Rites of Passage


Ritesof Passage

Ritesof Passage

Theseare the different rites through which societies effect transitions inthe life of a person from one social identity to another. All ritesof passage of passage entail three main stages including separation,transition and incorporation. Marriage is one major rite of passagein most if not all communities and as well as religions (Argyle&amp Beit-Hallahmi, 2014).Marriage prepares a person for a new life or it marks and marks astart f a family or life. As such, different religions take marriagerituals differently based on their religious or culturalunderstanding of marriage.

Marriageinvolves the abandonment of singlehood into a union with a partner toform a family. When a person marries, they leave their life asindividuals to live in partnership with another. From this union, theperson stops being independent and makes decisions based on theother. This is the transition stage. At the separation stage, aperson is basically taken away from their daily life (Nasritdinov,2013).During this period a person experiences different emotionalexperiences. For example when one is about to get married, they arehappy since they are in love, yet they are anxious because they donot know what exactly will happen in the new life of marriage. Thesechanges push a person into a new way of life separating them from theprevious way of living.

Afterthe marriage takes place, one now begins to live a new life inmarriage. This is the transition stage which is initially time spentin confusion, in denial or feeling lost. At his point, a personstarts to devise ways of adjusting and finding new mechanisms ofcoping to the new life and the changes that it brings (VanGennep, 2011).This stage can last for a few minutes of even in a whole lifetime ifa person fails to adjust entirely. People usually die when still inthis stage. For instance a married person may die before having fullycoped or accepted their new status of being married. However, if oneis able to move to this stage with awareness, they are able to findtreasure. Marriage is a great institution and brings about social andemotional fulfillment if one accepts it successfully. This treasureis in form of awakening consciousness, discovering value and meaningin the event that swept us out of one’s previous life (Grimes,2000).

Thefinal stage in rites of passage is incorporation. At this stage, oneintegrates the newly acquired knowledge into their lives. Marriagecomes with different changes that one needs to learn and adopt. Beingable to handle the new responsibilities and expectations of marriageentails incorporation (Stein &amp Stein, 2011). One incorporateswhat they have learnt as part of their new status. The lessons thatone learns through the first to the second stage become critical inthis stage. This does not however mean that one is done, as learningand new experiences continue to emerge. The way one deal with newchallenges in marriage depends on what we have learnt during the paststages of marriage.

Ultimately,marriage is a religious as well as a cultural practice that runsacross all cultures. The disparity in the rituals of marriage doesnot mean differences in the meaning of marriage. Marriage in allreligions translates to one thing, the beginning of new life to forma family and propagate life. The three stages of marriage as a ritualare dependent and progressive.


Argyle,M., &amp Beit-Hallahmi, B. (2014). Thepsychology of religious behaviour, belief and experience.Routledge.

Grimes,R. L. (2000). Deeplyinto the bone: Re-inventing rites of passage(Vol. 1). Univ of California Press.

Nasritdinov,E. (2013). Anthropology of religion.

Stein,R. L., &amp Stein, P. L. (2011). Theanthropology of religion, magic, and witchcraft.Pearson/A and B.

VanGennep, A. (2011). Therites of passage.University of Chicago Press.