All in my life through my faith.

All individuals go through some form of changes in their identity at some stage in their lives. The specific term for this change is called rites of passage (McGarry, Karen, 2016). These rites of passages are visible in Canadian society and can be experienced in many different ways (Robbins et al. 2016, page). Rituals can be secular or religious (McGarry, Karen, 2016). Being born Catholic has presented many rites of passage throughout my life and will continue to do so until the day I die. There are seven main sacraments of Catholicism and they include: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the sick, Marriage, and Holy orders. The specific rite of passage that was the most influential in my life was receiving the first Eucharist also known as the Holy First Communion. This ceremony is a time when a person receives their first Eucharist, which is the body of christ. The event happens when a child reaches the age of about seven years old. The child dresses up girls, in a white gown with a veil and white gloves and boys, in a suit prior to the ceremony. This rite of passage was an experience with positive memories attached to it, family and friends gathered and brought gifts, cards and food. There was a huge celebration that followed the ceremony that acknowledged the importance of the Holy Eucharist that was officially a part of my life. My family was proud of me, and I felt fulfilled and joyful for all of the blessings in my life through my faith. This experience was not only an exciting and important stage in my life, but it also symbolizes growing up and it transformed my status. People will treat you differently depending on your status, for example individuals who do not receive the Eucharist at church are viewed as a child because they have not yet reached the age to receive the Communion. Ever since that day, I was able to receive the body of Christ with the rest of the church on Sundays and holidays like Christmas and Easter instead of just simply receiving a blessing. I felt as if I was now included in something meaningful. Every individual has experienced some form of rite of passage throughout their lifetime whether it be involving their age group, ethnic group, religious group etc (Robbins et al. 2016, page). My religion is very important to me because without it, there would be no meaning to life, therefore the rites of passage in my life having to do with religion are truly milestones. The Holy First Communion is a rite of passage that I will remember forever and I am looking forward to experiencing more rites of passages in the future. B) My experience of receiving the Holy Communion fits into all aspects of the rites of passage discussed in class and within the textbook. In class it was mentioned that rites of passage can be divided into three different stages which include separation, liminality and reincorporation (McGarry, Karen, 2016). The text describes a rite of passage as “a category of rituals that mark a person’s passage from one identity to another, in the same way that a person’s progress through a house might be marked by entering one room after another” (Robbins et al. 2016, 61). I believe that my experience of a rite of passage in my life fits both of these definitions immaculately. Separation involving being physically isolated from a group and can also involve symbolic acts of being separated (McGarry, Karen, 2016). Before I participated in my First Communion, I was separated and excluded from the larger mass of people when it was time to receive the Eucharist at church every Sunday. Instead of receiving the body of Christ I would instead receive a blessing from the priest. This is a feeling of isolation because of the distinct separation between an individual and the rest of the people. The second stage that was discussed was liminality (McGarry, Karen, 2016). This is a time when an individual is in between identities, it is a “transitional time period” where you are not fully reintegrated into society with a new status but at the same time, you have started your transition (McGarry, Karen, 2016). It can be a confusing time for some individuals. During the preparation for my Holy Communion my class practiced the protocol and prayers everyday for months. It gave us the feeling that we were qualified and capable of receive the body of Christ but we still were not able to, we were only in the process of it all, in the middle of transitioning. Reincorporation is something that I also experienced at the end of my Holy First Communion. This is the stage where an individual is fully transitioned and reintegrated into society  (McGarry, Karen, 2016). “There is a period of “deep awareness” which is a post conscious period or level of being in which the role has been mastered and the identity profoundly established (Huxley, 1966)”  (Richard, M., & et al. 1986). After the ceremony at the church, I went back into the world a different person and my identity had been changed. It was an important moment in my life because it symbolized growing up and maturing, I was then able share the tradition of receiving the body of Christ with all of the adults in Church. It is mentioned in the textbook that the phases of rites of passage listed are not always equally elaborated in all ceremonies (Robbins et al. 2016, 61). There are many different types of rites of passage and traditions that may not fit the categorization according to Gennep identically but this does not mean that they are not valid (Robbins et al. 2016, page). During the process of receiving my Holy First Communion, I went through the phases of separation, liminality and reincorporation, it also fits Robbins definition of a rite of passage, therefore, I believe that my experience does fit the stages of rites of passage discussed in class and in the text. C) The First Holy Communion is simply a re-enactment of the last supper, which was the last meal that Jesus shared before he was arrested, and crucified (BBC, 2009). The closest thing that I could find while researching similar rites of passages in different religions was how Protestants receive the Eucharist and I studied the differences and similarities between the two. The two religions both celebrate the Holy First Communion, however, there are differences in how elaborate the ceremonies are, Catholics tend to have a much larger celebration than Protestants (BBC 2009).  There are many differences and similarities between Catholics and Protestants in the traditions and meanings that go along with the receiving of the Eucharist. Catholics and Protestants both receive the Eucharist, however, they have different views and ways of doing so. As Catholics, we believe that the bread and wine are a real representation of the body and blood of Jesus Christ it is viewed as another form of sacrifice (BBC 2009 ). We believe that the bread and wine remain the same physically, but, ” it is transformed beyond human comprehension into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ ” (BBC 2009 ). Protestants receive the Eucharist in memory of the sacrifice Jesus made when he was crucified on the cross, rather than viewing it so literal (BBC 2009 ).It is in Catholic beliefs that the most important form of worship is the Eucharist and many receive the Eucharist at least once a week or more (BBC 2009 ). Other religions such as Protestants do not receive the Eucharist as frequently, sometimes they go a few weeks or longer before receiving it again and it is not frowned upon as much as Catholics (BBC 2009). The Eucharist is considered more crucial in the Catholic religion and it is more laid back in the Protestant religion (BBC 2009). Both, Catholics, and Protestants believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, however, it is only Catholics that believe that this is through transubstantiation. “Transubstantiation is the change of substance or essence by which the bread and wine is offered in the sacrifice of the sacrament of the Eucharist during the Mass, become, in reality, the body and blood of Jesus Christ” (Burckhardt 2018).  There are varying understandings of the true meanings and importance of the Eucharist for Catholics and Protestants and no one is right or wrong, every individual has the right to their own belief systems and faith.It is clear that there are many similarities and differences between the Holy First Communion and the meanings and beliefs that go along with receiving the Eucharist between both religions researched, Catholic and Protestant. The rituals vary from the way it is celebrated, how it is viewed, and the amount of times individuals from the different religions receive the Eucharist weekly. Overall, this religion seems to have the most similar rite of passage to my own experience as a Catholic.