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What is involved in Christian pilgrimage? Illustrate the different approaches to pilgrimage referring to two or more places of pilgrimage.

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Introduction

R.E. Coursework Alan Gillingwater 11s Question 1 What is involved in Christian pilgrimage? Illustrate the different approaches to pilgrimage referring to two or more places of pilgrimage. Pilgrimage is a journey that that many Christians take. It is a journey a physical place of importance; this could be somewhere, which an important event in Christianity happened. However pilgrimage is also a more inward, spiritual journey as well. It is an important part of Christian life, and many Christians go on pilgrimage to various places. At different centres of pilgrimage vastly different approaches are taken on the role of pilgrimage. Lourdes is a relatively recent pilgrimage site, which has a different approach to the more traditional pilgrimage sites. Lourdes is an area in which is devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and this is whom visitors focus on. At Lourdes there was a significant apparition. A girl called Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary and some pilgrims visit Lourdes to also see the Virgin Mary or just feel her presence. ...read more.

Middle

There are also active ways in which people can praise Jesus and Mary. This is through symbolic processions in which everyone has candles to represent God's Love and also to remember Jesus, the 'light of the world'. A way in which Lourdes is also different to other places of pilgrimage is the fact that it is predominantly a Catholic pilgrimage. This means that strong Catholic figures are remembered such as the Virgin Mary Lourdes has also become commercialised in a way with many gift shops and caf´┐Ż's in the area. Many would say this is the wrong approach to pilgrimage. A place of pilgrimage with a very different approach would be Lough Durg. This is a far more simple and plain pilgrimage. Far fewer people visit Lough Durg than Lourdes. This has the effect of making the pilgrimage somewhat purer for many Christians. At Lough Durg the approach is for people to give thanks to God. Lough Durg is almost like punishment as the pilgrims have limited food, are forced to walk around barefoot and are disconnected from the outside world. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another popular activity for pilgrims at Jerusalem to do is walk the path Jesus took when carrying his cross. This route is known as the Via Dolorosa and pilgrims follow this route on Good Friday. The start point is the site of Pontius Pilate's headquarters to the site where Jesus was crucified. Pilgrims take part in the Stations of the Cross. This is when people remember or re-enact the final few hours of Jesus' life. Another experience pilgrims at Jerusalem can take part in is visiting the famous Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is important for Christians because it contains the site of the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus. When Christians visit this church it often helps them to remember and become close to Jesus. This church was built by the Roman Emperor Constantine after it was requested by the first ever pilgrim to the site. This adds even more significance to this holy church. All three places have very different approaches to pilgrimage and at the sites different facets of Christianity are remembered. However, all sites of pilgrimage are important to pilgrims and help them to develop a stronger faith. ...read more.

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