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What is Pilgrimage?

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Introduction

Daniel Timmins Pilgrimage What is Pilgrimage? Pilgrimage is the journey made by a Christian to a sacred or holy place. Most of the places considered holy or sites of special buildings or shrines, however some like the sea of Galilee are places which had some importance to Jesus life and The Bible. These may include: The Wailing Wall, Nazareth, the sea of Galilee, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Two Places of Christian Pilgrimage Taize When the Germans occupied France, Brother Roger (the owner of Taize), moved to Geneva and started living in a community with several friends. In 1944 they moved back to Taize and seven of them took solemn vows as monks in 1949. In 1952 they composed the rule of Taize that was similar to the Benedictine rule, except that the monks were to dress in plain clothes and only had to attend three services a day. Toady Taize has become a place of pilgrimage for mainly young people from all over the world. Every week as many as 300 people visit Taize to take part in the rhythm of life there. The original Roman Catholic church that was on the site had become too small, so a new church was built. This to has become too small and when Taize is at its busiest two circus tents have to be added to either side to hold all the people who attend the services. ...read more.

Middle

Take Taize for example, it tries to break down the barriers that exist between Christians through prayer, worship, music and bible studies. Some say that ecumenism is a dream - that it works in theory but not in real life. This is because there are too many Christians who like their own style of worship and could not compromise on their beliefs. Yet here we have evidence that ecumenism does work and one can clearly see the advantages in it. However, whether it would work over a long period of time is another matter but nonetheless, places of pilgrimage are the first step towards ecumenism. Why Do Christians Go On Pilgrimage? There are many reasons why Christians go on pilgrimages, all of which are valid. However, they may vary in importance due to personal conditions. Christians may go on a pilgrimage just to be in a place where God is especially close. Others may go as an act of thanksgiving or to fulfil a vow or promise made to God. Another reason may be to enjoy a holiday in spiritual surroundings. Other reasons may include to visit places connected with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Although all of the reasons so far are valid they are perhaps not the most important reasons why Christians go on pilgrimage. Two more far fetched reasons for pilgrimage are for spiritual and physical healing. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think if you were a Christian it would be essential to visit a place such as Taize. This is because of the great ecumenical spirit there that helps to draw Christians together. Even if it is not taken a pilgrimage, it is still a good place to visit to see if you enjoy a 'real' Christian life. The idea of spending the majority of the day praying may put some people off, but the idea of pilgrimage is to become closer to God, and this would not happen if worship was not taken so seriously. Another good thing about pilgrimage at Taize is the opportunity to spend a week reflecting on your life in silence. This would also bring you closer to God, although I wouldn't say that it was essential to do this unless us wanted to strengthen your relationship with God. It is good to go on a pilgrimage at least once in your life whatever the reason because of the sense of well being it gives you. It also helps in other aspects of your Christian life. However I would not call it essential to go on one. If you feel you have no need for pilgrimage in your life then don't go on one, but if you feel you need or want go on one then do. There is no real right or wrong answer to the question, it's just whether you consider pilgrimage to be essential or not in your life. ...read more.

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