Minute Meditations

Families and Rituals

Rituals create families, in a sense. Any parent knows that when they do something at least two years in a row, the little ones wait for it in the third year. Children have a natural sense of timing, ritual, seasons, and feasts. Ritual is the key to re-sacralizing the home. I don’t want to suggest the particular rituals that a family should name and claim. Certainly, each family has its own customs, and there are a number of religious resources that suggest new family rituals for those who need ideas. I’m saying that we need to take this more seriously, especially during the current cultural crisis. It could well be enough to hold our culture and society together, because it starts with the basic social building block of meaning—the natural family. We jumped it up a level to the spiritual family before the smaller unit was evangelized. We must rediscover the Eucharist—and, indeed, our own family meals—as feasts of God’s magnanimity, as celebrations of God’s gracious givenness to this work-a-day world. We must trust that the material world can be an adequate sign of the spiritual world, in things as ordinary as bread and wine, as common as the family meal.

— from The Wisdom Pattern: Order, Disorder, Reorder by Richard Rohr, OFM



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