When the Sacred and Ritual Die

Broken_cross,_the_Rock_of_Cashel

“not only the loosening of morals but the destruction of the sacred and its rituals.”

One of the devastating effects of the sexual revolution of the sixties was not only the loosening of morals but the destruction of the sacred and its rituals.

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In the name of liberation from all social restraints, a whirlwind of change has swept through American society overthrowing the sense of community and shared experience. The result is supposedly great freedom and autonomy.

However, what can be observed is a cultural wasteland where nothing is sacred and all is permitted. Worst of all, the anchors of ritual no longer provide stability and certainty. A radical individualism prevails in society where so many disconnect themselves from any narrative and therefore any meaning.


As sociologist Robert Nisbet notes: “The great effect of ritual is its capacity to bind past and present in a single act, with the emphasis, of course, on the present. In ritual the past, and also by implication the future, are enacted, but, as I say, in the present.”

(Taken from Robert Nisbet, Twilight of Authority, Indianapolis, Liberty Fund, 2000, p. 80.)

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