Reverend Harry Emerson Fosdick
How does one describe with words the feelings we have when watching a ritual be performed in the holy place of our choice? Watching a baby naming ceremony and seeing the beaming faces of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents, the christening of a first born, a musical recital, a confirmation, a bar/bat mitzvah, the exchanging of wedding vows, blessing of children, festive family holiday gatherings, lighting candles for the Sabbath or for the memory of a loved one and the list is endless.
There are not enough pages to fill with words to adequately or inadequately express what our hearts and bodies feel. Let us not confuse these moments of utter joy that transcend all that is, with religion. The ritual observance of religious practice is wonderful and can be filled with all that I have described above. What I am suggesting for your consideration is that you begin to see the beauty and value of ritual in filling your spirit and soul in ways that will take you beyond your religious practice. If all I am doing is fulfilling a rule when I practice ritual, I am truly missing the greater value of the ritualistic act; namely that I embrace the majesty of the moment, the joy of my God smiling and the warmth that envelops me by being a part of something greater than me.
My prayer for you today is that you find meaning and purpose in ritual and allow your soul, heart and spirit to soar and embrace the beauty that lies within the acts that you perform.
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