Referatas apie vandenį žmonių įpročiuose religijų ir senųjų kultūrų tradicijose
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Referatas apie vandenį žmonių įpročiuose religijų ir senųjų kultūrų tradicijose

Water among people’s habits and traditions in religions and old cultures

1 Introduction

This is my second English report. So it supposed to mean that I already have experience and the report is not a big deal for me. Well, everything is not so simple. First of all, new topic means new unknown words, phrases and so on. My first report was classed well, so now I still feel responsibility to make it even better because of perfection progress. Actually, I don’t think it is easy, so there’s a psychological problem.

It was hard and confusing to separate all the water information from other text, because water is usually just a part of traditions or habits. And when it’s separate it is not easy to understand the point of quote. So in some texts I have left this additional information, which I hope will help to understand everything better. In order to find main sentences, I have sharpened the shift.

The topic was difficult because it’s very wide. There already is a lot of information in my report, but I still feel that it could be more. Against all the odds, I’ve put a lot of work to this report and I hope it is good.

2 Contents

1 Introduction 2

2 Contents 2

3 Religions 3

3.1 Christianity 3

3.1.1 Holy Water 4

3.1.2 A Basic Exorcism Rite 5

3.2 Islam 8

3.3 Buddhism 8

3.4 Hinduism 8

3.5 Judaism 9

3.6 Bahá’í 10

3.7 Shinto 10

3.8 Zoroastrianism 11

4 Old cultures 12

4.1 Ancient Egypt 12

4.1.1 What Did The Nile River Give To Ancient Egypt? 12

4.1.2 River Entertainment 13

4.1.3 Egyptian Mid-Day Ritual 14

4.2 Ancient Rome 18

4.2.1 The Romanian baths! 18

4.2.2 The Wedding Ceremony 23

4.2.3 A Couple Of Other Facts 25

4.3 China 25

4.3.1 Ancient Customs and Games in China 25

4.3.2 Customs Of Pregnancy 27

4.3.3 The Customs Of Tajik People 29

4.4 The Customs of the Thousand Lakes Province 29

4.5 Greece 31

4.5.1 Ancient Greek Marriage 31

The Wedding Ceremony 31

5 Summary 35

6 References 35

Looking at water, you might think that it’s the simplest thing around. Pure water is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. But it’s not at all simple and plain and it is vital for all life on Earth. Where there is water there is Life, and where water is scarce, life has to struggle or just „throw in the towel.“

So what is it about water that makes it so important to us? Is it important in ours’ religion and religious rites? Was it important to peoples of ancient civilizations, the civilizations that have made an influence to our daily round?

3 Religions

Water has a central place in the practices and beliefs of many religions for two main reasons. Firstly, water cleanses. Water washes away impurities and pollutants, it can make an object look as good as new and wipe away any signs of previous defilement.

Water not only purifies objects for ritual use, but can make a person clean, externally or spiritually, ready to come into the presence of his/her focus of worship. Secondly, water is a primary building block of life. Without water there is no life, yet water has the power to destroy as well as to create. We are at the mercy of water just as we are at the mercy of our God or gods. The significance of water manifests itself differently in different religions and beliefs but it is these two qualities of water that underlie its place in our cultures and faiths.

3.1 Christianity

Almost all Christian churches or sects have an initiation ritual involving the use of water. Baptism has its origins in the symbolism of the Israelites being led by Moses out of slavery in Egypt through the Red Sea and from the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan. After Jesus’ resurrection he commanded his disciples to baptise in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). Baptism is regarded differently in different denominations within Christendom. Baptism is a symbol of liberation from the oppression of sin that separates us from God. Except for within the Catholic Church, it is believed that baptism does not in itself cleanse one from sin, but is rather a public declaration of a person’s belief and faith in Christ and it is a sign of welcome into the Church. The Catholic Church, however, believes that a real change occurs at baptism – it is more than just symbolism – it is at baptism that Catholics believe that the stain of original sin is actually removed from the individual. The use of water is important for its own symbolic value in three ways: it cleanses and washes away dirt, fills everything it enters as God fills those who are immersed in Him and we need water to survive physically as we need God to survive spiritually. In the early church baptism was usually performed with the person standing in water and with water being poured over the upper part of the body. This was called ‘immersion’ but today the term refers to the method of dipping the whole body under water which is used, for example, by the Baptist and Orthodox churches. In most Western churches today the rite is performed by pouring water over the head three times (affusion) and sometimes sprinkling water over the head (aspersion).

Another important significance of water for Christianity is the „living water“ that Jesus described himself as. John 4: 1-42 is the story of Jesus and a Samaritan woman to whom he offers living water so that she will never thirst again, in other words eternal life through him. Read the story here.

Holy water is water which is blessed for
use in certain rites, especially that which is blessed at the Easter Vigil for baptism of catechumens. The use of water other than for baptism goes back to the 4th century in the East and the 5th century in the West. The custom of sprinkling people with water at mass began in the 9th century. At this time ‘stoups’, basins for holy water from which people could sprinkle themselves on entering a church, were in common use. Holy water is also used at blessings, dedications, exorcisms and burials.

Ablutions in Christianity are mainly baptism and the washing of fingers and communion vessels after the communion. This takes place in two parts. Firstly the chalice is rinsed with the wine, and then the chalice and priests’ fingers with wine and water. This ablution is important because after the bread and wine has been consecrated, Christ is believed to be present.

3.1.1 Holy Water

The use of holy water in the earliest days of the Christian Era is attested by documents of only comparatively late date. The „Apostolic Constitutions“, the redaction of which goes back to about the year 400, attribute to the Apostle St. Matthew the precept of using holy water. The letter written under the name of Pope Alexander I, who lived in the second century, is apocryphal and of more recent times; hence the first historical testimony does not go back beyond the fifth century. However, it is permissible to suppose for the sake of argument that, in the earliest Christian times, water was used for expiatory and purificatory purposes, to a way analogous to its employment under the Jewish Law. As, in many cases, the water used for the Sacrament of Baptism was flowing water, sea or river water, it could not receive the same blessing as that contained in the baptisteries. On this particular point the early liturgy is obscure, but two recent discoveries are of very decided interest. The Pontifical of Scrapion of Thumis, a fourth-century bishop, and likewise the „testamentum Domini“, a Syriac composition dating from the fifth to the sixth century, contain a blessing of oil and water during Mass. The formula in Scrapion’s Pontifical is as follows: „We bless these creatures in the Name of Jesus Christ, Thy only Son; we invoke upon this water and this oil the Name of Him Who suffered, Who was crucified, Who arose from the dead, and Who sits at the right of the Uncreated. Grant unto these creatures the power to heal; may all fevers, every evil spirit, and all maladies be put to flight by him who either drinks these beverages or is anointed with them, and may they be a remedy in the Name of Jesus Christ, Thy only Son.“ As early as the fourth century various writings, the authenticity of which is free from suspicion, mention the use of water sanctified either by the liturgical blessing just referred to, or by the individual blessing of some holy person. St. Epiphanius records that at Tiberias a man named Joseph poured water on a madman, having first made the sign of the cross and pronounced these words over the water: „In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, crucified, depart from this unhappy one, thou infernal spirit, and let him be healed!“ Joseph was converted an subsequently used the same proceeding to overcome witchcraft; yet, he was neither a bishop nor a cleric. Theodoret relates that Marcellus, Bishop of Apamea, sanctified water by the sign of the cross and that Aphraates cured one of the emperor’s horses by making it drink water blessed by the sign of the cross. In the West similar attestations are made. Gregory of Tours tells of a recluse named Eusitius who lived in the sixth century and possessed the power of curing quartan fever by giving its victims to drink of water that he had blessed; we might mention many other instances treasured up by this same Gregory. It is known that some of the faithful believed that holy water possessed curative properties for certain diseases, and that this was true in a special manner of baptismal water. In some places it was carefully preserved throughout the year and, by reason of its having been used in baptism, was considered free from all corruption. This belief spread from East to West; and scarcely had baptism been administered, when the people would crown around with all sorts of vessels and take away the water, some keeping it carefully in their homes whilst others watered their fields, vineyards, and gardens with it.

However, baptismal water was not the only holy water. Some was permanently retained at the entrance to Christian churches where a clerk sprinkled the faithful as they came in and, for this reason, was called hydrokometes or „introducer by water“, an appellation that appears in the superscription of a letter of Synesius in which allusion is made to „lustral water placed in the vestibule of the temple“. This water was perhaps blessed in proportion as it was needed, and the custom of the Church may have varied on this point. Balsamon tells us that, in the Greek Church, they „made“ holy water at the beginning of each lunar month. It is quite possible that, according to canon 65 of the Council of Constantinople held in 691, this rite was established for the purpose of definitively supplanting the pagan feast of the new moon and causing it to pass into oblivion. In the West Dom Martène declares that nothing was found prior to the ninth century concerning the blessing and aspersion of water that takes place every Sunday at Mass. At that time Pope Leo IV
that each priest bless water every Sunday in his own church and sprinkle the people with it: „Omni die Dominico, ante missam, aquam benedictam facite, unde populus et loca fidelium aspergantur“. Hincmar of Reims gave directions as follows: „Every Sunday, before the celebration of Mass, the priest shall bless water in his church, and, for this holy purpose, he shall use a clean and suitable vessel. The people, when entering the church, are to be sprinkled with this water, and those who so desire may carry some away in clean vessels so as to sprinkle their houses, fields, vineyards, and cattle, and the provender with which these last are fed, as also to throw over their own food“. The rule of having water blessed for the aspersion at Mass on Sunday was thenceforth generally followed, but the exact time set by Leo IV and Hincmar was not everywhere observed. At Tours, the blessing took place on Saturday before Vespers; at Cambrai and at Aras, it was to be given without ceremony in the sacristy before the recitation of the hour of Prime; at Albi, in the fifteenth century, the ceremony was conducted in the sacristy before Terce; and at Soissons, on the highest of the sanctuary steps, before Terce; whereas at Laon and Senlis, in the fourteenth century, it took place in the choir before the hour of Terce. There are two Sundays on which water is not and seems never to be blessed: these are Easter Sunday and Pentecost. The reason is because on the eve of these two feasts water for the baptismal fonts is blessed and consecrated and, before its mixture with the holy chrism, the faithful are allowed to take some of it to their homes, and keep it for use in time of need.

3.1.2 A Basic Exorcism Rite

„Therefore fear not the Spirits, but be firm and courteous with them; for thou hast no right to despise or revile them; and this too may lead thee astray. Command and banish them, curse them by the Great Names if need be; but neither mock or revile them, for so assuredly wilt thou be led to error.“

The practice of exorcism is an art and a science in its own right. No single ritual or formula can cover all the variables that the exorcist may encounter. The following ritual is intended as a simple, practical introduction to the basic principles and techniques of exorcism for Thelemic practitioners. It can, and should, be modified and adapted to accommodate different situations as the exorcist gains experience. For example, exorcisms performed for non-Thelemites may require the substitution of the trappings of another religious system for those of Thelema as given below. Performing exorcisms for those who do not believe in „spirits“ will require further modifications.

As with all practical magical operations, exorcism should be performed in conjunction with the appropriate mundane measures. Depending on the individual circumstances, such measures may include: medical treatment; counseling; improvements in hygiene, diet and lifestyle; companionship; and even a little healthy skepticism and humor.

(The Exorcist may be either a Priest, Priestess or Deacon. The exorcism is always performed by request, and the person requesting the exorcism should be present. If appropriate, this person should actively participate in the ceremony as an assistant to the Exorcist.

The Exorcist is armed with the Stele of Revealing, a candle, the Book of the Law, and a bell; a censer and a cup of water or Font; a vial of Holy Oil, a slip of paper and a red pen; and a sword. A shewstone or similar device may also be used. If the Rite is to be performed in Temple, all these (except the cup or Font) are placed upon the Altar of Incense. If not, they are placed on a table in the East.

The Exorcist enters and banishes according to Liber XXV or the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. If success is not thereby achieved, s/he continues as follows:)

The EXORCIST (takes water from the Font and sprinkles the Subject, saying): „So therefore first the Priest who governeth the works of Fire, must sprinkle with the Water of the loud-resounding Sea!“

The EXORCIST (lights the charcoal in the censer, places incense therein and censes the Subject, saying): „When thou shalt behold that holy and formless Fire shining flashingly through the depths of the Universe: Hear thou the Voice of Fire!“

The EXORCIST (in a low but commanding tone): „O thou mischievous spirit, who hast unlawfully [usurped the Throne of the Master][intruded into the Sanctuary][etc.]: by the Great Name IAO, I, the servant of the Same Thy God, the True Worshipper of the Highest, command thee to reveal unto me thy name, correctly, at length, and without delay.“

(Done. The Exorcist, or assistant, writes the name (N.) on a slip of paper, opens the Book, places the paper upon the open book, and lights the candle. If the exorcist deems it necessary– and feasible– the spirit may also be commanded by name to reveal itself to the exorcist and assistant for questioning. For such a purpose, a shewstone or similar device may be used.)

(The Exorcist now proceeds according to increasing levels of intensity, as necessary. As soon as success is achieved, the Exorcist proceeds immediately to the Conclusion.)

The EXORCIST (in a low but commanding tone): „O thou mischievous spirit, who hast unlawfully [usurped the Throne of the Master][intruded into the Sanctuary][etc.]: by the Great Name IAO, I, the servant of the Same Thy God, the True Worshipper of the Highest, command thee to
unto me thy name, correctly, at length, and without delay.“

(Done. The Exorcist, or assistant, writes the name (N.) on a slip of paper, opens the Book, places the paper upon the open book, and lights the candle. If the exorcist deems it necessary– and feasible– the spirit may also be commanded by name to reveal itself to the exorcist and assistant for questioning. For such a purpose, a shewstone or similar device may be used.)

(The Exorcist now proceeds according to increasing levels of intensity, as necessary. As soon as success is achieved, the Exorcist proceeds immediately to the Conclusion.)

First Level — the License to Depart:

The EXORCIST: „Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. O thou spirit N., thou hast strayed from thy true course, and thy trespass has been discovered by the conflict and sorrow that have been its result.“ (The Exorcist traces a on the subject, or on the subject’s brow, with Holy Oil, or in the air with his/her right hand, saying:) „By the Sign of Light, I now open a way for thee; I loose thy bonds; I lift thee up; I give thee leave to depart in peace, and so to return to thy lawful course; and may the Lord bring thee to the accomplishment of thy True Will. Love is the law, love under will.“

Second Level — the Adjuration, or Command to Depart:

The EXORCIST (loudly): „O thou spirit N., I command thee to withdraw and depart, without further delay! Return now from whence thou came, and come not again unless summoned in due form! Begone, I say, in the Name of IAO!“

Second Level — the Adjuration, or Command to Depart:

The EXORCIST (loudly): „O thou spirit N., I command thee to withdraw and depart, without further delay! Return now from whence thou came, and come not again unless summoned in due form! Begone, I say, in the Name of IAO!“ Third Level — the Banishment:

The EXORCIST (raises the Stele, and declares in a loud voice): „O thou Spirit N., thy impertinence shall bring thee to destruction, for the God of War and of Vengeance has spied thee with His Hawk’s Eye!

Flee!

Flee, before the Force and Fire of RA HOOR KHUIT!

Flee, lest His terrible wrath be aroused against thee and all thy kin, and thou art crushed in His mighty Hand until nought remains!“

Fourth Level — the Curse:

The EXORCIST (as RHK, takes up the sword in the right hand, and points it at the Subject; takes up the name in the left hand, and crushes it): „I am upon thee! Thou shalt not stand before me! Thou hast rejected the Truth, and thou art accurséd unto the aeons! I spew thee out! I cast thee into the Abyss! I burn thy carcass to ashes, that no trace or remembrance of so vile a being may remain among men.“ (The Exorcist casts the name into the censer, intoning the following as it burns:) „Amri maratza, maratza, atman deona lastadza maratza maritza — marán!“

Conclusion:

The EXORCIST: „I sound the bell.“ (Done, 3-5-3)

„I close the book.“ (Done) „I quench the candle.“ (Done)

(The Exorcist traces a Pentagram on the Subject, or the Subject’s brow, with Holy Oil; or in the air with the sword, saying:)

„By the Sign of Light, I seal this Sanctuary.“

The EXORCIST: Now I begin to pray: Thou Child,

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