old rituals, new life

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Confession: I am afraid to start this post. (Why do commitment and fear seem to go hand in hand? There’s something dreadfully wrong with that.) This isn’t intended to be just one post, but the beginning of what I hope will be a series of posts; and this isn’t just a series of posts, but the beginning of what I hope will be a mindful, lifelong process of understanding, cherishing, and practicing the sacraments and traditions of the church.

I hope that didn’t sound too admirable or erudite. It shouldn’t; honestly translated, it means that I have not thoughtfully engaged practices such as communion, vocation, and confession, despite the fact that I have participated in these practices, in some form or another, for years. Years! Even now when I take communion, I wonder somewhere in the back of my mind, “Do I really understand what this is all about?”

A sacrament is sacred, consecrated, holy. But what is sacredness? Is it found only in the monumental cathedrals of the church, or can it be found in a field, or in a car? Would I err in restricting confession to a booth in a church? Would I be equally wrong in thinking that I’ve experienced holy communion around a dinner table with friends? Are we too hesitant to unite this wonderful, everyday life we’re living with the old, sacred practices of the church?

These are some of my questions. I hope they result in several posts, and maybe a few answers, and maybe s a few shrugs of the shoulders, or perhaps something to chew on for the next ten years.

I kind of wish sleep was a sacrament. Maybe it’s just a spiritual discipline. Either way, I’m going to go practice that one right now.

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