Do we need rituals in religion. Are religious rituals important in church.
Do I need rituals? Do I have to go to church or the temple or is it all stupid? Do rituals help me in reaching God (Allah, Dao). Do I have to baptize my child or put it to the church ritual of communion when it gets older? How holy are the holy rituals of religion? such questions appear from time to time and there are also other questions such as: Do I need to sacrifice. Is church stupid, do I have to go to church? So lets talk about the rituals of the religions. Every religion uses rituals. There are many rituals in every religion. Attending church services, baptizing, putting food in front of statues or altars, singing, pilgrimage or sacrifices. Most rituals of the different religions are very good. The make us come together. They give us a good feeling they remind us to be nice and caring and also some of them serve important needs of society like being ritually accepted to society or marriage and the possibility to dedicate these important stages of life to the highest God(Jehovah, Ishvara). So all these rituals like marriage, or taking on a child into the community and the community religion, or the ritual of making a person a fully deciding member of the community. Those are all rituals that humanity has done for a long time. So these rituals did not develope from religion. Most of these rituals developed from society needs. And they today are just put into the context of the actual religion. So most of these rituals are very good and also very important to society. A ritual securing your social status is something that is very good for us. See these old rituals not to much as something relatet especially to the specific religion. Those are very old great customs that where invented because there was a strong need to have them.
How holy is a ritual
Is think this is a really important point when it comes to religion. So as I said rituals will always be good but there is one mistake you may not make about them: And that is that no ritual itself has inherent power to make you better. No ritual can get you closer to God (Allah, Jehovah, The unifying principle). No, only being loving and friendly gets you closer to Allah. Many people believe that certain rituals bring you closer to Allah by some kind of magic that God (Ishvara) does. But no ritual will ever do this. You can perform as many of these rituals as you like and you will not get any step closer to perfection. Ishvara does not put power in rituals themselves. Ishvara does not give you perfection for performing any ritual because the things done in the rituals are not helpful or caring. Taht is teh basic point to understand, the ritual is not a caring activity so it does not bring you closer to having perfecton in being caring.
That means any ritual itself and the traditional form of it is not in itself Gods wish. And that is an important point to notice because believers sometimes think that the ritual as it is done was explicitly described in this way by God directly and that the ritual now has to be done with the exact formula in order to have a “magic” power. But this is wrong and dangerous. I think whatever your holy traditions say, by performing a certain ritual you do not do Allahs will directly. There is never any inherant power that comes from the ritual no matter how exactly or traditional you perform the ritual, no matter how high your clerical level might be in the religion you are in. This all does not matter a ritual does not have any supernatural power. Supernatural power has to be searched somewhere else.
So rituals do a lot of great things as I said above, and some get you in a mood to be better, but they do not bring you closer to “God” by some “magic”. Even though there is “magic” and supernaturality and this “magic” can be achieved it is not through the doing of the rituals. So all these fixed ways of doing rituals can help us to relax but they are not in any way neessary because the ritual or the perfect enactment of the ritual gets you nowhere.
By being loving, caring and nice you get to perfection. So there is a way. But if you think the way to perfection lies in the perfection of how you do the rituals you are very wrong.
Well of course if you are a priest and perform a ritual to remind people to be nice and helpful then this will bring you closer to Dao because you do something good because you do it for the people. But it is not the magic power of the ritual that is getting you higher in this case. The ritual itself does not bring you closer to perfection.
And it is because the ritual itself does not bring you closer to perfection in itself I strictly tell you that animals should never be harmed for ritual purposes.
What about church service or tempel service rituals?
I mean by that the weekly rituals celebrating “God” like church or temple services. These rituals are also very old and good customs in which we come together and see that all people around us want to subjugate themselves to the best way of being and to Jehovah, or just: the thing that knows better then we do and that we can feel by being caring. This is a great ritual. The people who join in to these rituals, and so go to church or into the temple or maybe join a ritual dance. So all these people who celebrate rituals. All these people are not stupid ignorants who believe in magic. No, those people are alltogether those people being intelligent and knowing enough to understand that this tempel ceremony is not only there to please God. They know that it is also a meeting of the community members. The topic of these meetings is living in the best way. So they use these meetings to show their best attitude. They show what is their best attitude towards live, other people and Dao. And showing your attitude means presenting the way you stand and move. And so everybody checks the way other people move at that meetings. This helps to develope our movement very fast. once somebody can move very good all can see it. For more information why movement and “body attitude” are important in religion you can read more in the Meditation article.
People develope the best way to live in attitude and “body attitude” all the time and in church services or temple services they check their behaviour with the other comunity members.
Church services is bound in a “musical” tradition and it allover assures the community that they go the way together. The ritual might seem very strikt and bound in music or musical speech but you will notice the other people watching you and showing they attitude about what the right way is or nod at you to confirm you as a friend in the same goal, to live for the right thing. But the whole ritual always is about developing religion. People don’t go to church or temple stupidly to do the same thing over and over again. They go there to check with the other people what new ways they have developed during their last week maybe. So this is a great ritual if you understand this. And that is why also intelligent people go to church or the tempel rituals. So going to church is not stupid. So most rituals are musical rituals trying to get you into a good mood to be caring. The music for these meetings has been developed by intelligent people over a long time, but if you understand that an important aspect during these meetings is to check up with the fellow people in order to develope religion fast, then you see that a fixed “body attitude” that comes from playing the same music forever is not the aim of a these rituals.
I was only talking of real and honest religious practice and rituals as you find them in the big religions today. Some really wrong stupid pseudo-ritual of some strange super-small religion is of course none of the good rituals.
I am only talking good of the rituals of the bigger religions here. There might be smaller groups with good rituals, but the tendecy is the smaller a religios group is the less it is developing the right way. Because as I said the community developes the wright way during these rituals, and of course in everyday life also So smaller communities have less people developing the best ways in religion. And another thing that s bad in smaller churches, they also have the tendency to want to present some mega-special ritual to show the community that they are the true religion in order to advertise this small religion. Bigger religions are not so eager to get new members so they don’t so much have to invent fancy and wrong rituals. Thats why in the bigger religions of today you will very probably find better developement for yourself then in the smaller religions of today.