There is something in the human spirit that needs to mark occasions. True, ceremonies take time and money, and they aren’t the fastest way to the finish line. That said, officially acknowledging that something is happening makes it feel real.
During Covid-19 there was a disruption in weddings, graduations, birthdays, and every other occasion where people gather. That period was a blur with many of us feeling cheated out of memories created in family gatherings and social occasions.
Our British cousins understand the significance of ceremonies. Queen Elizabeth’s funeral was a quintessential ceremony of passage. The symbols of her rule lay atop her casket and were removed one by one and placed on the altar. I thought my eyes were tricking me when I saw the casket moving downward, but it was on an elevator platform. Now, divested of symbols of her reign, the casket moved steadily downward and disappeared in the floor of the cathedral. No doubt that a passage was taking place.
Now that we can gather again, my hope is that we aren’t simply casting ceremonies aside as not worthy of the trouble. Let there be moments shared and let us slow down to appreciate them together.