What Holds Us Together [I Was Wrong About Tradition – Part II]

I understand why tradition is so important.

Since I had a two-day weekend from work, my wife and I decided to spend a couple days in our home town. As it happens, the annual Advent program
took place last night, and while initially I didn’t particularly want to go, I did.

While not an M.C.’ed event, being in the Catholic church feels quite structured. Somewhere about half way through the second congregational carol I realized something so profoundly simple; tradition is so important because it brings people together. I look around and I think to myself, “Wow. These people are all celebrating the same Jesus.”

Tradition is so important because it meets people on common, neutral ground. And if you feel the joy of what the tradition means to community, when different people of all different walks come together, it is a warm and peaceful atmosphere.

There’s still room for traditions in a new and changing world, though our generation would away with past tradition and ceremony. There is still room because our families and communities will still need a place and time to come together in one place to remember we are here together, celebrating the same hopes and dreams. And they can be as simple as a family coming together on Christmas, a song sung together.

And I know there are dead traditions out there – traditions whose meanings have been so long lost that they are now only dull ceremony. And there are traditions that may have never become more than ceremony to begin with. But some are gold. Some you may not see the value of for years after they are gone. And they are the ones to remember, and most importantly, who they bring together.