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Honoring Sacred Moments and Special Times.
You perform rituals with your family every day. Thursday night, you order pizza; Sunday morning, you make French toast. Before bedtime you read to your child. During the holiday season, you ask your children to donate some of their toys to the homeless. But while most of us participate in rituals regularly, many of us fail to recognize the significance of the ritual. In The Joy of Family Rituals, Barbara Biziou demonstrates how these moments can enrich our families if we take the time to reflect on how they are beneficial to our lives. Rituals provide the foundation that today’s families need to feel secure and grounded. Making these simple rites part of your family will foster communication, nurture children’s self-esteem, and help maintain a sacred and spiritual connection among family members.
Let rituals strengthen and celebrate your family. This warm and inspirational book offers an array of “ritual recipes,” from those that acknowledge ordinary routines (mealtimes, baths, bedtimes) to rituals that commemorate significant life passages (parenthood, new siblings, puberty) and special family occasions (birthdays and anniversaries). It also includes rituals for first times, last times, and hard times (losing a pet).
The Joy of Family Rituals has a warm, playful tone and recipe format that is designed to make rituals, many of which date back to our ancestors, easy to incorporate into our family lives. For each ritual, Biziou explains the history and reasoning behind it and why it can help us through similar times and experiences today. She includes a specific intention or purpose for the ritual (blessing our food before meals with the intention to appreciate the nourishment in our lives and to create an atmosphere of mindful eating), advice on timing (when or how often you should perform the ritual), the necessary ingredients (candles, colors, and scents), and step-by-step instructions for performing the ritual. Where it’s appropriate, follow-up steps for additional reinforcement are also included. Finally, a “ritual reality” section gives real-life stories about how a particular ritual affected one family’s life. Throughout the book, Biziou encourages you to adapt these rituals to your own situation and mold them to fit your family’s needs.
Families are the center of society. By nurturing our families through rituals, which bring family members together and add a spiritual element to an otherwise material world, we can enrich society. Engage your senses, open your heart, and discover the joy of family rituals!
The book will have a familiar ring to readers of her recent bestseller, The Joy of Ritual, in which this guru of ceremony tells us how to ritualize even our morning sips of coffee and make the everyday sacred. Her new tome, though, is singly focused on the family, offering advice on tools of the trade and counseling ritualists-in-training to stock their ceremonial pantries with items that read like a New Age pilgrim’s shopping list. To equip a household for oncoming ceremonies, you’ll need candles, says Biziou, “to welcome the Spirit and to symbolize a connection with inner light.” You’ll also need colors–found in fabric scraps, flowers, or any object you choose–to evoke feeling. (If you’re after healing or harmony, go for green. If you’re craving clarity, choose turquoise.) Add some scents and sounds, food and drink, objects and artifacts, and images or figurines of animals. Then, you’re ready to rumble with Biziou’s New Age take on rituals that, for the most part, have their roots in ancient practice. Biziou’s point is not to prescribe rituals; it’s simply to inspire them. So, if you’re truly planning to use this guide, you should approach it the same way a master chef approaches a cookbook: alter each recipe to suit your own tastes. Better yet, read the book to whet your appetite, then put it aside and concoct your own particular ritual brews for your family.
— From Beliefnet (Beliefnet, May 2000)