Learn more about Ceremony

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Part of the ceremony of the Changing of the Guard in Whitehall, London.

A ceremony is an activity, infused with ritual significance, performed on a special occasion.


[edit] Celebration of life

Traditionally, a ceremony may mark a rite of passage in a personal human career, marking the significance of (for example):

[edit] Government ceremonies

Sometimes, a ceremony may only be performed by a person with certain authority. For example, the opening of the British Parliament is led by the Speaker of the House. The naming and launching of a warship will be under the supervision of its captain or a higher-ranked naval officer. A wedding will be performed by a priest or a Civil Celebrant, as in Australia. The President of the United States is customarily sworn in by the Chief Justice of the United States, and the British sovereign is typically crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

[edit] Celebration of events

Other, society-wide ceremonies may mark annual or seasonal or recurrent events like:

Yet other ceremonies underscore the importance of irregular special occasions, such as:

In Asian cultures, ceremonies also play an important role. In particular, the tea ceremony of several East Asian cultures is very well known.

[edit] Process

Often ceremonies have a physical display or theatrical component: dance, a procession, the laying on of hands. But even greater importance usually attaches to a declaratory verbal pronouncement which may explain or cap the occasion, for instance:

  • I now pronounce you man and wife.
  • Happy New Year!
  • I swear to serve and defend the nation ...

Both physical and verbal components of a ceremony may become part of a liturgy.

[edit] See also

da:Ceremoni de:Zeremonie es:Ceremonia fr:Cérémonie he:טקס pl:Ceremonia sv:Ceremoni


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