The power of family rituals

Power of Family rituals
A family ritual that takes place in most frequently in my home, happens right before we eat dinner, we say grace (which is also a ritual) but we put our own spin on it. Each of my family members take a moment after grace to bow their head and reflect upon what we are thankful for. When we are done we look up and wait until each family member has given thanks then we partake in our dinner.
(a) Our family ritual works because it is something that we all participate in, it is centered around our Christian beliefs. It is a collective celebration of our identity as Christians as well as depends our bond as family because it deepens our sense of community.
(b) Certain aspects of this ritual have are positive such as our sense of togetherness but negative consequences can be found in the pressure to participate in order to gain this sense of togetherness. In order to be apart of the moment we must reflect on what we are thankful for since it so routinized it hard to know if we are truly thankful or if we are just participating because it is what is expected of us. My brothers have become so accustomed to it when I ask them what they think about they can sometimes not even come up with an answer.
(c) In Durkheim’s analysis of modern society he emphasizes that rituals represent a participation in unity. We as a family participate in this in order to give thanks, but as it has happened hundreds of times its hard to know if we do as a reflection of our Christian beliefs, or because it is an expectation at every meal.

4 Responses to “The power of family rituals”

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  4. Dr. M says:

    Interesting idea–that the routine of your family ritual can start to detract from its meaning for each person. Hmmm….does this undermine the solidarity-building feature of the ritual? or perhaps not?

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