Die rol van rituele in huweliks– en gesinspastoraat / deur Tertius Erasmus
Marriages and families are currently under tremendous pressure. Many marriages and families battle to adapt to changing life circumstances. They have become ignorant about the Divinely intended substance of relationships and are barely surviving. These marriages break up and end up in unhappiness and many times in the breaking up thereof. During the past 40 years there have been many attempts by state and church to stop the deterioration of marriages and family relationships and to put back the essential qualities of life. Many marriage enrichment programmes have been initiated and many couples and families have been encouraged to participate. Social programmes have been discussed and marriage and family initiatives have been launched during these programmes. This has brought hope in many communities. In this confused world of relativism and adaptation people have found some anchor points for their relationships and have found new meaning in their existence. However the question still remains: Do these programs just give a temporary surge of enthusiasm? To move from one program to another and to attend the one course after the other, does not bring a lasting solution. Courses and programs cannot function as crutches from which to get support for wavering marriages and family life. Couples and family members must be equipped in an integral way to revive their marriage and family life. They must be taught to become aware of the richness of happenings and memories that make relationships special and integrate these into their relationships. Rituals (for example: Baptism and Holy Communion) have helped church and humanity through the ages, to look past stale relationships and circumstances, to discover anchors in life and get through traumatic events. These rituals have been the reason for so many unique outcomes in stale relationships and have opened a new future for individuals and groups where none was evident. During this study these rituals have been seen as long–term assistance for marriages and families for the maintenance, extension and dynamics thereof. Rituals with the help of the development line of narrative research methodology, have been put in place to help couples and families to a better understanding and support of each other. They put new life into relationships, to build attainable future dreams and have given the opportunity for partners to move away from stale relationships to more hopeful relationships. The value of the local enrichment program as a safe environment for growth, adaptation and the integral implementation of meaningful rituals in marriage and family life, cannot be stressed enough. Within this enrichment program, with its relevant rituals, relationships are dynamically turned to the future. Believe in the existence of relationship has been found. Energy has been given to couples and families to live more purposefully. They are more creative and have a better understanding of each other. They can face the future together.
- ETD@PUK