Religious Studies: ReligiousRites

Funeral rites, birth rites etc.

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Birth Rites- Christian

Batism or Christening

1. Parents, godparents, family and friends are present at the baptism.

2.The parents and godparents make a promise to bring the child up in the Christian faith and the godparents repeat vows on behalf of the baby.

3.When the parents have named the child, the priest takes water from the font and pours it over the baby's head three times, baptising the baby in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

4.Often a lighted candle is given to the godparents, standing for the idea that becoming a Christian is to leave the darkness of evil and to come into the light of God.

5.The sign of the cross is made on the baby's forehead. In Roman Catholic baptisms the baby/child is anointed on the chest and on the head.

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Birth Rites- Islam

1. The "adhan" is the call to prayer and these are the words the baby will hear and will be whispered by the father in its ear.

2.Islam prescribes male circumcision with the sole purpose of facilitating cleanliness.  The male child may be circumcised at any time which is convenient without ceremony; however parents usually have their son circumcised before his trip home from the hospital

3.To celebrate a child's birth, it is recommended that a father slaughter one or two animals (sheep or goats). One third of the meat is given away to the poor, and the rest shared in a community meal. Relatives, friends, and neighbors are thus invited to share in celebrating the happy event. This is traditionally done the seventh day after the child's birth, but may be postponed to later

4.It is traditional, but not required, for parents to shave the hair of their newborn child on the seventh day after birth.  The hair is weighed, and an equivalent amount in silver or gold is donated to the poor

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Funeral Rites- Christian

1.When a person dies their body is placed in a coffin. Sometimes this coffin is left open so that relatives can say a final goodbye.                                      2.The coffin is then usually taken to a church or chapel. Here a priest will read from the Bible.                                                                                                   3.The priest will also say a few words about the person which are designed to comfort the mourners and then say prayers, hoping that the person will now be in heaven.                                                                                                         4.In a Roman Catholic church there will be a special eucharist called a Requiem Mass where prayers are said for the dead person's soul.                             5.Next the coffin is taken from the church, either for burial or cremation.         6.At a crematorium, more prayers are said and the coffin is then taken away to be cremated. Later the ashes are returned to relatives to be buried or scattered.                                                                                                          7.At a burial the body is lowered into a hole in a cemetery and then covered with earth. Later a gravestone may be placed there giving some details of the person’s life.

(!)At both services the priest or minister will say, "We commit this body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust". In this way people are reminded that we are all human and made by God

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Funeral Rites- Islam

1.Muslims believe that there will be a physical resurrection on the Day of Judgement, so they disapprove of cremation. Allah will put people’s bodies back together again                                                                                                       2.While people are standing by the grave the first Surah (a division of the Qur'an, like a chapter) of the Qur’an is read.                                                               3.Then, once the body is in the ground, people say: "From the earth have We created you, and into it We shall cause you to return and from it shall We bring you forth once more"

(!)Graves are raised above ground level so that the place of burial is clearly marked, and so that people do not walk on them by accident. Large tombstones and decorations are not usually found, but they are not forbidden.

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