religious studies

Satisfactory Essays
What is meant by the term, “rite of passage”? Choose one Christian denomination. Describe the main rites of passage in that denomination.

I am going to describe the Roman Catholic churches main rites of passage. There are four important rites, they are; baptism, confirmation, marriage and funerals. A rite is a religious ceremony. If the rite marks a certain stage of someone’s life it is called a rite of passage. Christians believe god gives them powers to do his will, this is called god’s grace.
The first rite I will describe is baptism. When a person is baptised it is believed that it is their welcome into the Christian church. Holy water is either put onto the person’s forehead or they are totally covered in water. This is a rite of passage because it is believed to be a very special as god is accepting them into the church. Infant baptisms in the Roman Catholic church take place during mass so the whole congregation of the church can welcome the child into the Christian faith. The priest takes the service. Three promises must be made but as the child is too young to say them parents or godparents say them on the child’s behalf. The promises are:
· To turn to Christ
· To repent sin
· To renounce evil
They also agree to raise the child in a Christian house and faith and say that they believe in the Trinity. The sign of a cross is made on the child’s forehead by the priest while he says; “I sign you with the cross, the sign of Christ. Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.” As the priest says the child’s name and; “I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, he pours water onto the child’s forehead. A lighted candle is usually given to the parents as a sign and reminder that the child is now in the light of god, and not the darkness of sin. After this ceremony the child is part of the Christian family. The child is anointed with oil called chrism, it is to show the child has important work to do in god’s service. Also a white garment is worn to show the light of Christ. The water is a sign of purifying the child.

The second of the rites is confirmation. It is when someone confirms their belief in god and Christ and when someone who has been baptised is old enough to make the promises made for them at their baptism themselves.
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