Rituals create community by translating our love into action

Love is most commonly taken as a kind of sentiment, a natural and spontaneous given that is realised in its purest form through intense feeling. Whether it is shared between lovers, family members, friends or more distant relations, it is the sentiment of love, more than its other possible dimensions, that has grabbed most of the attention. And so, when we give tangible form to these feelings through words, gestures or gifts, we tend to regard them as ‘tokens’ of our regard and appreciation – mere trifles that represent the true event, which is the sentiment that lies deep in our hearts. Such an idea persists in our everyday locutions and in the mythologies that drive modern society, shaping our values and the way we go about living our lives.

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