The importance of ritual

Many years ago I read ‘From beginning to end: Rituals of our lives’ by Robert Fulghum. I can’t remember terribly much of the content now, but it prompted a conversation between my sister and I which has stuck with me. We both agreed that ritual is important and that we should take care to honour significant moments.

I think it is important that we mark the beginnings and endings in our lives. That we take time to show gratitude for opportunities, celebrate success and to grieve failures.

It doesn’t have to be a big ceremony, although the big moments are worth honouring with something substantial and intentional. Nowadays it is relatively easy to mark those significant transitions – whatever the transition, be it moving house, or getting a new job, starting a new relationship – you can bet that someone out there has figured out some kind of ritual and written about it. Use google and happily adapt to suit your own purposes.

I remain tremendously grateful for the Robert Fulghum book and the conversation with my sister. I have become much better at marking transitions and I think it helps me to live more consciously and a little more in the present.

For the transitions which you can see approaching from a little way off, it is good to plan a little. Assemble the members of your ‘tribe’ who you would like to bear witness. Whatever else you choose to do I’d strongly recommend a bit of food and a glass of bubbly. Finally, a very short speech – you don’t need to say much, but it is good to verbally acknowledge the importance of the occasion.

For the occasions which take you by surprise – always keep an emergency bottle of champagne/prosecco/methode cap classique in the fridge. You never know when you will need it and it is always better chilled.

One thought on “The importance of ritual

  1. As I read your post and think about rituals, it comes to me that one could also celebrate the entrance of something unwanted in one’s life, but here to stay. A bit like rendering even more concrete the Welcoming Prayer.
    I will have to think more about this, Margaret. Thank you.

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