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Year 8 - RE - Initiation ceremonies: Home



ritual (Sanskrit: ऋतु ritu - season) is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a special place, and performed according to set sequence.


A rite is an established, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories:

  • rites of passage, generally changing an individual's social status, such as marriage, adoption, baptism, coming of age, graduation, or inauguration;
  • communal rites, whether of worship, where a community comes together to worship, such as Jewish synagogue or Mass.
  • rites of personal devotion, where an individual worships, including prayer and pilgrimages 


Initiation is a rite of passage marking entrance or acceptance into a group or society. It could also be a formal admission to adulthood in a community or one of its formal components. In an extended sense it can also signify a transformation in which the initiate is 'reborn' into a new role.

Rite of passage

A rite of passage is a ceremony or ritual of the passage which occurs when an individual leaves one group to enter another. It involves a significant change of status in society.


Definitions from Wikipedia and Britannica

Why do Religions initiate members

Look at the definitions to the left.

Religions generally use a ceremony to mark the transfer of a member from one group to another. This can be demonstrating a promotion to a higher group often based on age or knowledge.

Lots of communities which are not religious also have initiation ceremonies and rites.




By Edmund Leighton - (direct link), Public Domain,