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Kenneth Stevenson relates the ritual process to the three stages or "deep structures" of traditional rites of passage. We find them exemplified most clearly today in the ROman Rite in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
To Join Together is a study of the Roman Rite of Marriage showing that historical liturgical practice celebrated marriage in three stages, betrothal, liminality, and incorporation. And though this practice has faded from the liturgy it continues to be followed actively in family life.
Dr. Stevenson calls for a return to traditional ritual practice and offers specific recommendations for celebrating liturgically each of the three "deep structures" of the rite.
The Rev. Dr. Kenneth W. Stevenson is the author of Eucharist and Offering, a major ecumenical study of the eucharist. He is Rector of the Anglican Parish of Holy Trinity and St. Mary's, Guildford.