Marriage, Birth and Death:The Rituals of Passage

Susan Visvanathan

in The Christians of Kerala

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780195647990
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080663 | DOI:
Marriage, Birth and Death:The Rituals of Passage

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This chapter focuses on the ritual life of Syrian Christians, which can be understood in terms of two aspects: the ceremonies of the house and the ceremonies of the church. Domestic rituals reveal a Christian community which is in consonance with the wider Hindu cultural domain, particularly in the use of ritual substances (for instance, coconuts, areca nuts, oil lamps, and rice). Canonical rituals express one basic theme: the parallel between the life of Christ and the life of the Christian, expressed through the liturgical language of ritual. Marriage, birth, and death—the key events in the life cycle of individuals and groups—are treated here as a set, and the questions of ritual, relationships, and property rights are discussed.

Keywords: Syrian Christians; marriage; child birth; old age and death; domestic rituals; canonical rituals; property rights

Chapter.  21174 words. 

Subjects: Sociology of Religion

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