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"What is involved in pilgrimage?"

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Alex McGahey 11P "What is involved in pilgrimage?" In this piece of coursework, I will discuss what is involved in pilgrimage. After this, I will discuss what goes on in specific places of pilgrimage, such as in Lourdes and Taize, and how they differ from one another. I will also explain the meaning of pilgrimage to answer the question "what is involved in pilgrimage?" and mention who goes on pilgrimages. A pilgrimage is a journey with religious significance and is found in the great religions of the world. It is a journey to holy places to confirm people's own faith in God. It can express penance for past evils, or the search for future good and seek a miracle through God or a saint. People may need special help from someone else and perhaps this is why they go on pilgrimages. Often people find mixing with others of the same faith as themselves helps them to follow it more closely. At home they might not have time to talk about religion, but on a pilgrimage there are plenty of chances. ...read more.


An important shrine was at Walsingham, Norfolk where there was a sealed glass jar that was said to contain the milk of the Virgin Mary. At other shrines people would go to see the teeth, bones, shoes, combs, etc., that were said to have belonged to important saints. The keepers of the shrines would give the pilgrims a metal badge that had been stamped with the symbol of the shrines. These badges were fixed to the pilgrim's hat so people would know they had actually visited the shrine. Some people went on pilgrimages abroad. For example, in Palestine, you could visit a cave that was supposed to contain the beds of Adam and Eve and a pillar of salt that had once been Lot's wife. Other places Christians visit on Pilgrimage are the Holy Lands such as Israel or Palestine and many usually visit the places where Jesus lived, especially on special Christian celebrations or events such as they visit Bethlehem at Christmas and Jerusalem at Easter. St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy is another place of Christian pilgrimage as St. ...read more.


I will now look at Taize. It is also in France in the Burgundy region. It was founded by a man called Roger Schultz in 1940. He helped refugees during the war and was driven out by the Gestapo. He then lived on his own for two years, praying three times a day. He came back to Taize after the war and it has grown as a pilgrimage centre since then. People of all faiths go to Taize and people meet there and pray together three times daily for ten to fifteen minutes. People go to Taize to find God and they find faith, love, calmness and inner peace in themselves. Music and singing is very important in Taize and they have song practice everyday. As you can see, the places of pilgrimage I have chosen are quite different and people go there for different reasons. Lourdes is more of a place of worship to Mary, while Taize is a place where people get together and pray as a group more. Lourdes is also more a place of spiritual healing but people go to Taize so they can feel closer to God rather than Mary and to find their own faith. ...read more.

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