I think most people would consider their very close friends and family to be, objectively speaking, a more significant part of their lives than their spiritual family (unless, of course, they are the same group). We tend to spend more time with them, share the important events of our lives with them, and they’re usually the ones with whom we celebrate.
Therefore it is our social rituals, those things we regularly do with our friends, which often occupy a more significant place in our lives than the formal spiritual rituals and celebrations in which we may participate. Midnight Mass might be an important holiday observance, but is it a bigger part of your life than Friday night happy hour with your buddies? Or that show you watch with friends every Sunday? Or the vacation you take with family every summer?
Those regular social rituals are an important part of our everyday spirituality. They’re significant because they highlight the connections in our lives which are most significant, most valuable, most treasured. Those rituals which allow us to stay in touch and nurture relationships with people in our lives should not be ignored as mundane or unimportant.
In fact, maybe we should think through our social rituals and see who and what we are leaving out. Let’s create and celebrate meaningful connections.