Is the Obligatory Prayer a daily ritual? Let's talk about it

Jan 2011
94
Detroit, MI USA
#1
Is the Obligatory Prayer a daily ritual? We say there's no ritual in this faith but I was wondering because we do have to do the daily physical ablutions.

What are your thoughts?
 
Sep 2010
4,388
Normanton Far North Queensland
#2
Is the Obligatory Prayer a daily ritual? We say there's no ritual in this faith but I was wondering because we do have to do the daily physical ablutions.

What are your thoughts?
I would offer that there is little ritual in the Baha'i Faith, but we do have obligations which are ritual, like Fasting and Obligatory Prayer. Observance of 19 day Feasts and Holy Days can be seen as ritual observances but have an agenda that can be varied according to how the community wishes to hold them.

Regards Tony
 
Nov 2015
140
Canada
#3
I definitely agree with Tony - we have divinely ordained rituals which are very simple (my guess would be that they are this way so that they can be applied to any culture in the world and still work) - obligatory prayer, or the fast, as Tony cited as examples. So yes, the faith has rituals, but very minimal ones.
 
Jul 2017
64
Germany
#4
Dear od19g6be,

I think we have to differentiate between man-made rituals which evolve over time and those which are clearly prescribed.

the Universal House of Justice said:
It is not accurate to state that the Bahá'í Faith has no ceremonies. The marriage ceremony and the funeral service are examples of such observances in our teachings.

It would be correct, however, to state that the Faith has certain basic laws and simple rites prescribed by Bahá'u'lláh and that its teachings warn against developing these into a system of uniform and rigid rituals by introducing into them man-made forms and practices. Rituals in other religions usually consist of elaborate ceremonial practices, such as those of the Catholic Church in the celebration of the Mass and the administration of the sacraments, which are performed by a member of the clergy.

In carrying out the basic laws of our Faith the friends should always maintain a standard of utmost simplicity and observe flexibility in all matters of detail.(August 31, 1967)
 
Mar 2013
526
Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
#5
Dear od19g6be,

I think we have to differentiate between man-made rituals which evolve over time and those which are clearly prescribed.
There is a difference between ritual and prayer. Rituals are acts that are performed which may be symbolic but their function is unknown. Prayers are communicating with God, and every step including ablutions have that purpose.
 
Nov 2015
140
Canada
#6
"Ritual - A religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order." - A rituals function can be completely known and still be a ritual, or entirely unknown and still be a ritual. I would definitely say the obligatory prayer is a ritual, just one that is divinely ordained as opposed to man made, in that the action performed is a daily prayer and that it is prescribed by God.
 
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Jan 2011
94
Detroit, MI USA
#7
I would offer that there is little ritual in the Baha'i Faith, but we do have obligations which are ritual, like Fasting and Obligatory Prayer. Observance of 19 day Feasts and Holy Days can be seen as ritual observances but have an agenda that can be varied according to how the community wishes to hold them.

Regards Tony
thanks for your response.
 
Jan 2011
94
Detroit, MI USA
#9
"Ritual - A religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order." - A rituals function can be completely known and still be a ritual, or entirely unknown and still be a ritual. I would definitely say the obligatory prayer is a ritual, just one that is divinely ordained as opposed to man made, in that the action performed is a daily prayer and that it is prescribed by God.
thanks for your response.
 
Jan 2011
94
Detroit, MI USA
#10
There is a difference between ritual and prayer. Rituals are acts that are performed which may be symbolic but their function is unknown. Prayers are communicating with God, and every step including ablutions have that purpose.
thanks for your response.
 

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