After attending the First Holy Communion of her sons, broadcaster and comedian Wendy Harmer has written in her Sunday Telegraph column that we could all do with more devotions and rituals.
"My children took their first Holy Communion in the Catholic Church last weekend. They took the sacrament of the Eucharist, watched over by their Catholic father and grandmother. It was also the passing along of a tradition as well as a welcome into a religious community.
"The church was full and, as an atheist, I must admit to feeling humbled by the faith of the congregation. I couldn't help thinking that going to church on Sundays had a lot to recommend it."
She talks about her experience of going to church on Sunday (during her growing up years), which had a "sense of occasion", opportunities to "meet and greet our neighbours" and to express "gratitude for life's blessings".
"We pride ourselves on being a casual, laid-back country, but perhaps we are lacking in rituals; which, after all, mark the passing of the days and are our milestones, giving us the chance to get above our petty worries for a while and contemplate the infinite.
"We atheists reckon we can express it without God. Who knows if we are right - but it feels that way.
"I think Tony Abbott was misguided when he derided the "Welcome to Country" ceremony as "tokenism". He, of all people, should understand the healing power of rituals.
"Rather than junking one of the few we have, maybe we could some up with some new ones ... We could devise a devotion for the beginning of public events that expresses how happy we are to be together.
"I know we already have so many special "days" and "weeks" for myriad causes that we're reeling ... so maybe it should be something as simple as silence."
Let's show gratitude with ritual of silence (Daily Telegraph)
Image from wendyharmer.com