Most days are fairly ordinary without a lot of pomp and circumstance. And we can often dread and see it as unnecessary when those times of formal activities and ceremonies are needed. But these rituals are not just for show. They help to tune our souls into the reality and significance of what’s taking place.

For instance, graduations and weddings, funerals and memorial services, promotions, swearing in ceremonies, and the like are all public and formal ways to acknowledge important moments of life. And typically these moments come with their various degrees of pomp and circumstance. 

We might be required to participate in formal dress, liturgy, and music. And there are generally various symbolic objects, interactions, and sequences of events that we must engage in as well. 

Yet, because these formalities are so removed from our daily life, they can often feel pointless and outdated. And, to be sure, we should question traditions whenever we find ourselves just going through the motions of rituals that have lost their meaning. 

Likewise, to be fair, it’s true that pride and the need to feel important motivates many to overcompensate in the name of formality. They enjoy being flashy because it helps them to feel special. 

But questioning, revitalizing, and even tempering is not to do away with the pomp and circumstance altogether. 

Rituals speak to our souls in a language our hearts can understand – allowing our inner world to catch up with our external realities. And we start to disconnect from the deeper meanings of life without rituals to consistently realign our souls. And formal rituals allow us to share this moment of meaning publicly with our communities – sharing in our larger story together beyond our everydayness. 

In the end, embrace the times of pomp and circumstance throughout your life. When done well, these are not pointless rituals, but rather sacred moments of witness – allowing your soul to appreciate the depth and significance more fully of what’s taking place. 

Photo by Oscar Omondi on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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