Ceremonies, Rites and Rituals Defined

Ceremonies, Rites and Rituals Defined

☆ Ceremony ☆
A ceremony is an event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion. A ceremony may mark a rite of passage, such as birth, birthday, initiation, graduation, awarding, wedding, death or burial. Society-wide ceremonies may mark annual or seasonal events such as the vernal equinox, winter solstice, and other events.

☆ Rite ☆
A rite is an established, ceremonious, usually religious act. Rites generally fall into three major categories:
– Rites of passage, generally changing an individual’s social status, such as marriage, dedication or graduation.
– Rites of worship, where a community comes together to worship.
– Rites of personal devotion, where an individual worships, including prayer and pilgrimages.

☆ Ritual ☆
A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. The term usually refers to actions which are stylized, excluding actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers.

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[Image: Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus by John William Waterhouse (1849–1917). This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. Such reproductions are in the public domain in the United States.]

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