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Explain the part pilgrimage plays in the religious life of Christians.

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Explain the part pilgrimage plays in the religious life of Christians. In your answer include reference to the places of pilgrimage you have mentioned in AO1. Pilgrimage, although not as important as in some religions, plays a very important role in the life of a Christian. After going to a place of pilgrimage such as Lourdes or Lough Derg, a Christian may feel renewed strength in their faith and make lifestyle changes because of it. There are many practices that could provoke changes, and these go on in both Lourdes and Lough Derg. Becoming more in touch with your relationship with God is a central aspect of pilgrimage. In the chaos of every day life, many people lose the sense of an intimate relationship with God and pilgrimage helps to restore this feeling. In Lough Derg, as was said in AO1, is centralized around walking in the footsteps of St. ...read more.


In fact, one of the reasons people go on pilgrimage is to do just that. It is not only the journey but also in the practices that are carried out there. In Lough Derg people have to walk bare foot and fast for three days. These sacrifices are a way to show your devotion to God. Also, praying is also a way to demonstrate loyalty to God. When a pilgrim comes back to every day life, he or she may find praying more will help them be comforted. It may also mean that they will make more of an effort to get closer to God after seeing the benefits of praying. Many places of pilgrimage are centralized around a Saint or an important religious figure. Lourdes, with Mary, and Lough Derg, concentrating on St. Patrick, are no exceptions. After praying to figures such as these pilgrims may feel like they have a personal relationship with this figure and this may make them feel stimulated and strengthened by this. ...read more.


This could mean raising money for charity, going back to help the disabled or just thanking Him in prayer. However One large part of being a Christian, even when not on pilgrimage, is receiving forgiveness from God through reconciliation. Numerous places of pilgrimage offer this-including Lough Derg and Lourdes as was mentioned in AO1. This has countless positive affects on a pilgrim but probably the main one is its offer of a fresh start. It my also encourage the pilgrim to make up with anyone they have fallen out with, after seeing that forgiveness is the best option, whatever the situation. For many Christians, pilgrimage is extremely important and is an effort to disconnect themselves from every day life. However, in many ways, after a person has returned from a place of pilgrimage, they will find the pilgrimage will have entered their lives and changed it for the better. In some ways, life is a pilgrimage in itself and by bringing the traditional idea of pilgrimage and normal life together, it helps Christians to see the part religion plays in their life. ...read more.

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