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Studies of Religion

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Religious Rites Assessment In all the religious traditions of the world, certain rites that have stemmed from thousands of years of history permeate the way followers practice their faith publicly and have indeed "...shaped and been shaped by the cultural, political, economic and secular contexts of various periods of history."1 Rites are simply "...formal or ceremonial acts or procedures that are prescribed or customary in religious or other solemn use..."2 and are the backbone of modern public worship in both the Synagogue service in Judaism and the Communion service in Christianity. In Judaism, the Synagogue is a "...gathering place for the Jewish community, a place for prayer, song and instruction."3 The service is the primary rite of public worship for the Jewish people of the Orthodox, Reform and Conservative variations and is derived from ancient times when Jews practiced their faith at the Temple in Jerusalem. Synagogues and in turn the service, were instituted by a group of sages and prophets known as "Anshei Knesset Hagedolah"4, in approximately "500 BC"5, after the Holy Temple was destroyed. In modern times, however, the Synagogue service is "...only a very small aspect of Judaism..."6 with, in all variants, it being simply a time of communal prayer and thanksgiving. The generic term for the individual whom leads the synagogue service is the "Shaliach Tzibur"7 which literally means "messenger of the ...read more.


On Saturday morning across all variations, readings from the Book of Prophets are recited, which is known as the Haftorah or "Addition to Torah"16. This is significant as it derives from when the Greeks ruled Israel, and Jews were forbidden to read the Torah, and they instead, started to read the Prophets which contained similar ideas to that of their Torah,17 and thus contemporary Jews acknowledge the courage of their ancestors and continue to practice this customary recitation. In Christianity the officiating celebrant differs substantially from that of Judaism with the individual offering prayers to God on behalf of the congregation18 whom he presides over and thus acts very much as an intermediary between God and the parishioners. The officiating celebrant in Catholicism is an ordained male priest who must take the vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience19 which forbids him to marry, have sexual relationships and dissuade from any teachings of his superiors and God. This allows him to be totally committed to serving God and his congregation, and thus lead the rite of Eucharist in the most revered way possible. Anglican and Baptist variants, however, don't follow such stringent rules, with the allowances of marriage and families for their ministers as well as in some cases giving females the opportunity to be ordained celebrants, which is much like the Reform and Conservative variations of Judaism. ...read more.


(2002) The Cux of the Struggle : The Cross as Catalyst, Zadok Institute for Christianity and Society, Victoria. * Fr James O'Meara, St Finbar's Sans Souci * Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio, Temple Emanuel, Bondi Junction. * Rabbi Shlomo Chein, Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem. 1 Holm and Bowker. (1994) Rites of Passage, Pinter Publishers, New York. 2 Morrissey et al. (2001) Living Religion Second Edition, Pearson Education, Australia. 3 ibid 4 "Men of The Great Assembly" Misnah, Pirkei Avot (1:1) 5 Rabbi Shlomo Chein 6 ibid 7 Kadden. (2004) Teaching Tefilah, A.R.E Publishing inc, New Jersey. 8 ibid 9 Jewish Law 10 Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio, Temple Emanuel, Bondi Junction. 11 Kadden Op. Cit. 12 Meek. (2003) The Synagogue Phaidon Press, New York. 13 Falcon. (2001) Judaism for Dummies, Hungry Minds, New York. 14 Exodus 27:20 15 Kadden Op. Cit. 16 Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio, Temple Emanuel, Bondi Junction. 17 Ask Moses. http://www.askmoses.com/ (1998), (Site contents copyright (c) 1998 - 2005 AskMoses.com) 18 WELS. http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?1518&cuTopic_topicID=30&cuItem_itemID=9846 (2001), ((c) 2006 WELS. All Rights Reserved) 19 Marshall. (1994) The Catholic Priesthood and the English Reformation, Oxford University Press, Britain 20 Luke 22:19 21 Andrews. (2002) The Crux of the Struggle : The Cross as Catalyst, Zadok Institute for Christianity and Society, Victoria. 22 Marshall, Op. Cit. 23 Fr James O'Meara, St Finbar's Sans Souci 24 Priests Assistant ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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