Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Role of Ritual in Religion


I talked a few months ago about the "Theology on Tap" group that I joined back in January. We get together the second Thursday of every month to discuss an aspect of theology and our faith. Sometimes we have a guest speaker who will guide the discussion, but sometimes we just have a certain topic that we just have an open forum discussion about, as was the case for this month's meeting.

This month, we discussed the role of ritual in religion, and I loved it. We all opened up about whether or not we thought ritual was a good thing, and I think the general consensus was that ritual is a healthy part of religion. Ritual is a symbolic repeated action that often transcends the use of words.

As repetitive action is the root of ritual, it is truly the essence of human learning. It is true that not all ritual is religious, but the ideas are the same. Take for instance the ritual between a mother and her child--this interaction shows that when practiced between people, ritual gives rise to love. And who's to say that one of those two people involved in a ritualistic act can't be God? I think the love that God has for us, and our love for Him, gives rise to all the other love in our lives. And that is pretty darn special.

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