Writing in his Abstract Notions blog, Utne Reader editor Christian Williams recently posted a short piece entitled, “Finding Value in Ritual and Ceremony.” Here’s an excerpt that touched on topics frequently mentioned on my blog:
I became reacquainted with ritual and ceremony this past October when my wife and I spent a week in Spain. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey outside of Barcelona. We went in the evening specifically for Vespers, which features Gregorian chant by the Benedictine monks who live there. It’d been a while since I’d spent time in a church, and watching the evening prayer service unfold reminded me of what I missed most about the faith of my youth: the familiarity and comfort of the liturgy, the feeling of singing in unison, and the opportunity for contemplation that being in a church provided. Above all, I remembered how those aspects of ritual and ceremony were essential in preparing my mind and body for the spiritual experience I was there to have. They served to establish my intent, clear my mind of distraction, and help me remain in the moment.
Read the full post here: http://www.utne.com/mind-and-body/finding-the-value-in-ritual-and-ceremony.aspx#ixzz3NRN1XzCp