Rite

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This article is about the ceremonious act. For other uses, see Rite (disambiguation).

A rite or ritual is an established, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories:

Christian[edit]

This Lutheran pastor is performing the rite of confirmation on the youth of his congregation after instructing them in Luther's Small Catechism.

Within Christianity, "rite" often refers to what is also called a sacrament or to the ceremonies associated with the sacraments.[1] In Roman Catholicism, for example, the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is one of the three that are sometimes referred to as "the last rites", because they are administered to someone who was dying. The other two are Penance and Eucharist (administered as Viaticum in the case of a dying person). Since the Second Vatican Council, Anointing of the Sick is administered to those who are seriously ill but not necessarily in immediate danger of death.[2]

The term "rite" also refers to a body of liturgical tradition usually emanating from a specific center. Examples include the Roman Rite, the Byzantine Rite, and the Sarum Rite. Such rites may include various sub-rites. For example, the Byzantine Rite has Greek, Russian, and other ethnically-based variants. For a full list of Christian liturgical rites, see Christian liturgy.

In addition, the same term was and still is, though less frequently than before, applied to an autonomous particular Church within the Catholic Church associated with a particular liturgical tradition. Of these, the largest is the Latin Rite or Western Church. There are also several Eastern Catholic Churches or Rites. For a full list of Catholic liturgical rites, see List of Catholic rites and churches.

Masonic[edit]

In North America, Freemasons have the option of joining the Scottish Rite and/or the York Rite, two appendant bodies that offer additional degrees to those who have taken the basic three.

See also[edit]

References[edit]