Deconverts - What part of Christian culture do you miss the most? Is there a worship song or hymn you find yourself humming? Do you miss the after church coffees and potlucks? Do you get sentimental about an author or children's book?
I realize there is plenty to NOT miss, but for those who were in the faith longer than out, I'd be very happy to hear about the cultural soft-spots you have since leaving the faith.
When I think about my three adult children and I imagine something bad happening to them, I find myself saying a prayer for their well-being. Then I realize that I need to DO SOMETHING in the real world to help them out.
Kirk - Good call! Praying is a culture unto itself and that ritual of asking for or offering prayers - the verbalizing on one's needs and compassion for others - is something that is hard to find a substitute for - even when we now know we are responsible for our own well-being. The loss of communal prayer takes some adjusting to.
Ahh yes, the joys of Catholic Rites, I remember them well. I might find myself in one of the Catholic flavored building every once in a while for the spectacle. Mass at St. Peter's Basilica cannot be beat. They have Michaelangelo's statuary in the Narthex -- it don' get no better...
The main thing about prayer is that you have to say it out loud, silence is not golden. We know from neuroscience that engaging the auditory machinery works on your own speech just as well as the speech of others. We engage the whole machinery of audio cognition which greatly increases our understanding of the problem and our ability to guess what happens next.
(This is silly, but....) I don't know if they still do, but Catholics used to have SUPER calendars! The saints and Jesus & everyone had open chests with big, bleeding hearts in them...very, very cool to a 7-year-old. My aunt used to give me one every year, just because I loved seeing the martyrs with blood and tears, etc. And, all the bobbing, kneeling, incense, bells ringing, smoke, etc...that was fun, too.
Now, of course, I go to a mass and find myself wondering how many children the priest molested or how many molestations he covered up for one of his friends.
Did you attend this church on a regular basis? Our family attended a Mennonite church over the canadian border for about a year. I remember them as very kind, True Christians - as in very welcoming - which many churches aren't.