I recently attended a christian funerary service for close relative of mine. At this point in my life, I attend church for one of three reasons; weddings, funerals and services that have to do with my God-son (I've explained to the parents that I would not help raise him to be a good christian, but to be a good person).
Near the beginning of the service, I told my wife that I would go on auto-pilot and see how much of church ceremony I could remember/perform since I stopped attending regular services some 20 years ago. I was shocked to realize how well I had been conditioned; Hymn after hymn, song after song, prayer after prayer, even the obscure little utterances during the ceremony had been burned into my memory over the course of my childhood and adolescence.
I came to appreciate the power of suggestion associated with the church. If you take a child and repeat a ceremony week after week, it will be absorbed. This is how religion works. Hook 'em while they're young and the rest is done. It becomes habit and tradition. Critical thought will lead many to free themselves of the shackles of tradition but many do not question the status quo and keep passing their beliefs on to their children without even thinking about it.