According to the linguistic roots of the term religion re-, means “again” and lig-, means “join” or “connect”. The word religion proposes the joining of the human world to the sacred world (Molloy, 2010). In my personal point of view religion is very important because it allows us to believe that there is a God who loves us and wants us to be happy. There are different types of religions and none of them are wrong if they lead people to a life of love, joy, compassion, and service. The question of why religions exist is evidently because it serves as human needs (Molloy, 2010). One of the first needs of humans is having a meaning when it comes to dealing with our mortality. It is very common that as individuals we try to look for a purpose of why different situations happen in life especially when we have no control over them. The religion we belong to can give us comfort to some level in our life. There are some elements known to involve a religion regardless of which one it is which will be discussed in this paper. Also this paper will mention the relationships with the divine, sacred time, sacred space or the natural world, and the relationship with each other.
There are some basic Components of religious traditions. Some of the basic components are elements relating to religions all over the world regardless of what religion is being practiced. A belief system is one of the eight elements according to Molloy stating that it is a system of belief in which several beliefs fit together into an interpretation of the universe, also known as worldview. Community is another element of the religious traditions and it is a group of people sharing same ideas, stories and their faith. For example, people get together on Sundays to celebrate the Mass. Persons sing, listen to the bible and receive Communion. Myths are another way by which religions represent their traditions. For example, stories can be passed down verbally or through songs by older generations. Stories are central to the religion because it keeps the religion alive and strong. Myths are also good to have in a religion because it tells a lot about what one believes or how one thinks. It is very important to know our religion to practice our faith and follow our traditions.
For example, it is important to know the name of our God, to read the bible to know what we said in prayers, and what kinds of rituals are done in our religion. Rituals are another element of religious traditions and they are important because they give people a way to celebrate and live life differently. An important ritual using in my religion is baptized of children. Depending on what religion is being practiced they all have different ritual and are very important and sacred for each individual. We all should respect different ritual according to their religious traditions. Ethic is another important element of religious tradition. It is about what is good or bad for a human according to his religion. For example, people have to obey the Ten Commandments that are ten laws in the Bible that God gave to the nation of Israel shortly after the exodus from Egypt. The first four commandments deal with our relationship with God. The last six commandments deal with our relationships with one another.
We need to respect and love our God and others. Sometimes ethics can also be viewed as socially generated guidelines. I consider ethics are important elements in religious traditions because they guide people and teach them to be better individuals. Moreover, characteristic emotional experiences are another element of religious traditions. They are the emotional experiences usually associated with religions like guilt, mystery, devotion, conversion, “rebirth,” liberation, ecstasy, bliss, and inner peace (Molloy, 2010). Some examples are the emotional experiences people practice when they are praying. They have an intimate moment with God and they start changing their life. Two more elements that we have to mention in religious traditions are material expression and sacredness. Material expressions are related to a variation of physical elements like: statues, paintings, musical compositions, musical instruments, ritual objects, flowers, incense, clothing, architecture, and specific locations (Molloy, 2010). Images of Jesus and the saints have been used for decorational and devotional purposes since the beginning of Christianity. For example, many people ask Saint Monica to pray for them if they have trouble with unanswered prayers, because Monica prayed for twenty years for her son to be converted.
Finally her prayers were answered in a way she never dreamed of — her son, Augustine, became a canonized saint and a Doctor of the Church. Sacredness is another element of religious traditions and it is about God. The term sacer is closely related to numen meaning mysterious power or god. It is about a distinction made between the sacred and the ordinary; ceremonies, clothing, and architecture (Molloy, 2010). For example, the belief is that the divine or some supernatural or spiritual force is manifesting itself to the beholder, who feels privileged thereby.
It may be suspected, however, that it is often the case that the beholder who, perceiving something mysterious (inexplicable), a strange vision or event outside the normal, ‘explains’ it in terms of the supernatural and invests it with the sacred. In conclusion, it is very important to know the elements of religious traditions of the faith we practice. Also, knowing and continuously learning about the different traditions allows us to gain knowledge and a better understanding of why people do what they do. People need to understand others religious traditions and respect their beliefs. Religion is important because it defines who we are and what we do. Making religion important in our life can lead to a life of love, joy, compassion, and service.
Molloy, Michael; T.L Hilgers. 2010. Experiencing the World’s Religions. Traditions, Challenge, and Change Fifth Edition. 2010 McGraw-Hill Company. Retrieved 2010.