"We're all searching for a foothold in the past, and for peace and meaning in the chaos of modern life. We all want to give our children a place of refuge and a sense of predictability. We all wish to make the difficult times easier and the unknown feel safer. Rituals have served these functions for ancient cultures; and rituals can now do the same for us, too," writes Barbara Biziou. She follows up her popular The Joy of Ritual with another user-friendly resource.
Here are a variety of rituals that can strengthen family ties and add meaning to the cycle of the seasons or the rhythm of ordinary days. Intention is very important in any ritual, and Biziou uses the example of Mr. Rogers beginning his TV show by changing his shoes and putting on a comfortable sweater. This act underscores the relaxed atmosphere of what will follow.
Biziou includes many rituals in her recipes for everyday living including mealtime blessings, seasonal celebrations, a divorcing parents' commitment ceremony, welcoming a new family member, "gotcha" day to honor an adoption, and mourning the loss of a pet. She includes examples of real-life people who have carried out these ideas in the "Ritual Reality" sections after each description.
We were also impressed with the section of the book titled "Tools of the Trade" for ritual, which includes commentary on the use of colors, scents, food and drink, crystals and gemstones, animals, and everyday artifacts. Equally helpful is a ten-page summary of rituals and your child: what's appropriate for boys and girls of different ages.