I write this to the sound of dustbins being collected. Go secularism! (All the same I can't stop a Thought for the Day voice in my head adding, "But you know, wasn't Jesus a bit like a dustman? Collecting the sins of the world and disposing of them? Dust to dust, ashes to ashes.")
Polly Toynbee has an article this morning in which she says religious people are no better and no worse than anybody else and she's right of course. I'm a secularist too, but I have my twinges of religiosity.
For me, "secularism" isn't about belief or lack of - it's about the way society is set up. I don't like state-enforced religious holidays any more than I like state-funded faith schools or CoE bishops sitting ex officio in Parliament.
In terms of belief, I lean towards animism.
Yes, exactly, secularism is about getting the bloody clergy off our backs.
Animism is cool. I'm a bit of a pagan, a bit of a Buddhist, a bit of a theosophist, a bit of a Wiccan- even a bit of a Christian when the wind's in the right direction.
I think what ritual you speak of is called "The Stations of the Cross." It's also known as the Way of the Cross (Via Crucis) or Way of Sorrows (Via Dolorosa) It's a Good Friday (and sometimes Lenten) tradition to pray at each station (usually 14, but the number may vary). It's mostly a Roman Catholic thing, but also Anglicans and Lutherans observe it.
The service I conducted wasn't The Stations of the Cross- but a variant- a sort of middle-of-the-road Anglican variant.
I was raised Southern Baptist, so Easter meant a nice meal and a new suit coat (or pretty dress if you were so inclined). And magical creatures bringing candy - because that's what God means in America.
That's very largely what God means in Britain too.
I've had it with the guilt machine. I almost walked out on the Palm Sunday service, which had a reading of the St. Matthew Passion in lieu of the sermon. We were all to take the part of the crowd, screaming "crucify him!" I sat in stony silence.
I flirted with a return to the Church a few years back and it brought me close to a nervous breakdown. These days I keep well away.
I remember. I go to keep Roy company. I'm okay with communion because the rector begins with "wherever you are at your spiritual journey." I think that includes disbelief and hostility.
2014-04-23 07:36 pm (UTC)
"The THree Hours"? I thought that disappeared in around 1952, in favour of The Liturgy at 1400 or 1500.
The priests who trained me were still doing it- and I would have conducted my last one in 1985 or 86.
2014-04-24 03:48 pm (UTC)
Have checked, although only partially. We moved in 1954, from a parish that was still doing it. Can't check the exact year that the new parish stopped doing it, but definitely by 1962