A Rite is a religious or other solemn ceremony or formal act. The term rite is used more as a headline term that refers to a particular ceremony, the detailed enactment of which constitutes a ritual. A rite is an established, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories:

    •    Rites of passage, such as marriage, adoption, baptism, coming of age, graduation, or inauguration;

    •    Communal rites, where a community comes together to worship, such as Jewish synagogue or a Mass.

    •    Rites of personal devotion, where an individual worships, including prayer and pilgrimages such as pledges of allegiance, or promises to wed.



A ritual is a ceremony or action performed in a customary way. Although it comes from religious ceremonies, ritual can also be used for any time-honored tradition, like the Superbowl, or Mardi Gras, or Sunday morning pancake breakfast. Ritual is defined as something that is characteristic of a rite, practice or observation, particularly of a religion. In daily life, shaking hands with friends is a ritual for greeting. In general, rituals provide a template to guide our emotions and actions according to situations. Thereby, they bring a sense of familiarity and order in our life. Rituals serve a similar purpose in religion.



Having a loved one read something of importance during your ceremony can be a great way to unify the ceremony and create a harmonious connection that resonates with the two lives being joined that day. Readings consist of one or more selections (poems, lyrics, stories, etc.) to be read aloud during carefully selected moments throughout the ceremony. The selections are meant to convey a feeling or message that provides a window into the couple’s unique world and may be read by a friend, family member or the Officiant.