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The Importance Of Religious Rituals

Although there seems to be a greater reliance on scientific explanations for the unexplained than at any other time in history, most people still subscribe to some sort of religion. This is basically a set of rules, usually believed to be passed down by a supreme deity to mankind. One of the most important aspects of any religion is the set of rituals which adherents are supposed to follow. This essay looks at some of the reasons why this is such an important thing.

Fostering a sense of community

Most religious rituals take place in the presence of a group. Baptism, for instance, is often done in the presence of the entire church and at the end of it, the baptized person is recognized officially as ‘saved’ and welcomed to the rest of the ‘flock’. The immersion into the water means that they have officially become part of the new holier group. Similarly, weddings and funerals tend to involve religious supervision and they bring people together to reaffirm what they all believe. This strengthens their bonds.

Making abstract concept concrete

Most religious texts speak of things that go beyond the physical. Concepts that are abstract cannot be easily explained with words alone. Worse yet, may of these texts were either written or compiled centuries ago. The relevance of some of the things they contain is often lost on a modern audience. Through rituals, people who may not fully understand what is being said can feel certain things that guide them to the truth.

Creating a deeper connection with God

While the reasons listed above are quite valid, most people decide to obey because they want to be faithful to the will of God. This can be complicated because there are many rules that seem to contradict each other. There may even be cases where one branch of the faith thinks that a particular ceremony is meant to be conducted in one way only while others are far more lenient. By participating in these ritualistic practices, adherents can begin to feel closer to the higher power. This can be a source of comfort, especially at the end of one’s life.

There are cases where people have managed to substitute other practices in order to get the same sense of oneness and piece. Still there are enough reasons for this practice to continue.