Religious Ritual Practices Regardless Of Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

This ritual takes place on the eighth day after birth and the ceremony itself involves both religious and surgical elements and may be performed by a surgeon of a specially-trained Mohel who has both surgical and religious knowledge. After the circumcision is performed, a festive meal almost always follows as a symbol of thanks to God and to the prophet Abraham.

One of the most complicated religious rituals of Judaism is the Bar Mitzvah for boys and less frequently, the Bat Mitzvah for girls. These words mean "the son or the daughter of the commandment and mark the coming of age of a male or female child" (Harvey, 325) who is then seen as an adult and is responsible for observing the commandments set down by Moses and to fill adult roles in the congregation of the synagogue. This ritual traditionally occurs on the Sabbath following the child's thirteenth birthday and is preceded by intensive study of the Torah and other religious books and documents. One other important Jewish ritual is marriage which traditionally is the next life cycle ritual in the lives of most Jewish women and men after becoming an adult. The Ketubah or marriage contract which "spells out the responsibilities of both partners is signed during the ceremony" of marriage and is a legally valid document as well as a religious one, similar in nature to a conventional marriage license or pre-nuptial agreement (Hall, 215).

A more contemporary form of ritual takes place in what is now referred to as the New Age Movement, a "phenomenon of cultural and cosmic consciousness made up of a clear set of cosmological ideas and spiritual practices" that are widely shared by diverse groups and individuals around the world (Grissom, 245). There are several key ritualistic practices shared by those within the New Age Movement. For instance, being on a spiritual path is important to most "New Agers" which means choosing a path and adhering to it for one's entire lifetime or trying out a variety of spiritual practices to see which one fits more closely...
...The most important religious acts for "New Agers" is becoming in touch with the so-called life force through ritual and meditation. New Age believers seek communion with sacred reality and believe that it is both within themselves and within the framework of physical reality. Thus, New Age practitioners "align themselves with the flow of the universe and seek to obtain the means to achieve this alignment" (Swift, 286). For some New Age believers, this alignment is said to produce physical and psychic healing and can create para-psychological experiences which leads to peace of mind and overall well-being.

In conclusion, religious rituals provide believers and practitioners of the various world religions with meaning or serve as a way to find meaning in their daily lives as human beings often trapped in chaos and misunderstanding. Overall, religious rituals are the creation of men and the beliefs, lifestyles and institutions linked to religious rituals are the byproducts of human thought and activity. Also, religious rituals help believers to comprehend and appreciate things that are seen as holy, sacred or of the highest human value. As Robert Thorson puts it, religious rituals "reach beyond the individual and the ordinary concerns of day-to-day living and puts believers in touch with the sense of great mystery linked to the existence of a higher power" which is seen as the controller of the universe and can be manifested through religious practices and specific rituals (267).

Bibliography

Grissom, Harold J. "Ritual Practice in American Religious Sects." The Journal of Religion. (April 2006): 239-48.

Hall, Manley P. The Psychology of Religious Ritual. Los Angeles: Philosophical

Research Society, 2003.

Harvey, Graham. Ritual and Religious Belief. UK: Equinox Publishing, Ltd., 2005.

Salomane, Frank. Encyclopedia of Religious Rights, Rituals and Festivals. New York:

Routledge Publishing, 2004.

Swift, Donald C. Religion and the American Experience: A Social and Cultural History, 1765-1996. Armonk, NY:…

Sources Used in Documents:

Bibliography

Grissom, Harold J. "Ritual Practice in American Religious Sects." The Journal of Religion. (April 2006): 239-48.

Hall, Manley P. The Psychology of Religious Ritual. Los Angeles: Philosophical

Research Society, 2003.

Harvey, Graham. Ritual and Religious Belief. UK: Equinox Publishing, Ltd., 2005.

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