Family Rituals 1
The Family Stone
Family rituals organize life so that it can be stable during difficult times.
Bylund and Brommel (2004), define family rituals as “a symbolic form of
communication that, owing to the satisfaction that family members experience through
its repetition, is acted out in a systematic fashion over time” (112).
family rituals has a neurobiological impact.
“Rituals tend to stimulate both the left and
right parts of the brain so that the two hemispheres of the brain spill over into each
other, which results in a deep emotional connection” (Friesen, 1990, p. 12). Rituals
have gone on since the beginning of time.
Each individual family creates their own
unique rituals; however, many family rituals parallel those of larger social cultures.
way to study family rituals is to observe how each member communicates.
example, the film, “The Family Stone” illustrates types of family rituals.
types include family celebrations and traditions, intergenerational rituals, and daily
routines and tasks.
In “The Family Stone,” Everett brings his potential fiancée, Meredith, home to
celebrate Christmas with his family.
Meredith comes from a completely different type
of family and the way her family celebrates the Christmas holiday conflicts with those
traditions of Everett’s.
Everett’s mother, Sybil, hides a deep secret about her terminal
cancer from almost everyone in the family; this Christmas could be her last.
is all on Sybil’s mind, her first born son, Everett, asks for her grandmother’s ring to
give to Meredith, the girl that Sybil knows is not right for her son.
hesitates to welcome Meredith into their family traditions.
To further complicate the
matters, Meredith calls her sister, Julie, and convinces her to come and be her emotional