event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion
- I despise your religious festivals;
- your assemblies are a stench to me.
- Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
- I will not accept them.
- Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
- I will have no regard for them.
- Away with the noise of your songs!
- I will not listen to the music of your harps.
- But let justice roll on like a river,
- righteousness like a never-failing stream!
- All men promiscuously do homage to God, but very few truly reverence him. On all hands there is abundance of ostentatious ceremonies, but sincerity of heart is rare.
- “The multitude of your sacrifices—
- what are they to me?” says the Lord.
- “I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
- of rams and the fat of fattened animals; ...
- Your incense is detestable to me. ...
- I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
- Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
- I hate with all my being. ...
- Your hands are full of blood! ...
- Stop doing wrong.
- Learn to do right; seek justice.
- Defend the oppressed."
- Ceremony is a vehicle for belonging—to a family, to a people, and to the land.
- That, I think, is the power of ceremony: it marries the mundane to the sacred.
- What else can you offer the earth, which has everything? What else can you give but something of yourself? A homemade ceremony, a ceremony that makes a home.
- Ceremony focuses attention so that attention becomes intention. If you stand together and profess a thing before your community, it holds you accountable. Ceremonies transcend the boundaries of the individual and resonate beyond the human realm. These acts of reverence are powerfully pragmatic. These are ceremonies that magnify life.
- What infinite heart's ease
Must kings neglect, that private men enjoy?
And what have kings that privates have not too,
Save ceremony, save general ceremony?
- What art thou, thou idol ceremony?
What kind of god art thou, that suffer'st more
Of mortal griefs than do thy worshippers?
- O ceremony, show me but thy worth!
What is thy soul of adoration?
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
Creating awe and fear in other men?
- When love begins to sicken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony,
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith.
- To feed were best at home;
From thence the sauce to meat is ceremony;
Meeting were bare without it.
- Ceremony was but devised at first
To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
Recanting goodness, sorry ere 'tis shown;
But where there is true friendship, there needs none.
- I discover that hardly a week passes that some one does not start a new cult, or revive an old one; if I had a hundred life-times I could not know all the creeds and ceremonies, the services and rituals, the litanies and liturgies, the hymns, anthems and offertories of Bootstrap-lifting.
- Upton Sinclair, The Profits of Religion : An Essay in Economic Interpretation (1918), Introductory, "Bootstrap-lifting".