Monday, February 25, 2013

Lessons 8 and 9: Ritual I

(1) What is ritual? What do we mean by this term in a religious context?
(2) Why do we do ritual in the first place? What is its purpose within our religion?
(3) What needs, human and/or divine, do you think ritual fulfills?

1) Ritual, in the most general sense, is an action or series of actions which are repeated at a particular time in a routine fashion. For example my morning, non-religious ritual is wake-up, drink coffee, shower, eat, brush my teeth. It proceeds in this order almost every day. When we move into ritual as a religious act, it is an action, or series of actions done at a particular time for a particular purpose to achieve a particular effect, and is repeated in an extremely similar manner over time, the thing which makes it “religious” is the involvement of deity in one fashion or another.

2)      Ritual establishes and gives meaning to the flow of time and to the flow of life. It establishes order and makes sense of the world around us, and it helps us make sense of our relationship with our Gods. Within our own faith, ritual establishes, reinforces, and strengthens the relationship between us mortals and the Immortals, and it also strengthens and reinforces the relationships between mortals, between family members, and so on and so forth.

3)Ritual primarily fulfills human needs, a need or want to honor the divine, a need to make sense of the world and universe around us and a very strong desire to foster and develop community among ourselves. For the Divine, I have nothing to go on but speculation. I borrow two ideas, one from the Qadish folks and that is the idea that worshipping a deity gives them strength, and the idea of offerings having a sort of ka as the Kemetics view it, I also borrow as this gives the offerings a bit more meaning. I’m well aware that the Ancient Greeks did not have this viewpoint, and believed it was largely for our benefit, but I am reconstructing the faith and religion, it doesn’t mean I have to mimic their viewpoints or beliefs on everything.

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A young man living in North Texas. He is an actor, a Hellenistos, and a proud member of Hellenion.