I mentioned recently in another post the benefit of ritual to the ways in which we choose to do things. A ritual's purpose is greater than its outcome. A ritual is about the process, and is performed to enact that process, as much as it is about producing a result. A ritual might vary between performances but the important thing about a ritual is how much it remains the same; how it can be learned by rote and performed based on knowledge of the steps involved rather than necessarily understanding the process. Sometimes a ritual is needed because we understand the process and need to simplify it for the sake of our memory or in order to reduce the chances of our making a mistake. Ritual's can help us form habits.

There are other less tangible benefits to rituals. They can be indulgent and social. Sometimes they are commemorative of the good or bad events in our personal or community histories. They teach us about ourselves, our families and our nations. They can help us focus on what is most immediate when the whole picture is overwhelming. They can bring us solitude or reinforce our sense of belonging. Sometimes they just help us to appreciate some aspect of our lives that we otherwise accept unquestioningly.