When the world was half a thousand years younger all events had much sharper outlines than now. The distance between sadness and joy, between good and bad fortune, seemed to be much greater than for us; every experience had that degree of directness and absoluteness that joy and sadness still have in the mind of a child. Every event, every deed was defined in given and expressive forms and was in accord with the solemnity of a tight, invariable life style. the great events of human life–birth, marriage, death–by virtue of the sacraments, basked in the radiance of the divine mystery. But even the lesser events–a journey, labor, a visit–were accompanied by a multitude of blessings, ceremonies, saying, and conventions.
Johan Huizinga, The Autumn of the Middle Ages