Friday, May 01, 2009

Ritualistic Meme

Courtesy of the RevGals.

1. Are ritual markings of birth marriage and death important to you? I'm big on marking special days and anniversaries. I don't think one needs to overdo it *coughweddingscough* but a special marking of the moment can create a good beginning or ending; a formal recognition that this time is sacred; is important for the individual or couple and for gathered family and friends in support.

2. Share a favourite liturgy/practice. During baptisms, I walk the child down the aisle while talking about his/her church family and the promises they've made. I see it as a moment of connection between the congregation and the newly baptized; a recognition that we're all in this together and not just watching a moment of cuteness up in the chancel. And as I walk and talk, watching the little one's face and praying for his/her future, I usually get misty.

3. If you could invent (or have invented) a ritual what is it for? I'd like to develop a Christian version of kaddish, the Jewish ritual of mourning that takes place the whole year after a loved one's death. We Christians don't have a lot in place to grieve well, aside from the funeral, All Saints, and perhaps some one-on-one time with a pastor/friend/Stephen Minister/whatever. We could do a lot for ourselves by adhering to something like this.

4. What do you think of making connections with neo-pagan/ancient festivals? Have you done this and how? A healing circle that I was a part of in seminary would always begin with a pagan "clearing of the room." I found it a good moment of centering and preparation for the evening's activities.

5. Celebrating is important, what and where would your ideal celebration be? It would look very similar to the scene after Coffeeson's baptism: friends and family sitting, laughing and talking in the shade on a nice summer day, brats on the grill, cornhole game in the yard (I'm such a midwesterner). That was a great day. That's all I really need. For me, it's the energy that drives any ceremony or celebration rather than the planning and rubrics. So give me a sunny day and a grill and the day will take care of itself.


revhipchick said...

wonderful post! i love baptisms where the pastor takes the child through the isles. i have not had the opportunity to do so yet but i plan to follow my previous senior pastor's path--he does this as he explains to the congregation and the child how they are now family and the child can always call upon someone in the church when they can't talk to their parents.

it sounds like you have great rituals--i especially like your idea of creating a Christian version of Kaddish.

i'd love to attend your church!

Muthah+ said...

I agree with the time of mourning. The Jewish community is much better than we are about it

Deb said...

Cornhole games... wow. Hadn't thought of that in a long time. I like your idea of the kaddish though, because so often after the funeral, the support is most needed.


Elaine (aka...Purple) said...

I think the idea of a ritual for mourning is so needed. Let us know if you write one...and would share it.

Also...kuddos with the brats and BBQ

MaineCelt said...

Yes, we modern Christians have a poor grasp of mourning and the need for rituals of naming. In the early church, I suspect there was a richer array of options, and there may be some worth reclaiming. I believe the real reason Halloween survived--and got incorporated as part of the "All Saints" celebration--is that the Celts "totally got the whole darkness thing" and did a better job of dealing with it.

Terri said...

yes...wonderful...a nice day, some good food...and family and friends anchor any good "ritual" or occasion!