Monday, October 30, 2017
The poverty of Unitarian Universalism because of its lack of sacraments
Currently, at 71, I am an elder and it is a role I am still learning how to enact for myself and others in my life. Our contemporary society doesn't help much, as there are no clear rites of passage into elderhood other than obtaining Social Security, Medicare, and, perhaps, retiring from one's main career or professions although many continue to work if they are able at least part time.
Elderhood is also a time of generativity when there is a concern about helping the younger generation benefit from what one has learned from one's life experience. This role is not taken by all older people. As one wag put it, "Growing old and growing up are two different things." As we continue to be alive we all grow older but whether we grow up is a choice and intention we each must make. Growing up has to do with spiritual development. It is the ever increasing development of wisdom.
Socrates said an unexamined life is not worth living. If one has lived and is living an examined life, wisdom is the result, it not, then not so much.
Having moved over to Unitarian Universalism I miss the sacramental way of life. UU sometimes celebrate rites of passage with dedications, marriage, funerals but these rituals seems secularized and can be engaged in in other places than in church.
Many of the UUs I have met are also converts with a small minority being cradle UUs. Perhaps one of the contributing factors to the decreasing UU membership is its failure, as a faith tradition, to provide meaningful ways of celebrating major life transitions imbued with spiritual meaning.