One misconception about ritual is that it has to be fancy. While ritual can be elaborate and ornate, ritual can also be plain and simple. On Christmas morning in my family, we share a breakfast of French toast and stay in our pajamas while opening presents. In every Christmas photo from the past 10 years, I’m wearing my fuzzy blue robe. It’s not fancy, but it is our Christmas.
Yet, while ritual doesn’t have to be fancy, it is meaningful. As Lisa Earle McLeod wrote, “Rituals matter. They call us into the moment. They ground us. Rituals can take many forms. A restaurant lineup before the guests come in, the Monday morning huddle in a manufacturing plant, lighting candles for a family dinner. These rituals tell people to be here, be present.” Rituals call us out of one way of being and into another way of being. For my family, when we wake up on Christmas morning, it is not just like any other day. The ritual of sharing French toast and staying in our pajamas signals that it is not just another day. The ritual invites us into the moment of Christmas.
Big or small, simple or ornate, rituals ground us in the present. A ritual House Blessing invites us to recognize and honor the gift of our home. A Wedding calls us to pay attention to the commitment being made before us. A Healing Ritual names the illness, pain, or trauma being experienced and invites healing energy into the moment. A Memorial Service honors the life of one who has died and gives thanks for the memories we will carry forward. Rituals bring us out of our everyday experience and into a deeper awareness.
If you are interested in exploring how ritual can deepen your life ~ either through everyday ritual or a special event you would like to celebrate ~ we would love to hear from you!