Pastors of souls must therefore realize that, when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than the mere observation of the laws governing valid and licit celebration; it is their duty also to ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite (Vatican Council II, SC 11).
A ritual is more than a series of rubrics to assure the correct execution of a religious act. It is rather a configuration of signs and actions that give expression to the faith of a community. During community prayer, religious experience is expressed by symbols: chant, dance, meal, prayer, salutation, gesture, posture, washing, touching, anointing. These symbols are normally accompanied by spoken words. Ritual uses also art, musical instruments, sacred vessels, things of nature, incense, light, darkness, etc. The symbols come from the history of the community and its contemporary experience. In fact, it is the sensibility of the assembled community that discerns appropriate symbols because they communicate the message of communal faith. Hence, ritual lives and speaks. What’s more, Christian ritual causes what it signifies. To participate passively in ritual is an abnormality.
Being a fool starts by becoming deaf. (Mongo)