Rituals In Christianity


Christianity is marked by a number of rituals that form part of a Christians life. While these rituals should not be seen as a means to salvation, they are still indicative of a changed life and adoration to Christ. Baptism is a divisive subject among various Christian denominations, but based on biblical guidelines, this ritual is not a complicated one. Communion is another ritual which should be performed as often as Christians come together. Another is the confession of sin. All three will be explored in this essay.

Baptism

While many protestant denominations still adhere to infant baptism, baptism according to the Bible is something done by a believer in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. It signifies the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ in the submerging under water and the coming up out of the water. This ritual is purely symbolic and should be done publically as a declaration of what has already taken place in the soul of a person. Contrary to popular belief, baptism does not initiate salvation.

The Lord’s Supper

Communion is a ritual performed by Christians who are celebrating the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Unleavened bread and wine (grape juice) are consumed together as symbols of the night of Passover. Christ said that the bread symbolized His body and the wine His blood. In taking part of these elements, the Christian proclaims the death of Christ until His return. Some Christian denominations believe in transubstantiation, where the wine and bread turn into the literal and physical blood and body of Christ when they are consumed; but this is quite likely just superstition.

Confession of sin

Another ritual is the regular confession of sin. Christ implored His followers to ask the Father to forgive their sins as they forgave others who had sinned against them. Confession of sin should not be confused with repentance. Repentance is the act of turning away from our sins after accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour. Confession is an ongoing practice whereby we continually ask for forgiveness for our daily sins.

While these rituals are often confused in various denominations, the biblical reference indicates that all three are important. None of them should be done as a religious duty, but rather willingly as symbols of a transformed attitude towards God. Doing them out of obligation negates the point and purpose of each one.

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