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Grace at the beginning of a meal. Spoken by a senior citizen in a retirement home

A rite ( loan word from Latin; plural: the rites ) is a set of essential features for the implementation of mostly ceremonial , especially religious and especially liturgical acts. In a broader, derived sense, the term is also used to describe fixed habits and rituals of a living being or a social group.

Latin word meaning

In Latin ritus means primarily a religious prescription or ceremony, but figuratively also means custom , custom or custom in general; in the ablative ( ritu ) the word can also be translated simply as “like” or “in the manner of xy ” (literally: “ according to the rite xy ”) .

Conduct rites

In psychology , a rite describes the sequence of a learned activity that is always repeated in the same way . In this general sense, which in principle means nothing other than a ritual , the term is used especially in medicine , social psychology and other social sciences . For example, to help with insomnia , doctors recommend getting into a ritual and doing the same things in the same order and in the same way at bedtime. Such behavioral rites are also medically relevant as compulsive acts (compulsive rituals), which are practiced by those affected against their will in connection with obsessive-compulsive disorders .

Social rites

Women curtsies, gentlemen a servant. ( Chrysanthemum Ball in Munich 1996)

From the sociology and anthropology , a number of within one were society or a social group customary or prescribed, usually formalized or ritualized group behaviors described as rite. In its analysis of collective rituals, cultural anthropology distinguishes between solidarity rites and rites of passage , both of which play a central role in the creation and maintenance of social ties. Such rites have an identity - or meaningful function and thus serve the group cohesion or the assignment of roles within the group. Passage rites (e.g. initiation rites , wedding rites ), but also purification rites (e.g. before marriage or after a misconduct ) or forgiveness rites (e.g. to re-join a member or to reconcile enemy group members or clans ) can be used for the group structure be constitutive and decisive. Fight rites (e.g. a duel ) offer the possibility of a regulated settlement of arguments in ritualized or symbolic form. State rites (such as the coronation of a ruler, the solemn entry of the President of Parliament, the swearing in of the Chancellor or the flag ceremony) serve to legitimize and represent state power.

Many social rites and rituals also have a spiritual meaning or overlap with religious rites. This is the case, for example, with the phenomenon of totemism : Here there are various rites to anchor the regulations and prohibitions associated with the mythical group badge ( totem ) socially or to strengthen the identification of the individual with the group totem .

Religious rites

Solemn wedding blessing at a church wedding

Religious rites are all practices or rituals that are customary or regulated in a religious community and that serve religious conduct or cult ( religious services , liturgical and cultic acts of all kinds, the celebration of religious festivals , gestures of worship and worship practices , the recitation of prayers or mantras religious dances and chants , oracle inquiries , incantations , magical rituals, healing rituals , ritual washing of people or objects, performing circumcision , baptism or sacramental acts, acts of sacrifice , cleansing , blessing or consecration and much more ). They can be practiced collectively (in the family , village community, church service congregation , etc.) or by individuals alone. Often especially qualified heads, officials , priests , shamans , healers or cult servants are entrusted with the execution or management of these acts or ceremonies.

According to Geo Widengren, the religious ritual is closely related to the myth . Widengren differentiates between apotropaic and eliminatory rites, which serve to repel or eliminate evil forces, on the one hand, and birth and initiation rites (in the broader sense, casualia ) on the other.

See also: Basic concepts of the sociology of religion , sacrament , signs of blessing

Church rites

In Christianity , a rite is the historically grown, traditional and generally church- standardized order of liturgical performances and services in a church , a particular church or a group of churches. In the history of Christianity , different rites and rite variants have developed from the practices in the early church , each of which describes its own way of practicing faith. The Roman rite in the Latin Church , the Byzantine rite in the Orthodox and some Catholic Eastern Churches , and various other Eastern Church rites are widely used .

Other special meanings

Adverbial use in university and church areas

The doctorate takes place “rite” ( Latin according to the rite , in the sense of “in ordinary form”) if the doctoral candidate passes the examination without his performance deserving of emphasis (for example by adding “cum laude” or “magna” cum laude " ).

As a "rite vocati" (neat sage) are mainly in Protestant ministers referred -kirchlichen area, valid according to the rules of their community or organization (such as ordination were used) in an office and are authorized to perform the associated duties.

Concept of rite in Confucianism

Rite (禮, Pinyin : lǐ) is a key term in Confucian ethics and describes a formalized behavior in accordance with certain conventions that characterizes a good person and forms the basis for a good social order.

Animal behavior rites

In zoological behavior research , an innate movement sequence of animals, which often fulfills communicative functions (such as a courtship ritual ), is called ritualization .

Web links

Wiktionary: Rite  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Source: Dictionary by Stowasser
  2. Heinz Gerhard Haupt, Charlotte Tacke: The culture of the national. Social and cultural historical approaches in researching European nationalism in the 19th and 20th centuries. In: Wolfgang Hardtwig, Hans Ulrich Wehler (Hrsg.): Kulturgeschichte Today. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1996, pp. 255–283 (here: p. 272).
  3. Marvin Harris: Cultural Anthropology - A Textbook. From the American by Sylvia M. Schomburg-Scherff, Campus, Frankfurt / New York 1989, ISBN 3-593-33976-5 . Pp. 292-293.
  4. ^ Phenomenology of Religion. de Gruyter, Berlin 1969, p. 209