer of power for our democracy, I cried. My evolving life has brought me to a point where I can truly celebrate what is important and that makes me happy. It also makes me ponder why I was loath to celebrate before. Never mind, I’ll look for ways to do so in the future. If it’s important, I am on it!
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Rev. Neal Worthington is the Minister at Unity of Payson.
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