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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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RITUAL

The prescribed words and ceremonies for a religious service. Refers also to the book that contains these prescriptions. In the Catholic Church these books are distinguished according to different offices, e.g., for bishops, and for different ceremonies, e.g., ordination. Ritual also means the whole body of sacred rites in use in the Church. (Etym. Latin ritualis, from ritus, rite, form.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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