What Is Religion For? Ritual

This series talks about the importance of religion in our lives and society.  Ritual is about discipline, observance and remembering connection to our beliefs.  Our beliefs are held by the institutions we attend (as in work, church, recreation), and deep within us (from our upbringing, lessons learned, and what is positive).  Ritual is an activity that puts the observance of a belief into action.

Examples of Observance Rituals:
1) The Rosary is a string of beads from which people speak 10 Hail Mary prayers, one Glory Be to the Father prayer, and one Our Father prayer in five separate cycles to represent the five x ten mysteries of the Christian religion (for details reference www.rosary-center.org).  The rosary is used for remembrance of the mysteries, as a positive focus to fill time, and when a person is seeking forgiveness for something they did wrong.

2) Many people set aside time to look up an inspirational reading, and think or meditate on the message.  This is a ritual for affirming the individual, clearing out the negative, and focusing on the transcendent positive.

3) Many people attend church on Sundays to observe Creation's Day of Rest from the Bible (Genesis 2:1-3), and to connect with their religious family of choice.  It is a time to look great, be thoughtful, and visit with other people.

The strength of ritual is that in times of great conflict, a person will seek out ritual and an answer, rather than follow and amplify the conflict.  It signifies that the person operates from a higher more peaceful self, rather than weaker self expectations.  This ritual remembrance can be used as a pro-active discipline.  Or other disciplines can be adopted to 'keep the faith' and health regimen of ritual.  Running, vegetarianism and tything are discipline variations of ritual.  The key to ritual is to remember the meaning of your beliefs and enrich your life.

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