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What is involved in pilgrimage? Illustrate the differing approaches to pilgrimage by referring to 2 or more places of pilgrimage.

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Introduction

Pilgrimage AO1 What is involved in pilgrimage? Illustrate the differing approaches to pilgrimage by referring to 2 or more places of pilgrimage. The word Pilgrimage means the journey to a holy place. Pilgrimages are found in all of the religions in the world. Islam's go to Makkah, Hindus go to Benares on the River Gange, Buddha's go to Bodhgaya, Sikhs go to Amritsar and Jews and Christians go to Jerusalem. There are many different reasons people go on Pilgrimage. Some people go to feel the holiness of a place. Some go to come closer to God or to seek his forgiveness. Others go to show their devotion to God, it is a commitment in their Religion. Another reason they go is to seek Gods help. This could be in a physical way, a healing or cure from a disease, or in a more spiritual way. Pilgrimage is not a new idea. In Genesis 47:9 it says "And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage." One of the main places of Christian pilgrimage is Lourdes. ...read more.

Middle

There are many different reasons why people go on pilgrimages. One reason is that they fell a requirement to because of their Religion. All Muslims must travel to Mecca once in their life. Sometimes people save up for decades so that they can afford to go. For these Pilgrims their Pilgrimage is a religious accomplishment. It is one of the five pillars of Islam; it is something they have to do in their life. Another reason some people go on Pilgrimage is to learn more about their faith or to visit places in the bible. A visit to Rome or to the Holy Land gives a person greater awareness of their faith and its history which in turn helps their faith and understanding. They can do it to see places in Jesus' life, helping them understand his life better. Seeing the places where certain bible events happened may help them understand it better. Some people go on pilgrimage for a healing. This can be physical or spiritual. The main place they would go for this is Lourdes due to the huge amount of recorded healings. People would go on this Pilgrimage so they could bathe in the special waters Bernadette uncovered. Other people go on Pilgrimages to get closer to God. They may have a damaged or inexistent religious life and they feel a need to mend it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Nowadays, the ancient style of pilgrimage is just seen as inconvenient. Travelling and accommodation today is now all commercialised and this wouldn't exist if it weren't for it. In ancient times, the pilgrimage was a dangerous journey, but nowadays the biggest risk is the possibility of getting slight jet lag. To stay in a comfortable hotel and to fly to a pilgrimage site is a more luxurious experience, making you more relaxed, putting you in a happier state of mind. If you feel happier then this will bring you closer to God. Buying a souvenir of your pilgrimage is also something many people wish to do. They like to have something they can look at and it reminds them of the place and their journey. Surely this cannot be a bad thing. I believe that commercialisation is not a bad thing. It makes the whole process easier and more convenient for all Pilgrims. It is nice for them to be comfortable when they are at their pilgrimage in a nice hotel. It is good that they can relax in the restaurants and cafes. There is a point where commercialisation goes a bit too far though. When there are stalls set up along pilgrimage paths selling lighters and ashtrays inscribed with the name it is not good. It is nice to have a small souvenir but when the name is put on any cheap rubbish it is wrong. ...read more.

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