why are rites of passage important

The ritualistic aspects of the ceremony such as the doffing of the hat to the Chancellor are, however, all part of an elaborate pagan ceremony. Without a ritualised path to adulthood, we have disturbed teenagers and infantile adults. Almost every university in the world performs a graduation ceremony to mark the end of several years of hard work. Nowadays the term is in common use, since it represents a reality deeply ingrained in the human mind. The student is through this ritual, accepted as a member of the academic community. Only from that point forward that I call myself a Doctor of Philosophy. These marks of identity publicly announce that the individual belongs to the new group or status. The word ritual has a negative connotation in our largely secularised society. To non-religious people of contemporary society, initiation rituals seem a cultural practice from a distant past or performed by exotic tribes and secret societies. Although not everyone is familiar with the term “rites of passage” we all have experienced them at some point. Rites-of-passage are markers on the path of childhood to adulthood. For these people, there is no choice to participate in the ritual or not. Updated | 30 October 2020 5 February 2001 In the ceremonies I participated in, graduands were asked to stand, and the Chancellor conferred the degree upon us. In his book Les Rites de Passage (1909), he shows that these rites include three phases: Each initiation ritual has three stages, the pre-liminal, liminal, and post-liminal stage. There is a reason that we hold ceremonies and rituals and rites of passage. Rites of passage are often a sudden event in a person's life that teaches them something. These events can have taken place in the physical world or the mythological realm. Rites of passage are acts, experiences, or rituals that individuals are expected to go through in a given culture. Our physical location is strategically situated within the community we serve at the Anne Shirrells Park (next door to Rio Vista Elementary). Brain asserts that Western societies do not have initiation at puberty to mark the path to adulthood. In postmodern western society, one can choose to marry or decide to be buried formally. In a nutshell, they provide a way to make official an important change. Still, these types of rituals have been part of humanity for millennia.4 Student hazing is merely an expression of these millennia-old psychological mechanisms. Hazing of new students is an informal rite of passage that marks a transition from a child to a student. Brain is, however, wrong in assuming that Western culture does not have any rites of passage. As humans, we need this sense of sacrality to feel more attuned to our individual journey. These rituals enhance the quality of profane space. This is the phase where the initiates are instructed on the responsibilities of their new life stage. The term “rites of passage” was coined in 1909 by the French anthropologist Arnold van Gennep, who observed that these ceremonies are a way to help individuals go through the difficulties of a social transition. Universities are the cornerstone of our secular society and centres of rational thinking. On the other hand, they also provide a sense of belonging, since a rite of passage is always performed by and for a community. They are place markers for both beginnings and endings in our lives. The media focuses on violent excesses of this rite of passage. Universities as centres of rationality are in some aspects also centres of irrational ritualistic activity. Initiation rituals exist on the horizon of reason. Universities have hazing, and graduation rites of passage and many magic clubs have formal initiations. This phase can involve removing clothing or wearing ceremonial garb. Brain, R. (1979). Baptisms, graduations and proms are examples of modern rites of passage. At the age of eighteen, teenagers are magically converted into adults through statute law. In Rites Black and White (pp. Rites of passage have multi-layered meanings. A rite of passage is a particular type of ritual, conducted to mark an important transition in somebody’s life. Obsessive Actions and Religious Practices, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Still, it is an integral part of student life that marks a path to adulthood. Celebration or memorial: Remembering either good or bad past occurrences. Extreme Unction removes the last remnant of human frailty, and prepares the soul for eternal life”. Catholic initiation rituals primarily have a spiritual meaning.3. To mitigate this negative influence, they are provided with a sponsor whose role it is to protect the candidates. Even though most universities are devoid of religion, rituals nevertheless play an essential role in the life of students and academics. The anthropological understanding of a ritual is much broader than a repeated meaningless activity. Read about how we've incorporated them here. The purpose and intent of the ritual can be social or psychological as well as spiritual or religious. One of the main purposes of a rite of passage is to help us make sense of change as individuals but also as a community. . ] Roles and responsibilities are not automatically defined. Rites of Passage are most commonly performed in a religious context, such as Christian baptisms or the more extreme land diving ritual in Vanuatu. Ceremonies that function as rites of passage connect us with our own past selves, but also with the past of our forebears. Even though the spiritual aspects of ritualistic behaviours are no longer relevant in an atheist society, our psychology benefits from the structures that evolved over thousands of year. Reconstitution: Rituals that accompany seasonal or cosmic cycles, such as Easter and Christmas, which are originally pagan celebrations to mark the changing seasons. The rituals may be less ceremonial and without the intent of actually being an initiation, but the psychological drive is still apparent. These contemporary rituals have a lot in common with more traditional versions. First, the student is separated and in a state of transition. This act is not magic in the sense that the ceremony has an ethereal atmosphere, but magic in the literal sense of the word. These rituals most commonly follow people from the cradle to the grave. The initiate is no longer part of the old world, but not yet accepted as a member of the new one.

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