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Culture > Religion > Rites

Now updated for CSW19. New words, if any, and new inflections of existing words, are shown in red.

aarti arti a ceremony in which candles dipped in ghee are lighted and offered to various deities.
absolution remission of sins, declared officially by a priest.
affusion a pouring on, as of baptismal water.
agape a love feast practiced by early Christians in connection with the Last Supper; Christian love > AGAPAE, AGAPAI, AGAPES.
agapeic relating to AGAPE, Christian love.
anele to anoint with extreme unction.
anoint to apply oil to as a sacred rite.
arti see AARTI.
assoilment absolution.
baptise baptize to administer baptism to.
baptism immersion in water as a religious ceremony.
baptismal relating to BAPTISM > BAPTISMALLY.
baptize see BAPTISE.
beatify to make blessed or supremely happy.
bris briss brith a Jewish circumcision rite.
careme Lent.
carritch (Scots) a CATECHISM.
catechesis primary oral instruction, as that given to CATECHUMENS > CATECHESES.
catechetic catechetical relating to CATECHISM.
catechise catechize to instruct in the CATECHISM.
catechiser catechizer one who CATECHIZES.
catechism a form of instruction by means of questions and answers.
catechize see CATECHISE.
catechumen one undergoing instruction prior to conversion to Christianity.
cense to perfume with the odour of burning incense; to worship or honour with burning incense.
cheder heder in Judaism, a religious lesson, or the place where it is held > CHEDERS, CHADARIM or CHEDARIM; HEDERS, HADARIM or HEDARIM.
childermas Holy Innocents Day, Dec. 28 > CHILDERMASES.
chrismation the sacrament of baptism in Eastern churches.
christen to BAPTISE in the name of Christ.
churching a church ceremony given to women after childbirth.
complin compline in the Christian liturgy, the seventh and last service of the day, at 9pm, completing the set hours for prayer.
confessional the practice of confession.
conventicle an assembly for religious worship, esp. a secret meeting for worship not sanctioned by law; (verb) to hold such an assembly.
corybantic relating to CORYBANTISM, wildly excited.
corybantism the rites of Cybele, which were accompanied with noisy music and wild dances.
cultus a religious ritual; a cult > CULTI or CULTUSES.
devotional a short worship service.
dhikr a Sufi religious ceremony.
disanoint to invalidate the consecration of; as, to disanoint a king.
disple to discipline, chastise.
doseh a religious ceremony at Cairo (abolished 1884), during the festival of the Prophet's birth, when the sheikh of the Sa'di dervishes rode on horseback over the prostrate bodies of his followers.
eucharistic relating to the Eucharist.
evensong an Anglican service held in the afternoon or evening.
examen an examination; an inquiry, esp. a formal examination of the soul or conscience.
exorcise exorcize to free of an evil spirit.
feria a weekday of the church calendar on which no feast is celebrated > FERIAE or FERIAS.
ferial pertaining to holidays.
fiesta in Spain or Spanish America: a religious festival; gen. any festivity or holiday.
gongyo a Buddhist ceremony > GONGYOS.
gradual happening by degrees > GRADUALLY; (noun) the part of mass between epistle and gospel > GRADUALS.
haj hadj hajj a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca > HAJES, HAJJES, HAJJES.
halal hallal to slaughter according to Muslim law > HALALS, HALALLING, HALALLED; HALLALS, HALLALLING, HALLALLED.
holyday a religious festival.
holytide a time of religious observance.
housel the Eucharist; the act of taking or administering; (verb) to administer the Eucharist > HOUSELS, HOUSELING or HOUSELLING, HOUSELED or HOUSELLED.
housling sacramental; (noun) the administration of the sacrament > HOUSLINGS.
ibadah in Islam, service, worship > IBADAT.
iftar a meal eaten by Muslims to break their fast after sunset during Ramadan.
indulgence a former Catholic pardon granted for remission of punishment for sins; (verb) to grant an indulgence > INDULGENCES, INDULGENCING, INDULGENCED.
intinction a mode of administering communion by dipping bread into wine.
jhatka the slaughter of animals for food in accordance with Sikh law.
kasher to make kosher. [Hebrew kasher, fitness].
keblah kibla kiblah qibla (the direction of) the place to which Muslims must turn for prayer, now the Kaaba at Mecca.
kirking the first attendance of a couple at church after marriage.
koan a nonsensical question given to Buddhist students for contemplation.
kosher permissible to eat under Jewish law; (verb) to make kosher. [Hebrew kasher, fitness].
laetare the fourth Sunday in Lent.
lavabo a ceremony in which a priest washes his hands; a basin for the ceremony > LAVABOES or LAVABOS.
lectisternium an ancient Greek/Roman religious rite in which the images of gods were placed on couches and food spread before them > LECTISTERNIA or LECTISTERNIUMS.
lustral of or pertaining to, or used for, purification; as, lustral days; lustral water.
lustrate to purify by sacrifice.
lustration ritual washing; ablution.
lustrative tending to LUSTRATE.
maigre in the Roman Catholic church, not containing meat or its juices, thus permissible on days of abstinence; (noun) a day on which abstinence is enjoined > MAIGRES.
martyrise martyrize to offer as a sacrifice; to cause to suffer martyrdom.
matsuri a Shinto festival or public ceremony held at a shrine > MATSURIS.
matin mattin a morning prayer service.
maundy the religious ceremony of washing the feet of the poor, in commemoration of Christ's washing the disciples' feet (John 13), formerly practised by some monarchs.
meagre scanty > MEAGRER, MEAGREST; MEAGRELY; (noun) the MAIGRE, in the Roman Catholic church, a day on which abstinence is enjoined > MEAGRES.
missa the service or sacrifice of the Mass > MISSAE.
molochise molochize to sacrifice (as to Moloch).
mondo a rapid question and answer technique employed in Zen Buddhism > MONDOS.
nachtmaal nagmaal a Dutch Reformed Church Sacrament, the Lord's Supper. [Afk. nagmaal (Du. nachtmaal), f. nag (Du. nacht) night + maal meal].
nipter an ecclesiastical ceremony of washing the feet. [Gk. nipter, basin].
nocturn any one of the three sections of the service of Matins.
noint to anoint.
novena a series of Catholic church services held on nine successive days > NOVENAE or NOVENAS.
obit a religious office for a dead person.
obital relating to an OBIT, a religious office for a dead person.
oblation an act of offering; a sacrifice.
oblational relating to OBLATION, the act of offering.
oblatory relating to OBLATION.
offertory the part of the Eucharist, usu. following the readings and the Creed, during which the bread and wine are placed on the altar and any collection is taken.
oint to anoint.
orthopraxis correct practice in religion > ORTHOPRAXES.
orthros one of the Greek canonical hours > ORTHROSES.
panegyry a great assembly; a religious festival.
panification transformation into bread.
parasceve among the Jews, the evening before the Sabbath.
passover a Jewish festival.
penance an act of humiliation or punishment, either undertaken voluntarily or imposed by a priest to express or show evidence of sorrow for sin; (verb) to impose penance on.
pericopal pericopic relating to a PERICOPE, an excerpt or passage read during religious services.
pericope an extract or passage, esp one selected for reading in church > PERICOPAE or PERICOPES.
piacular expiatory, e.g. 'Dogs were also favourite piacular victims, as in the Lupercalia'.
pilgrimage the journeying of a pilgrim; a journey to a shrine or other holy place, or to a place venerated for its associations.
pilgrimise pilgrimize to go on pilgrimage.
pooja poojah puja pujah a Hindu act of worship or prayer.
porge in Jewish ritual, to cleanse a slaughtered animal by removing the forbidden parts.
preachify to discourse in the manner of a preacher.
preachment a religious harangue; a sermon.
proper a service, psalm set apart for a particular day or occasion > PROPERS; (adj.) fitting > PROPERER, PROPEREST; PROPERLY.
puja pujah see POOJA.
pulpitry the teaching of the pulpit; preaching.
qibla see KIBLA.
rebaptise rebaptize to baptize again or a second time.
rebaptism a second baptism.
sabbat sabath a witches' midnight meeting.
sabbatise sabbatize to observe as a Sabbath.
sabbatism intermission of labor, as upon the Sabbath.
sacralise sacralize to make sacred.
sacrament to bind by an oath or sacrament.
sacred dedicated to or set apart for the worship of a deity > SACREDLY.
sacredness the state of being SACRED.
sacring the act or ritual of consecration; a sacring bell is a bell rung at moment of elevation of the Host.
sadhana one of a number of spiritual practices or disciplines which lead to perfection, these being contemplation, asceticism, worship of a god, and correct living.
sain to make the sign of the cross over.
salamon the mass, as in the vagrants' inviolable oath 'by the salamon'.
salat a set of prayers performed by Muslims five times a day while facing towards Mecca.
samskara a Hindu purification ceremony.
sane of sound mind > SANER, SANEST; SANELY; (verb) to bless.
satsang a sacred gathering in Hinduism.
scatophagy the religious practice of eating excrement.
the slaughtering of animals in accordance with rabbinical law. [Hebrew shehitah, slaughter].
sehri sohur suhur a meal eaten before sunrise by those fasting during Ramadan.
sermon a religious address esp. from a pulpit; (verb) to preach a sermon.
sermonet sermonette a short SERMON.
sermonic sermonical like, or appropriate to, a SERMON.
sext the office of the sixth hour.
shabbatot Jewish sabbaths. No singular: this should be capitalised but appears due to an error in Webster!
shechita see SCHECHITA.
shechitah see SCHECHITA.
shehita see SCHECHITA.
shehitah see SCHECHITA.
shibah shivah shiva a period of seven days' mourning observed after a Jewish funeral.
shidduch an arranged marriage > SHIDDUCHIM.
shiur a lesson, esp. one in which a passage of the Talmud is studied together by a group of people > SHIURIM. [Hebrew shiur, measurement].
shiva see SHIBAH.
shivah see SHIBAH.
shloshim the period of thirty days' deep mourning following a death > SHLOSHIMS. [Hebrew 'thirty (days)'].
shraddha sraddha sradha an offering to the manes of an ancestor.
shrieve to administer the sacrament of reconciliation to.
shrift a prescribed penance; a confessional.
shrive to administer the sacrament of reconciliation to > SHRIVES, SHRIVING, SHRIVED or SHROVE, SHRIVEN.
shrove to celebrate Shrovetide > SHROVES, SHROVING, SHROVED.
sraddha see SHRADDHA.
sradha see SHRADDHA.
succos sukkos a Jewish religious festival of thanksgiving. N.B. these are plural.
suovetaurilia a Roman sacrifice of a sheep, pig or ox.
synaxis in the early Church, meeting for worship, esp. the Eucharist > SYNAXES. [Gk. synaxis a bringing together, from syn together, and agein, to lead].
taurobolium the sacrifice of a bull, as in the ancient Phrygian cult of Cybele > TAUROBOLIA.
tenebrae matins and lauds of the following day sung on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of Holy Week - candles are extinguished one by one at the end of each psalm with the final psalm being sung in darkness. N.B. no TENEBRA*.
terce a prayer service held at 9 a.m.
terefa terefah tref trefa trefah treif treifa trayf in Judaism, not ritually clean, not kosher.
theophagous relating to THEOPHAGY, the sacramental consumption of a god.
theophagy the sacramental consumption of a god.
thurify to perfume with the odour of burning incense.
tref see TEREFA.
trefa see TEREFA.
trefah see TEREFA.
treif see TEREFA.
treifa see TEREFA.
trental a series of thirty requiem masses, or the payment for seeing them.
triduum a period of three days of prayer preceding Roman Catholic feasts > TRIDUUMS (not TRIDUA*).
tzedakah charitable giving as a moral obligation among Jews.
umra umrah a lesser pilgrimage to Mecca made separately or at the same time as the hajj, and consisting of a number of devotional rituals performed within the city.
unaneled without extreme unction.
unbaptise unbaptize to undo the effects of baptism.
unchurch to expel, or cause to separate, from a church; to excommunicate.
unction anointing as right of consecration or healing.
unhouseled unhouzzled not HOUSELED, i.e. not having received the Eucharist shortly before death.
unkosher not KOSHER.
unaneled unnaneld without extreme unction having been administered.
unshrived unshriven not shriven.
utas the seventh day after a festival > UTASES.
vesper the sixth of the daytime canonical hours of prayer, orig. appointed for the early evening; the office appointed for this hour. [L. vesper, evening star, evening].
vespers a prayer service held in early evening.
viaticum Holy Communion administered to a dying person; travelling provisions or expenses > VIATICA or VIATICUMS.
wudu in Islam, ritual washing before the daily prayer > WUDUS.
yahrzeit an anniversary of the death of a family member observed by Jews.
yom a Jewish day, esp in a religious context > YOMIM.
yule christmas or Christmastide; the feast of the Nativity of our Savior.
yuletide the Christmas season.
zazen Zen meditation.