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Published: 1/24/05
Updated: 5/28/13



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Christian Rituals & Practices



crown and cross
Crown and cross

Many Christian rituals and religious practices vary between denomination, individual church and individual Christian, but some practices are common to virtually all forms of Christianity. Most Christians attend worship services at church on Sundays, which generally include singing, prayer and a sermon. Most Christian churches have a special ritual for ordination, or designating a person fit for a leadership position in the church. At home, most practicing Christians pray regularly and many read the Bible. (See Denomination Comparison Charts)

Nearly all Christians will have been baptized, either as an infant or as an adult, and regularly participate in communion (also called the Lord's Supper and the Eucharist). Baptism and communion are considered sacraments - sacred rituals instituted by Christ himself. The Catholic Church recognizes five additional sacraments, as well as many other distinctive practices that are known as "sacramentals" or "devotions" and include praying the rosary and going on pilgrimages. Both Catholic and Orthodox Churches have religious orders. The most distinctive practice of Orthodoxy is the emphasis on icons, although Catholics use them as well. (See Christian beliefs)



This section explores the rituals and practices common to most Christians, noting variations between denominations, as well as practices unique to particular denominations.