While the event itself was not Pagan related in the slightest, I had an interesting experience earlier this week, and felt it was worth sharing. I went to a memorial service on Monday at a large government agency, and though “God” was often mentioned by the various clergy members who were present, I was pleasantly surprised during the Invocation when the Senior Cantor made a point of acknowledging that there are many different ways of seeing Him, and of worshiping Him – to the point of specifically mentioning the word “ritual”. Which clearly that word is not specific to Paganism, but it’s also not one that you hear as often in conjunction with Christian rites or services, so (despite the possibility that I’m a bit biased on the subject), I took it as a slight nod to those in attendance who might be of a Pagan faith.
I really wish I had a transcript of the entire thing, because it was very well spoken, and went a long way towards recognizing those of various faiths, other than Christianity. Normally I am a bit uncomfortable during things like that when it’s “God this…” and “God that…”, not because I have any issue with Him, but I sometimes feel like an impostor when He is invoked, and I don’t like to just mouth words that I don’t really believe in. That there was purposeful acknowledgement of other faiths during this ceremony, went a long way to making me (and I’m sure some others as well) feel that sense of inclusion, that is often missing at these sort of events. This is especially important, as it comes at a time when we sometimes desperately (due to the sadness we are feeling at the loss of a loved one) need to feel that we aren’t so alone in our grief.