This is an old commercial for Coke Light. Did you see how at the end the priest takes the sweat from the Coke can and anoints the girl? This is very clever. The hope is that when you see a priest perform this action, you will think of Coke Light. (It worked for me apparently. When I thought of this post this was the first image that came to mind.)
This symbol of the Sacred Heart is more rarely used in the Church circles now because it has been so secularized. I really like this symbol too.
Crosses and crucifixes have long been tried to be secularized from the chest of Madonna, to men's earrings, to being a fashion accessory to hang on the wall. "It's a statement, not a symbol that I am Christian," I would hear often. That seems to be waining a bit.
You could probably come up with your own list of words, objets, and even holy days ([St.] Valentine's Day, Christmas) that have been or have tried to be secularized.
This is yet again why art is so important. We tend to be visual people. If the effort to de-sacralize our symbols is successful, then our presence in our culture is that much more diminished.
Some symbols are taken, others are freely given away. Priests not wearing collars, religious not wearing habits, church buildings not looking like church buildings, our presence becomes static on the screen rather than a clear picture. We need to take very good care of our symbols or we run the risk of fading into the background. Secularized symbols are far more easy to throw away. We give them up, they will be used up, drained of meaning, and then forgotten.
Tomorrow - one way to reverse the trend.