A ceremony may mark a rite of passage in a human life, marking the significance of, for example:
- initiation (college orientation week)
- social adulthood (Bar (or Bat) Mitzvah)
- death (Day of the Dead)
- burial (funeral)
- spiritual (baptism, communion)
Celebration of events
Other, society-wide ceremonies may mark annual or seasonal or recurrent events such as:
- vernal equinox, winter solstice and other annual astronomical positions
- weekly Sabbath day
- inauguration of an elected office-holder
- occasions in a liturgical year or "feasts" in a calendar of saints
- Opening and closing of a sports event, such as the Olympic Games
Other ceremonies underscore the importance of non-regular special occasions, such as:
In some Asian cultures, ceremonies also play an important social role, for example the tea ceremony.
- I now pronounce you husband and wife.
- I swear to serve and defend the nation ...
- I declare open the games of ...
- I/We dedicate this ... ... to ...
Both physical and verbal components of a ceremony may become part of a liturgy.
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