Worship and Ritual in Christianity
Christianity is among the ancient religions that still exist in the world. The diverse Christian groups that exist have various ways of worship. It is seen as a means to praise and glorify the Supreme Being. There is the belief that human beings were created in the image and likeness of the Supreme Being. The Bible is the Holy Book Christians use to worship and has been used as the guide to everyday life. There are rituals and festivals that mark the manner in which Christians praise God (Pecklers 65). These rituals trade back to the festivities that are seen in the Bible, and to this day, many individuals still uphold the practices. However, not many people view these rituals as a way of worship. They see it is primitive and empty. Some go as far as suggesting that there is no Supreme Being to worship. This paper, however, will examine worship and rituals that mark the Christian faith, and why it is vital to live believing in something.
Empty ritualism is the process of undergoing, or performing a ritual while there is the absence of sincerity or genuine meaning. A lot of this happens in many areas as individuals believe that they are doing this to fall in God’s favour. This, to a large number of people, is what is called ritualism (White 61). It is usually done to recover some sense of religious feeling that was once lost. This is not condoned in modern Christian settings as it gives off a feeling of worship being violated. Whenever the pattern of worship is violated, people know that the design meant for ritual is not being followed. This gives the religion a terrible reputation among other religions that exist.
Christians pride themselves with the thought of their religion being superior to other existent religions. They, therefore, follow most of the rituals in the Bible strictly so as to abide by the ways of truth. In the Holy Book, the New Testament ways are chosen over the Old Testament ways. This shows that some of the rituals that were once carried out; need no longer be carried out after the coming of Christ. He came to shed light on how Christians could live without some of the old traditions that ruled their lives (White 64). As such, modern day Christians follow the New Testament to guide them in everyday life. That is why; sacrifices and burnt offerings are not part of the rituals Christians carry out in modern time. They, however, still observe some of the rituals in the Bible.
As with any religion, there are bound to be groups that choose to do things differently. This is according to how they view and comprehend the Bible. This is probably why there are diverse groups of the Christian religion, which choose to be different from others. This is through the way and manner of worship, and conducting of their rituals. All these groups view the other as a pervasion of the real Christian religion. What they do not seem to realise is that all these groups serve the same purpose, and the same God (White 76). Christians worship throughout the week, and the year. Even though, the styles of worship differ in all the denominations present, the services, worship ceremonies, and rituals, hold extraordinary meaning to Christians.
Christians believe that the church is the dwelling place of God. This is where they conduct their services. Many of the believers worship on Sunday as they believe it is the Sabbath, the day that Jesus rested. Others, for example, the Seventh Day Adventist, believe that Saturday is the blessed day. This does not make them any less Christian than the Catholics, who are considered the foundation on which Christianity is built. There is the use of art and decoration in these diverse denominations (White 76). The use of arts and decorations vary as they stand for different meaning and symbolism in these places of worship. They, however, serve the purpose of praising and worshiping God wherever they are used.
Some of the ancient customs and traditions...
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