Rituals

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Rituals

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A ritual is an action that is taken, usually but not necessarily as a group, usually but not necessarily on a recurring basis, usually but not necessarily serving limited or non-existent practical purpose, which is done primarily for psychological reasons.

Intentional communities, like churches, are an ideal setting for a group to perform quasi-religious rituals, that are different from the more common rituals in society. The most common types of ritual in society at large are burden rituals, slavery rituals (which are like burden rituals, but more practical), and submission recitations. Those types of rituals are usually coercive, which is why they are so popular. However, intentional communities, like churches, provide an opportunity to engage in a wider variety of rituals, not just the coercive ones.

Common rituals and types of rituals include:

  • recitations
  • chants
  • songs / music
  • marches / processions
  • movements / dances
  • sex rituals
  • baptism
  • the Lord’s Supper
  • initiation rituals (the harsher initiation rituals are typically coercive)
  • submission recitations
    • ‘grace’ prayer before meals
    • the pledge of allegiance
    • reciting the national anthem at sporting events
  • burden rituals
    • recitation and memorization of the Koran
    • memorizing and analyzing fiction books or poetry
    • homework
    • 6-hour per day ‘school’ attendance
    • sitting and listening to sermons
    • sitting on a jury at a ritually long trial
    • college (partially practical), and especially ‘general education’ classes
    • praying several times a day
    • physical burden rituals, such as running or jogging laps
  • slavery rituals (practical)
    • unpaid internship
    • minimum wage ‘rite of passage’
    • unpaid or minimally-paid children’s chores (in some cases not practical)
    • fagging (younger students serving older students)