Ritual as a Symbol

When we talked in class about ritual as a symbol it made me think of a ritual that we have on the football team and question what it is a symbol of.  Every week for the game before we leave the locker room we always recite the Lord’s Prayer.  I’ve played for 2 different college teams and on both teams the ritual was the same that you always put a hand on your teamates and said the Lord’s Prayer together before taking the field.  Thinking about this made me think of the idea who gets to share what meaning and a little bit deeper it made me think of just what is the meaning of this ritual anyway? Every week we have chapel and mass the night before the game that are optional that you can attend if you are religous.  If I had to guess I would say at best 75% of the team attends either chapel or mass.  I think thats interesting because I wonder what the symbol is to the people that aren’t religious who say the Lord’s Prayer before games.  To someone like me who is religious the ritual is important because it is a symbol of my faith, but to someone who isn’t religious I’m not sure what they would see it as a symbol for.  I guess team unity is ultimately what it is for but it just strikes me as odd that our ritual is something that everyone on the team doesn’t get to share the same meaning which ultimately isn’t too unifying.  I just thought this whole ritual was very interesting when I thought about it as a symbol when not everyone on our team gets to share the same exact meaning.


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