Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. In Defense of Ritual

 

Stephen Fry – another national treasure, albeit on his own merit – puts it well:

“Rationally, a monarchy is an absurdity; of course it is,” he wrote for The New York Times. “But ritual and pageant, costume and custom are to public life what metaphors are to language; they bring it to life and move it from the abstract to the real.”

I think this applies to far more than monarchy, of course. The rituals we use in everything from how we make coffee to how we commemorate a holy day turn out to be quite important, indeed. Much of American culture, in the haste to throw tradition out, has suffered. It turns out that ritual, pageant, costume and custom help give meaning to our lives.

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  1. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sadly, much of the good and socially beneficial ritual has been replaced with sports, entertainment, and politics.

    • #1
    • February 20, 2020, at 3:22 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. Saint Augustine Member

    iWe: It turns out that ritual, pageant, costume and custom help give meaning to our lives.

    Yes.

    And they do more, but–I’ll leave Confucius out of this.

    • #2
    • February 20, 2020, at 3:55 PM PST
    • 1 like
  3. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    In Orthodox Christianity, during our liturgy and on holy days we say “Today is the day when…” – Fry is right, ritual takes the abstract and makes it real. It’s not merely re-enactment, it is participating in something once and for all time. Is this the same for the Passover Seder?

    • #3
    • February 20, 2020, at 6:09 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  4. Stad Thatcher

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Sadly, much of the good and socially beneficial ritual has been replaced with sports, entertainment, and politics.

    We still have our rituals, whether it has to do with our faith or standard holiday fare. What’s Thanksgiving without turkey?

    There’s nothing wrong with rituals, even if they are tied to sports. The point is, national rituals used to be a way for the country to come together. Now, the left is trying to tear apart anything that makes us feel as one . . .

    • #4
    • February 21, 2020, at 5:13 AM PST
    • 5 likes