Rites of Passage
There are days that stand out in our memories. Our first day at school. Birthdays and the celebrations that go with them. Getting a job, or witnessing the birth of a child. Usually they are significant because they mark something special – an achievement to be proud of, a blessing to shout about, or a new phase of life.
Christians may describe their faith as a journey with significant milestones along the way. These are known as rites of passage. Baptism is one of the most important of these: an outward sign of entering into the Christian faith. Some Christians are baptised as babies and then confirmed in the faith later in life. Other Christians practice ‘believers’ baptism’, being fully immersed in water when they are old enough to make the decision to follow Jesus for themselves. Whenever a Christian is baptised, it is a special and significant event.
Other key rites of passage include weddings and funerals. For Christians, a wedding is more than just a party with friends. It is a ceremony before God to make solemn promises to love and cherish a partner with His own divine love for life. Funerals are equally solemn occasions, where friends and family commit those who have passed on to the eternal love of God and give thanks for their life.
In this section you will find articles on each of these rites of passage and more. You will find out about the different ways different Christians celebrate each of these occasions, as well as the symbols and themes they share in common. Perhaps you can begin by finding out what a ‘dedication’ is? Or why rings are given as part of the marriage ceremony?Bookmark