Retrogressive rituals

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Retrogressive rituals. Rituals which enable people to bring the past into the present, or to ‘visit’ the past in order to deal with events that lie in the past. The former bring into effect past events so that they are of consequence in the present (as in recapitulating dramatic moments of salvation, e.g. Passover, Good Friday); the latter are particularly important in enabling people to deal with offences or sins in the past which might otherwise seem to be literally ‘past redemption’—hence rituals of penance, confession, atonement, absolution, etc.