I grew up with a vaguely Christianesque religious background – Easter and Christmas, religious overtones at funerals, prayers at family meals both immediate and extended (my sister and I instituted it in our household – I think more as a measure of gratitude than religiosity), and the Christian bible, both Old and New Testament, was available to read easily (though never mandatory).
I “lost” religion like I “lost” my virginity: slightly awkwardly, but have enjoyed the experience afterwards quite a lot.
Right now, I tend towards spirituality of the loosely pagan sort. I am agnostic about the existence of a god or gods – no one has proved it, nor disproved it solidly enough for me. I do solidly believe in the great power of nature to create and destroy. I have occasionally done tarot spreads to help me figure out something that is troubling me or to meditate on a problem or a joy in my life, though I have not found a deck that pulls me in as an adult yet, though I am looking. I do get a sense of holiness about certain sites – Stonehenge, some churches, the piazza in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and the ocean, being the ones that come immediately to mind.
Music is my form of worship (which, I think, may explain why I like gospel music so much). The closer to up close and personal it gets, the more profound the experience is. It transcends the bullshit, gets right to the sound of humanity. Music is something humans have used for many thousands of years to express our joy and sorrow – it is a quintessential part of being human, I think, which makes it very holy to me. Gregorian chanting is very beautiful and profoundly holy sounding to me but so is the experience in a small comfortable bar listening to a favorite band, or sitting on the deck or in the living room of a friend listening to others jam or jamming one’s self.
To top this off, I offer one thing – Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, sung by the man himself: https://youtu.be/YrLk4vdY28Q. This song has been resonating in my brain. It is, to me, a holy thing.