Nova’s current issue has the theme, “ceremony”. It does not cover the subject well at all, which is no surpise. I am probably barking up the wrong tree here, but the unconscious anti-Christian and anti-western bias does get me at times. So a letter…
“Thank you for the December Nova, focusing on ceremony. Many of the feature articles however, despite the by-line, did not focus on ceremony. Those that did had scant information and seemed to be struggling to accommodate the theme. I also found it strange that in an issue on ceremony there was no exploration of our own western tradition of ceremony found within the sacramental churches, synagogues and Masonic traditions.
Instead we heard about ceremonies from several other cultures including a ‘Buddhist cult’ and the Lakota people. Chandrika Gibson briefly mentions cultures of both ‘east and west’ as having a sacred space but explores only eastern or indigenous examples. Western ‘ceremonial’ is examined within a secular context, during Helen Patrice’s article on motherhood where her descriptions of four ‘rituals’ are not actually rituals at all apart, perhaps, from ‘opening gifts’.
I think the articles themselves point to both our cultural paucity of ceremonial knowledge and our lack of recognition of the wisdom and gifts right in front of us within our churches and lodges. For your next issue on ritual or ceremony can I suggest you simply ask a priest or elder (Co)Mason? They will be able to inspire your readers greatly and with much beauty as their traditions have literally thousands of years of ceremonial wisdom. We don’t need to look anywhere else.”