Whether it be sacred or secular, spiritual or mundane, vast areas of our lives are governed or influenced by ritual; far more than most of us realise. As Terry Pratchett so eloquently worded it in the above quote, it is amazing what ritual and ceremony can do. It is the thing that makes our world ‘right’ and adds structure and meaning to our lives.
Yet most of us when faced with constructing and performing a ritual or ceremony; especially for the first time, panic. Some of us never fully get over the fist in mouth, silent scream reaction when having to do this.
Constructing ritual is an ‘Art’ if you want to end up with something that ‘flows’; otherwise you can end up with the ritual equivalent of the Morecambe and Wise/Andre Previn sketch:- ‘all the right notes, just not necessarily in the right order‘. Performing a ritual is just that; a performance.
“Ritual and ceremony in their due times kept the world under the sky and the stars in their courses.
It was astonishing what ritual and ceremony could do” – Terry Pratchett (Pyramids: Discworld Novel 7)