Essay- Buddhism rituals (taking refuge & Buddhist funeral) compared to Christian rituals (baptism & Christian funeral)
Buddhism and Christianity are two religions which have many similarities and differences. Both religious have ceremonies which bring the person into the religious community and both religions also have ceremonies which take place after the person passes away. Discussed in this essay will be the background and order of these religious ceremonies. Similarities and differences will be drawn from these ceremonies and in conclusion the meaning of these ceremonies will be discussed.
The Sacrament of Baptism is the first step in the initiation process of becoming apart of the Christian community. Baptism takes place at a young age. Most infants taking place in Baptism are only a few months old. Baptism is all about welcoming a new member to the Christian community and letting them live the way Jesus lived his life. The ceremony of Baptism takes place in 6 parts. The parents and the selected godparents of the child are asked what their intentions are. Prayers are made and a couple of readings are taken out of the bible. The blessing of the child is then made and the Priest touches the child's forehead with the holy water. The water is a symbol of washing away a person's sins. The child is clothed in a white garment which is a symbol of purity and innocence. A Baptism candle is lit and the Priest says a pray to bless the child. The conclusion of the rite takes place and the Lord's Prayer is said by the mass.
The equivalent ceremony to Baptism in the Buddhist religion is known as Taking Refuge. This ceremony takes place after the person has really thought about what they are doing. The person involved in this ceremony is not an infant but are only allowed to take refuge when they are old enough to make their own decisions. The ceremony of Taking Refuge is in seven parts. The initiate (the person taking refuge) thinks about all the things that Budda believes in and teaches. The initiate thinks about giving up all evil things in life. Incense is then offered and they say a speech which involves them asking for forgiveness. They then kneel and face the statue of the Buddha and bow three times, each time touching their palms and forehead to the floor. The initiate accepts the Three Refuges (Buddha, Dharma & Sangha) by reciting a speech in the language of Pali. They then agree to live by the five precepts which are like rules in life. These are:
. Abstaining from destroying living creatures.
. Abstaining from taking anything not freely given.
. Abstaining from sexual misconduct.
. Abstaining from false speech.
. Abstaining from taking intoxicants, which lead to carelessness.
The ceremony is finished after the monk gives the initiate a new name which has a meaning. This meaning is something that the initiate should try to fulfil during their lifetime.
The meaning of a Christian Baptism is to become apart of the Christian community. In being...