Tag Archives: Ritual


Reinventing the wheel

Reinventing the wheel.

Rituals are an important part of human society.  They are comforting, and give us a sense of stability: the way we do it is the same way they do it everywhere else; we’re part of the Big Picture; we belong; we’re at home.  They often have social significance on a wider scale: baptisms, marriages, handfastings, graduations, inductions and many other things that we take for granted are imbued with their own specific rituals that have, in many cases, evolved over centuries.  Funerals are probably the most obvious examples: the wake or other pre-interment ceremonies and gatherings, the procession, the prayers, the means of interment or other disposition of the body, all are part of a larger ritual that bonds those members of that society or subgroup with the bereaved and each other, and makes them feel part of something bigger than themselves.

Our Twelve Step groups are no exception.   Continue reading


Night-before-last I was at a meeting, and the person who was supposed to chair failed to show up. Since he had all of the group’s paperwork with him, we didn’t have the necessary literature for the usual readings that begin the meeting. People sat there looking at each other, completely bamboozled by the fact that there was no way to complete the rituals before beginning to share.  As a relative newcomer to that group, I kept my mouth shut. After about ten minutes, a guy came in with some of the necessary material, and we commenced the meeting in the usual way. It got me to thinking, though, about rituals in the rooms of recovery. Continue reading