Ritual and meaning


Poppies in the fields of France

We have just had Remembrance Sunday here in the UK although Armistice Day is actually tomorrow and the act of remembrance should be performed at 11am when a 2 minute silence used to be kept by everyone in the country.

Yesterday in church we had the act of remembrance at 11.10 because the sermon went on a bit long (it was about why such terrible things happen and our responsibility to make sure that they never do again) and the intercession was also a bit long.

There were some people who found this deeply offensive and some who didn’t. So my question is: what is more important, that we perform a ritual or that we perform it in the correct way?

I would really value any comments because, although I am clear about what I feel I wonder if I might be wrong…no hints from me about how I do feel 🙂

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One response to “Ritual and meaning

  1. I think that, under a narrow definition, a ritual has to be performed correctly for it to be efficacious. Most people would agree that, in that sense, an act of remembrance is not a ritual: because there is no desired outcome. I suspect that, nevertheless, for some people it functions as a ritual, psychologically speaking; that would explain why they are troubled by any deviation from the correct formula, as in this case. For other people it is probably something quite different from a ritual, and they are consequently less concerned about the details.

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