Rituals vs. Ceremonies

Difference Between Rituals and Ceremonies

Rituals and Ceremonies are two words that are habitually puzzled when it comes to the understanding of their meanings and connotations. A ritual refers to group of actions performed for their figurative value. On the other hand, a ceremony is performed on a special occasion. This is the chief difference between the two words.

A ritual may be performed by a sole individual or a group of individuals. On the other hand, a ceremony is performed with the involvement of several people on a special occasion. The principle of rituals differs according to the society and the religious beliefs.

On the other hand, the reason of ceremonies is to bring people together on a precise occasion. In other words, a ceremony is a rite in the life of a human being. It thus involves the performing rites such as baptism, birthday,puberty, graduation, marriage, retirement and burial.

It is fascinating to note that ceremonies occasionally refer to celebration of events as in the case of coronation of a monarch, victory scored in a war, inauguration of an elected president, annual astronomical positions and the like.

Ceremonies may be featured by celebrations or performances. These performances include dance, music, procession, theater and the like. On the other hand, rituals are not accompanied by performances or celebrations for that matter. At the same time they include, atonement and purification rites and worship rites.

Ceremonies involve a procedure whereas, rituals involve rules and regulations. Ceremonies are characterized by the statement of declarations or oaths, such as ‘I now say you as man and wife’, ‘I declare open the games’, ‘I swear to serve and protect the nation’ and the like. On the other hand, rituals engage no such declarations for that matter. These are the differences between rituals and ceremonies.


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