This rule is intended to address what I consider an exaggerated focus on combat magic in 4E. The awesomest spells have all become rituals, but no one casts rituals because they are time and resource-intensive. Furthermore, ritual casters from PHBII and PHBIII were all granted the ability to cast at least one ritual for free per day, an unfair proposition for Clerics and Wizards.
Under this rule, ritual casters may use healing surges to cover part or all of the component cost of casting rituals. Whether this represents an expense of pneuma, vitae or other viscera is up to the player, but the exchange rate is 1 healing surge = 10 gp x character level for the character leading the ritual and 1 healing surge = 5 gp x character level for other participants if multiple casters are participating in the ritual. Any extra gold value from sacrificed healing surges is wasted.
Furthermore, once a day, clerics may cast a ritual with Religion as a key skill as if they had spent an additional healing surge to cover the component cost and wizards may do the same for rituals with Arcana as a key skill.
At seventh level, the Historian wants to cast Object Reading, an Arcana-based fifth-level ritual with a component cost of 25 gold, on some of your fetters. As a wizard, he simply chooses to use his freebie and to cast the ritual as if he had used a healing surge to cover the cost of components. His healing surge, worth 70 gp in this context, more than covers the casting cost and the remainder is wasted. Should he wish to cast the ritual again in the same day, he could pay with one of his healing surges or actually use components.