ceremony, expression of shared feelings and attitudes through more or less formally ordered actions of an essentially symbolic nature performed on appropriate occasions. A ceremony involves stereotyped bodily movements, often in relation to objects possessing symbolic meaning. For example, people bow or genuflect, tip hats, present arms, slaughter cattle, salute flags, and perform a myriad of other actions. Ceremonies express, perpetuate, and transmit elements of the value and sentiment system and aim at preserving such values and sentiments from doubt and opposition; moreover, they intensify the solidarity of the participants. Ceremonies are found in all societies.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Ritual: Selected full-text books and articles

Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions
Catherine Bell.
Oxford University Press, 1997
Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice
Catherine Bell.
Oxford University Press, 1992
Tibetan Ritual
José Ignacio Cabezón.
Oxford University Press, 2010
Magic and Ritual in the Ancient World
Paul Mirecki; Marvin Meyer.
Brill, 2002
Bringing Ritual to Mind: Psychological Foundations of Cultural Forms
Robert N. McCauley; E. Thomas Lawson.
Cambridge University Press, 2002
Recasting Ritual: Performance, Media, Identity
Felicia Hughes-Freeland; Mary M. Crain.
Routledge, 1998
Ancient Magic and Ritual Power
Marvin Meyer; Paul Mirecki.
Brill, 2001
Celebrations of Identity: Multiple Voices in American Ritual Performance
Pamela R. Frese.
Bergin & Garvey, 1993
Subversive Spiritualities: How Rituals Enact the World
Frédérique Apffel-Marglin.
Oxford University Press, 2011
Ceremony and Ritual in Japan: Religious Practices in an Industrialized Society
Jan Van Bremen; D. P. Martinez.
Routledge, 1995
Explaining Mantras: Ritual, Rhetoric, and the Dream of a Natural Language in Hindu Tantra
Robert A. Yelle.
Routledge, 2003
The Archetypal Actions of Ritual: A Theory of Ritual Illustrated by the Jain Rite of Worship
Caroline Humphrey; James Laidlaw.
Clarendon Press, 1994
Cult and Ritual Abuse: Its History, Anthropology, and Recent Discovery in Contemporary America
James Randall Noblitt; Pamela Sue Perskin.
Praeger, 2000 (Revised edition)
Christian Symbol and Ritual: An Introduction
Bernard Cooke; Gary Macy.
Oxford University Press, 2005
The Reformation of Ritual: An Interpretation of Early Modern Germany
Susan C. Karant-Nunn.
Routledge, 1997
Thinking through Rituals: Philosophical Perspectives
Kevin Schilbrack.
Routledge, 2004
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