This GCSE RE Christianity quiz will challenge you on rituals. ‘Ritual’ is a collective term related to ‘rites’, which themselves are patterns of behaviour developed within an anthropological group ~ such as a tribe or, here, a faith-community ~ to mark significant moments in their collective life.
You may have heard of a famous, then-groundbreaking ballet by Igor Stravinsky (1913) depicting a primal celebration of the annual reawakening of nature; meanwhile it could well be called a ‘ritual’ when players and supporters gather for the ‘tribal clash’ of a sporting fixture: club ‘anthems’ are sung, and there are established procedures for how the teams come onto the pitch with their mascots, etc. ~ almost quite apart from the actual conduct of the game itself.
Believers in many faiths use, enjoy and appreciate rituals. These may be collective traditions such as reciting prayers together or, of course, ‘rites of passage’ (quizzed separately under each of the faiths that we cover) such as to mark the lifetime milestones of birth/naming, adolescence, marriage and death; or they might be religious habits that are in fact done privately, though in the knowledge that others are doing similarly elsewhere (such as a private ‘quiet time’ with one’s scriptures, prayer and contemplation).
It can be a great comfort, in good times or bad, to maintain rituals that support and enhance a faith which one values and shares. Forms of words, postural gestures (for instance: crossing oneself, washing one’s hands before worship, &/or using a physical token such as rosary beads to follow a long-established sequence of prayers) and other aids can channel, console and stimulate a lonely, perplexed or wavering soul when life’s other elements seem to be running amok.
Christians of many traditions have particular rituals which they keep and honour as valuable. This quiz will review a number of such rituals and their wider context.