Religious beliefs become an important part of the life of any Christian, since through them one usually has a more intimate relationship with God. In this article we are going to deal with the subject of popular religiosity and its most outstanding aspects in the life of humanity.
We can determine it as the social sciences in terms of the religious theme, it is also related to the social sciences such as religious anthropology, sociology, also the history of religions as well as other religious sciences.
In some cases it is used in a variable way in relation to other religious manifestations, which according to the strong way of being are not usually totally equal.
It is identified according to the way of experiencing the religion of the peoples. Some customs of popular religiosity are considered superstitious by the so-called official religiosity. We will talk about this throughout the article in reference.
It is considered as the need for a more intimate encounter with God and the faith of each person and people in relation to their thoughts and history.
Likewise, popular religiosity can be defined as the practice of faith, which, taking into account the instruments of culture in a situation, constitutes an expression of faith, which uses the cultural elements of a certain environment, clarifying and requiring the sensitive sense of the members in an effective and lively way.
Popular religiosity has its origin in the process of opening up about the transcendence of God, which characterizes the human person. Paul VI determined his opinion regarding popular religiosity as:
“the word in a particular way about the search for God and faith”; which is cataloged as the need for God that the poor and simple people know, humble of heart and those who faithfully believe in Him. In people and towns, respect for the sacred is usually presented and is lived in different ways .
As far as the popular religiosity of the towns diverse Christian roots are determined. A number of customs and beliefs are lived in it regarding faith in Jesus Christ.
In relation to the origin as we mentioned in previous paragraphs is the public experience and that is shared in terms of the faith of the faithful. Through it, the people manifest their direct relationship with God, the Virgin Mary and the Saints.
The manifestation of the popular religiosity of the peoples is lived according to their own thoughts and their history. Due to faith, tender and true forms of faith and vocation to God have appeared in the various peoples and cultures.
Regarding these characteristics or customs of popular religiosity, the history and thoughts of God’s own believing people are determined. The term “popular” is due to the fact that the people themselves express their faith in relation to cultural elements of the people.
In this sense, the Catechism of the Catholic Church determines: “The religious sentiment of the people finds its experience in various customs such as: veneration of relics, visits to temples and sanctuaries, prayer of the rosary, religious dances, practices of Via Crucis, medals , among other”.
In popular religiosity there are two aspects, one presents a personal vision as well as a community aspect. The personal mode occurs at the moment of direct relationship with God, the Virgin Mary and the Saints.
In the community aspect, customs of the same faith of those who participate in it participate; For this reason, it presents a very participatory demonstration. Priests, religious and faithful usually participate in these experiences.
Popular religiosity presents its own language and specific forms of words, characterizing itself more in terms of the symbolic as opposed to the discourses and the rational.
Go regularly to customs such as: images, rites, body gestures, signs that are visible, with which the whole person participates as such. Through popular religiosity, the “language of the heart” is given.
“Through religiosity, faith has entered the hearts of the faithful, and becomes part of their daily life, feelings, feelings, customs, etc. Therefore, popular religiosity becomes a great value of the Church. Faith has become blood and flesh.”
The beginning or origin of popular religiosity is determined in the true experience of the Spirit of God in terms of the ecclesial organism. The true forms of popular religiosity are a consequence of the Holy Spirit itself and must be taken into account as a symbol of piety of the Church itself.
As another point, it is convenient to take into account that popular religiosity is a truth in terms of its progress. Everything changes: cultures, customs and in the same way they adapt to new changes and sensitivities.
Pope Francis has determined the following: “it is a truth in frank development, where the Holy Spirit is the main protagonist”.
We must also say that the Church itself is becoming more aware of the importance of popular religiosity as well as the values it contains, all in direct relation to the annunciation of Jesus Christ.
After some time it came to be considered old-fashioned or with a diminished sense of purity of faith, there are many people who currently place their wealth and importance first in terms of their dedication. Likewise, in the Vatican Council, a profound reflection is made regarding the subject of popular religiosity.
For many people, popular religiosity has varied and highly respected manifestations of faith. Regarding this, we must reflect on the importance of popular religiosity as a means to evangelize.
These reflections must be present in each member of the Christian communities such as priests, brotherhoods, brotherhoods, associations, pastoral agents, in order to promote a reflection on popular religiosity and its revaluation, through the proclamation of Jesus Christ.
Expressions of popular religiosity
In recent years there has been an increase in the living belief of people in relation to popular religiosity. Regarding these customs of popular religiosity, they have a great importance in a quantitative and significant way.
Quantitatively since it has the ability to invite different people. In a significant way, because they are absorbed as a deep expression that is linked to the cultural part, symbology or signs of the peoples themselves.
There are a large number of religious customs that are usually considered highly rich in popular religious content, among which we can mention the following:
- a) the peoples have the characteristic of having a desire for the festive. The members of the towns and cities live with enthusiasm these moments of festivity as a rest, celebration and way of sharing or coexistence with each other.
Most of these festivities are linked to religious custom and become a singular statement of the popular religiosity of each town. Among these festivities we can mention the famous patron saint festivities, which become important experiences and end of faith.
Some elements such as music, fire, gunpowder become the essential content of such festivals that are not only an expression of joy but are also characteristics of a religious sense in some specific places or towns.
- b) We must say that the main character of popular religiosity is Jesus Christ himself, determined in the mysteries of his entire life.
As for the nativity, the celebration is usually intense and has a series of particular customs that express faith in God.
Some of the customs that are practiced during the nativity or Christmas can be mentioned: carols, special meals, parade of kings, etc.; all this is part of a series of customs that come to characterize popular religiosity as very rich.
As for the Passion and Death of Jesus and its commemoration in Lent or Holy Week, there are also a series of important, rich and very important activities for the people.
Likewise, some towns adore and venerate the image of “holy Christ”, under various adored figures of Jesus; as well as in a singular way in the “holy Face” and “holy Chalice”.
The Resurrection is adhered in the same way to the congratulations to the Virgin Mary in terms of the joy for Easter.
These take place more frequently in the early hours of Easter, “encounter processions” are carried out that express the emotion of the day in a unique way; also noticing in the custom of preparing typical meals of those days.
Respect for the Eucharist has special credit among people, they have some masters of the spirit such as San Pascual Baylón, San Juan de Ribera, among others.
Likewise, in these towns Corpus Christi is respected and lived. In some towns, the procession of the Blessed Sacrament is held during the early morning hours of Easter, as well as for the delivery of Holy Communion to the sick.
- c) the diocesan institutions present a sweet and deep adoration to the Virgin Mary, called “Mare de Déu”. She is frequently requested by the various people with different titles that are given to her. Both the festivities and the Marian seasons are lived by people with very intense characteristics, among which are: processions, hymns, novenas, joys, as well as some representations alluding to the Virgin Mary.
- d) Likewise, vocations are given to saints and angels, particularly those who were born in those places or have lived in such lands, as well as the patron saints of said places. As a reason to make these interceding ancestors more known, the customs of relics, images, stamps, songs, processions, religious books that allow them to be known and the increase in Christian devotion are usually considered.
- e) Regarding religiosity, it is linked to some holy sites. Among some of the most common settlers are the Hermitages and Sanctuaries, which are characteristic and considered pious and devotional places.
In the same way, certain monasteries are pilgrimage sites, where the faithful go to a direct encounter with God. Also sites that are linked to the lives of many saints, such as caves, convents, houses where they were born, etc.; these places become true places of piety.
- f) in the same way, activities of popular religiosity adhered to the dead are developed. As for this, the custom of visiting cemeteries, performing prayers and suffrage for the dead is observed.
- g) some people live popular religiosity through prayer, lighting a candle, offering flowers, making promises, carrying a processional figure or some specific pilgrimage. As for the personal or the generalized community, customs of praying the Holy Rosary, walking the Via Crucis or the Angelus are seen.
- h) in order that these types of activities are motivated to carry out there are some associations, brotherhoods, stewardships; through these people usually participate in organizations and maintenance and conservation of the festivities.
Such customs of popular religiosity become an incomparable value which must be preserved from every point of view.
Among these there are many that are recognized as touristic or that are part of the historical legacy of humanity or people; all of them become true customs of faith and devotion of the people.
Regarding this, we could learn more about the customs of popular religiosity in relation to the nucleus of Christian origin, as well as the internal dimensions, motives, behavior, values of all of them.
As for these activities, which are characteristic of the Bishops, they must sponsor the value of such religious customs, managing to encourage people so that they in turn are favored in relation to their Christian faith; purification of such practices must also be achieved.
We must feel true desire that popular religiosity be known more and be respected and valued in terms of each element that composes it and as the main system in evangelization.
Popular religiosity as a meeting space with Jesus Christ
Pope Francis speaks on this subject in the Exhortation Evangelii gaudium and in regards to this he illustrates us in the following way: “we need to be closer to it having the gaze of the Good Shepherd, who does not try to judge but to love”.
The attitude of each Christian before the figure of popular religiosity will not be a distant attitude and harsh judgment that is not characteristic of it.
An attitude must be taken “only from the characteristic that love itself gives, that is why it is to value the theological life existing in the religiosity of Christian peoples, specifically of their poor.”
Only with a view of faith, imbued with true love, will the importance and theological value of popular religiosity be known.
In relation to this same topic, another opinion was also determined, about the Vatican Council, which we must keep in mind, which is: “The Church does not try to dominate a hard uniformity regarding what does not affect faith or the community, nor in the Liturgy; Unlike this, she sponsors, she respects the thoughts and customs of each town and certain race of them.
Within the Church there are many rites, customs and traditions that are not usually threats to unity, on the contrary they are of incalculable value. Through it some of the faithful can exercise their priesthood immersed in ecclesial communion.
In this aspect, the pastor conveys to us the importance and value of popular religiosity, which has borne many fruits of holiness. Popular religiosity is a legal way in which some of the faithful live a theological life.
As for the above, as an example we can often see faithful who light candles as a request to the Virgin for some need, the recitation of the rosary for a sick family member, as well as the view full of love of Christ crucified.
All of these are usually attitudes that lead to a deep and true Christian life.
On the other hand, the absence of consideration and respect for popular religiosity is due to thoughts about a supposed purity of faith.
In this case, it is not taken into account that the true essence that promotes and maintains religiosity is the Holy Spirit itself, and on the contrary, it does not recognize the direct consequences of holiness and the grace granted by the Church.
In relation to the previous comment, popular religiosity should be maintained and promoted in relation to true communion with Jesus Christ. Among some of its characteristic values are:
- a) popular religiosity is the real experience of faith. It is also the legal way of the life of faith. We should not take into account as popular religiosity only activities outside of it.
It is necessary that we take into account and know how to observe its internal dimensions”. Behind the customs such as symbols, rites, beauty, a great teaching of the faith is hidden.
- b) popular religiosity shows a sense of the sacred and transcendental. It determines a true desire of God and points out in a special way some divine characteristics such as the paternity of God, as well as providence, the appearance of love and mercy.
- c) Likewise, popular religiosity protects the feeling of history, which is considered salvation history. In popular religiosity, the living figure of God is present, manifesting itself in the lives of his children and the peoples.
As for these festivals, the mediations of God within the history of the peoples are commemorated and celebrated. Likewise, churches and sanctuaries related to the attitudes of salvation of God himself are built and created.
- d) Popular religiosity meddles softly and delicately in the life of each person, as determined by the Aparecida document, which determines:
“In different situations of the daily struggle, some people turn to some symbol that represents the love of God, such as: the rosary, a candle, a crucifix, praying the Our Father with tears in their eyes for some special reason, a loving look to the image of the Virgin Mary, or a smile raised to heaven by a feeling of joy”.
- e) patience, abandoning oneself to God with all confidence, the capacity for suffering, the desire to be at ease with God and please him, the need for conversion of heart for the sins committed, penance, detachment from material things, solidarity, the sense of help or charity towards others and family union; they are internal attitudes and virtues typical of popular religiosity, these are valued and nurtured by it.
All this allows popular religiosity to be considered a special moment to rediscover Christ. We must be aware that for certain people who are far from faith in God, religiosity represents the only religious custom.
Likewise, Paul VI determines: “Well carried out, popular religiosity manages to be important for the different popular groups, as well as a great communion with God in Jesus Christ.”
Popular religiosity must be recognized as a term for the sincere missionary attitude of the people of God”. Likewise, the term is found within popular religiosity as an announcement of the spontaneous mission to the people.
The announcement of the missionary mission proceeds very naturally in terms of the members of popular religiosity. In it is characterized the activity of the teaching of the Gospel, which emanates naturally in the people.
Religiosity is also considered as the irreplaceable situation in the achievement of faith and the maturity of peoples, it also allows faith to become fruitful. There are some values related to evangelization, which we can determine as follows:
- a) popular religiosity is the opportunity to socialize and experience the festivity of faith. Faith is an experience of a feeling of joy regarding the direct relationship with the risen Jesus Christ, which is lived within the very essence of the people.
Everything related to the expression and education at the level of community and festivity of man, is usually helpful to the experience of one’s faith.
- b) popular religiosity allows development in terms of the symbology and beauty of life, which become characteristics of life itself; thus, it also becomes important in the understanding and delivery of the message of the faith of the Church.
- c) Likewise, popular religiosity is connected with the diverse forms of life and its experiences of people such as joy, failure, weakness or gratitude, pain, doubt. These types of feelings or particular situations.
The strength of evangelization in terms of this popular religiosity is also found within the connection of the specific experiences of life, such as: marriage, suffering, death, the growth of children, begetting and having a baby .
- d) Likewise, popular religiosity makes us think precisely that people are of a religious nature, feel the need for God, as well as the need to believe and communicate personally with the transcendent.
This represents a richness within secularization as well as the absence of the issue of God in society. Some elements of popular religiosity make us think that human beings are the desire of God himself.
- f) there is great value in popular religiosity, which helps in the practice of evangelization. In popular religiosity, certain elements such as singing, image, narration are used, and with this the celebration of faith is achieved.
These characteristics are of great importance in the propagation of the faith. They feed value such as forgiveness, generosity, respect for God, sacrifice, friendship, sense of sharing, collaboration.
- g) We can also define that popular religiosity is truly a catechesis which places the Christian faith in the hands of many people. It is transmitted in a clear way, gives a message of the life and mysteries of Christ and the Virgin Mary, and discloses details about other saints of the town.
The people who interpret the form of popular religiosity will have a lot of knowledge of it, since it transmits us a lot about God and his experiences; as well as aspects of his mystery, highlighting those related to pain, the presence of the Holy Spirit, who lives in humble and simple people, in the poor.
He also tells us about the Virgin Mary, as a humble slave of God, her intercession in the path of the saints and the difficult walk on earth, also regarding the forgiveness of sins, the grace and mercy of God and eternal life.
This must be taken into account at the time of the practice of evangelizing, since all these previous elements are considered theological places.
- h) through popular religiosity, the identification of peoples is made known, which is united with the faith of Christians. As for the customs of popular religiosity, they help people to recover the origin of their religious roots. All these customs are considered good in the expression of the soul of the people.
These practices or customs create feelings of identification, belonging and cohesion.
It also makes customs connect us to the traditional transmitted by people of experience throughout our lives, all instilled from the point of tradition as the point where we will develop and grow as human beings.
- i) We can also say that popular religiosity is a faith that lacks culture. The greatest wealth of popular religiosity is found in the word of faith in the culture, the language, the symbols, the gestures and everything related to what is around the culture.
Regarding this, Pope John Paul II affirmed: “a faith that does not become a culture is an unthought faith, and faithfully lived”. If faith becomes culture, it has a great capacity in the daily life of people and peoples.
In the same way we can say that popular religiosity is a particular lack of culture of faith. “Religion is equally thought and custom, thus popular religiosity continues to be the greatest expression of the inculturation of faith, since within it faith and liturgy are united, as well as feelings, art and the thought of the identity of traditions of the place”.
- j) In the same way, popular religiosity is the protagonist and is largely characterized by the laity, who must be a living example of the new evangelization. It must be respected, appreciated and encouraged to integrate the laity as actors in the participation of the Church.
Commonly they are lay people who are organized in associations such as brotherhoods, brotherhoods, stewardships, societies; all made up of faithful. Everything that allows the opening of a space in the Ecclesiastical life.
- k) Likewise, popular religiosity has the characteristic of being public and shared in terms of the Christian faith. Another issue is that religion should not be minimized to the point of privacy, of the intimacy of people. On the contrary, it must be made public.
- l) on many occasions it has been an important means to preserve and manifest the faith. This through practices or customs of popular religiosity for Christians, who have managed to maintain and manifest their faith. In the same way, the transmission from parents to children regarding the customs of religiosity encompasses the message of the origins of Christians.
The values of expression and the lack of culture of popular religiosity are easy in terms of evangelization. Such religiosity reaches the ends and has an enormous capacity for participation since it speaks in a language and in a way that reaches the hearts of people, making the proclamation of the Gospel timely.
On the other hand, if the customs of popular religiosity are set aside, spaces are left free that are not usually filled.
In the current environment of lack of religion, popular religiosity becomes a wonderful way of life and transmission of faith. At present, it manages to be a process in which many people keep their faith.
Likewise, popular religiosity can determine that: “underlying an evangelizing strength that is impossible to look at from the side”, since within it is an evangelical value”.
There is an important phrase within the Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, which reads as follows: “Let us not restrict or try to control that missionary power!” The challenge is necessary due to the strength of the mission that popular religiosity entails, as well as the impulse in all aspects.
Although the value of popular religiosity is kept in mind, it has limitations. Likewise, it is necessary to evangelize, so that the faith is manifested, and can become an authentic, true and mature practice”.
Like the Christian truths, the customs of popular religiosity are not exempt from deviations or errors, and for this reason they must always be evangelized.
Purification and catechesis are manifestations of popular religiosity, which can become in certain regions a determining process for deep evangelization, as well as the maintenance and development of the conscious thought of the community in the sharing of faith.
This happens mainly through the religious customs of the peoples of God, such as the celebration of religious festivals.
Next we are going to determine some points that we can and should consider as working with the world of popular religiosity, namely:
5.1 Arouse the experience of faith
At the beginning of popular religiosity, an experience of faith is determined, which is manifested in the people’s own language. Currently we are presented with manifestations of faith and we must have the obligation to make known the origin of faith as such.
For this reason it is important that we take care of the interior actions, motives, truthfulness that are found in the manifestations of faith and its people, and thus manage to continue being a site of intimate encounter with Christ.
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church the following is determined: “progress must be made regarding the teaching of the mystery of Christ”.
In another order of ideas, the customs of popular religiosity are sometimes combined with certain situations such as: beauty or aesthetics, history, culture, folklore, art.
They all present a constant risk of being minimized from those that we have already mentioned. As for this existing danger, the religious insistence on its origin must be maintained, which is usually the soul of all popular religiosity.
5.2. feel with the church
As for this manifestation of faith, it is constantly within the bosom of the Church. Another danger that occurs within popular religiosity is the excessive valuation of situations of religious knowledge, such as:
emotions, feelings, tastes; regarding the loss of elements in relation to the encounter with Jesus Christ; Among these elements are given: the sacraments, the word of God, the world, the Church itself.
In some cases there is a need to participate in the manifestation of the faith in the ecclesial community.
Therefore, it is beneficial to encourage attitudes and actions that activate ecclesial belonging, and among them we can determine:
- a) integration of popular religiosity within the life of parishes, which tend to be an important presence in the territory, in terms of listening to the word, the increase of Christian life, dialogue, generous charity, adoration and celebration”.
It is prudent to keep in mind the pastoral programs and the truth regarding popular religiosity, trying to avoid a sense of isolation and also favoring the relationship with other communities of the Church.
- b) it must be guaranteed that both associations, brotherhoods, brotherhoods promote actions of religiosity and are determined as associations of the faithful, in relation to the canon law that directs it.
Societies or brotherhoods are not usually philanthropic or cultural associations, but on the contrary are groups of Christian faithful who live their faith in direct relationship with the Church.
It is necessary to protect them within parish life, granting them entry into parish and pastoral councils, as well as introducing them into the life of Christian peoples.
It is good that advisors who are not nominal are also guaranteed, they must carry out their function in teaching the faith, promoting the maintenance and celebration of the vocation and attitudes of charity.
5.3. life commitment
The disposition to have disunity of faith and life, is manifested in some faithful in a generalized way and is found in the same way in popular religiosity. Christian things are not lived in a total way in life, on the contrary, they are unified in some special moments or situations of daily life.
As for this disunity or separation of the cultural
Regarding the temptation and separation of the cultural in relation to the commitment of life, we must keep in mind that the devotion that pleases God is the one that generates the sincere conversion of the person.
5.4. missionary spirit
In another order of ideas, popular religiosity acquires an important responsibility regarding the proclamation of Jesus, trying to facilitate the sense of faith in relation to the culture of the communities in general.
It presents a strengthening in terms of its activities, symbols and feelings that reach the most humble. However, there is a danger that the projection of life will be lost, increasing other elements of one’s religiosity in relation to culture, beauty or aesthetics, tourism; Likewise, the loss of the spirit of mission can occur.
To the faithful associated in brotherhoods, Pope Francis himself determines: “be true evangelizers. May your thoughts serve as “bridges”, paths that lead to Christ, so that you can walk with Him in this way.”
5.5. Dialogue with other believers and with non-believers
In the same way we must protect the spirit of conversation at all times. Many of the customs of popular religiosity were born from situations in which the Catholic religion predominated in the community.
In our community it becomes more and more intercultural, as well as plurality, with the appearance of various people who do not believe in God or who belong to another religious ideology.
We must live different forms of popular religiosity in culture in current times.
- a) We must be clear that we must have respect for the different way of thinking, and those who have not yet enjoyed the gift of faith. In some cases, an attitude of respect is requested regarding religious customs within the scope of pluralistic societies.
- b) ecumenical situations and easy conversations with another group of Christians should be pushed.
- c) there should be a sense of open conversation with interreligious characteristics.
Need for pastoral accompaniment
When it comes to purification and accompaniment characteristic of popular religiosity, these two acts must be carried out with the vision and heart of a shepherd; and within a deep sense of respect and patience, as well as prudence and tolerance; all this inspired within the conceptualization of the church during history.
We must report that sometimes pastors themselves have abandoned or moved away from religious customs because they consider them an immature manifestation of faith. For this reason we must get closer to religiosity and it must be with respect and vocation.
This attitude is essential in order to provide accompaniment and dialogue, as well as feel a sense of humility and patience of heart.
The best teaching of religiosity is equally necessary. In this sense, the pastors and pastoral representatives must make known and deepen in relation to popular religiosity to our peoples, the documents of the church must be made known regarding this point.
In another order of ideas, the pastor must do the necessary accompaniment and must have a direct impact on the motives and attitudes that prevail over religious customs.
Many times we make a mistake when it is our wish that the practices or customs of the people change. It is important not only the change of rites and customs but also that they have a clear and precise meaning.
The pastoral function that the Church has is the accompaniment of the faith and the teaching of it, as well as the nourishment and flourishing of ecclesial communion, as well as integrating people in the task of evangelization. These activities are carried out mostly through the liturgy, charity and the word of God.
6.1. Education in faith
As for the customs of popular religiosity, a true practice of faith is manifested, it requires that it be educated and strengthened in the face of the temptations that lie in wait, such as: lack of awareness of the church, subjectivism, etc.
We must strive to be the main characters and protagonists of the customs of popular religiosity, such as: stewardships, brotherhoods, party associations, among others.
Regarding the opportunities and the situation, catechesis or the way to start the Christian life should be instructed or imparted knowledge, as well as the constant formation of catechesis on an occasional basis.
The objective of all this is to give a Christian education that allows elements of the Christian life of people. It should be a human, pastoral, doctrine and humanity teaching.
Popular religiosity is considered a teaching of the doctrines of God towards the people. Such teaching or catechesis must be lengthened trying to make it become a true and living profession of personal faith. It is also trying to lead the person towards the maturity of the faith in relation to the customs of popular religiosity.
In some cases the customs of popular religiosity occur with symptoms of contaminated elements that are not consistent or consonant with the doctrine of Catholicism.
“In this case, such customs must be clean with a sense of patience and prudence, through contacts with those in charge as well as attentive and respectful teaching of the catechism, as opposed to direct dilemmas that manage to apply measures quickly and immediately.”
- a) Diocesan associations, parishes, and brotherhoods should be asked to create plans for the teaching of catechist practices regarding the members of popular religiosity. As an objective of popular religiosity, we must keep in mind the personalization of faith and its experience in the Church’s own feelings.
- b) Regarding the training that is specific to such activity, it should be in a special way for people who are in managerial or governability positions in terms of religious activities.
All the associations that are in charge of the activities that the churches carry out, such as mayordomías, brotherhoods or societies, must have as their north the responsibility in the Christian teaching of their members and that the main objectives must be well placed within the teaching.
- c) Most of the time, this preparation carries features of “first announcement”, requiring the external approach of Jesus Christ, since all people have been baptized, however some have an absent sense of faith and need to renew the Good News that is Jesus Christ.
- d) teaching about the life of Christ. In some cases, there is usually a vocation that is not proportionate to the Virgin Mary and the Saints, affecting the main objective, which is the centrality of Christ.
- e) ease must also be achieved with the word of God. The Bible must be placed both in the heart of the people as well as in their hands, doctrine of the word of God must be given and its teachings propagated; and above all, respecting the inspiration of the Bible itself at all times.
- f) we must be vigilant so that insinuations against the faith are not presented or a path is given to mentions that are contaminated by syncretism.
There are many elements that could help in the preaching of the faith to the faithful, among these are: novenas, vigils, triduums, preaching of the feasts, etc. Likewise, other aspects should be used for the formation and teaching of catechism, as well as the necessary elements of religiosity, and thus live it as a true experience of faith.
6.2. Popular piety and liturgy
It is good to remember that there is a direct link between the liturgy and popular religiosity; Likewise, we must not forget that one has an impact on the other. There are beautiful characterizations of popular religiosity and the liturgy, it also establishes some common elements between the relationship of both:
- a) There is nothing comparable to the sacred liturgy, since it becomes “the main and fundamental source through which the faithful drink in relation to the faith of the truly Christian spirit.” For this reason the customs of the sacraments are important in life in Christ.
- b) Likewise, the difference between the liturgy and popular religiosity will be maintained. One should not be allowed to be above the other, nor should they mix their own peculiarities of liturgical attitudes.
- c) popular religiosity is fully identified with the liturgy and is complemented in terms of its customs. These customs of popular religiosity must not be in breach of the liturgy, nor will they lead to the lack of value of it.
- d) in Christian worship there are two legal manifestations such as popular religiosity and liturgy. These should not be mixed or together, they should only be harmonized with each other.
This relationship between the two must be fruitful: “the Liturgy must be related to the starting point that guides with prudence and intelligence the desires for prayer and a life of piety that are typical of popular religiosity.
In relation to this, popular religiosity and its values in terms of symbology and expression, will have the power to give the liturgy some characteristics of a true inculturation for a dynamic effective creation”.
Regarding these actions or principles, we determine the following, namely:
- a) with religious movements popular religiosity is manifested, through these God is glorified and the human being usually achieves spiritual benefit and progress towards a Christian life.
These movements will be made in terms of the need for harmonization with the rhythms and requirements of the liturgy. Its reestablishment is usually necessary, marking the biblical sense, the ecumenical aspect and the inspiration of the liturgy. Likewise, the form of dialogue that will be used in some old cases will be pending, however, always maintaining respect for the culture and the manifestation of the people.
- b) the faithful must live with all truthfulness the popular religiosity. They must avoid the utilitarian birth in relation to this way of religiosity.
- c) It is equally necessary that popular religiosity remain strengthened in relation to the thought of the Holy Trinity. It is true in the same way that popular religiosity is usually very sensitive to the mystery of the paternity of God, however it is equally enjoyed before the figure of Christ the Savior.
However, you will need to show with great transparency the personality and attitude of the Holy Spirit. It is also important that the humanity and suffering of Jesus as well as his Resurrection and Glorification be made known.
- d) In the same way, a balance must be struck between the mystery of Christ and the celebration of the Virgin Mary, as well as the saints. Such a balance is part of an adequate governability regarding the elements of the mystery.
In this mystery, the celebration of Easter will be the central axis of it. A scant personality is observed within popular religiosity in terms of the meaning of the Resurrection of Jesus
- e) popular religiosity should be placed in connection with the sacraments, the Eucharist and reconciliation. The adoration and devotion to Jesus Christ must always have as its goal the conversion and total participation in the Eucharist.
- f) due to its nature, popular religiosity must have a manifestation of art. These activities must be nurtured by the pastoral hierarchy, among these are: rites, songs, music, decorative arts; these must be taken care of in relation to the quality of culture and religion.
6.3. charity service
The association of groups made up of associations, brotherhoods, foundations and groups of the faithful that are linked to the mission of the Church, must be aware of the needs of people in need.
In order that the actions do not remain clearly with characteristics of rituals from outside, the manifestations of popular religiosity will be transported to the increase of love for God and neighbor.
When the sentimental elements of faith are marked, it is not a true form of popular religiosity. Due to this, it is important to adhere much more to the manifestations of popular religiosity with processes and attitudes of solidarity with the people who suffer.
As for the customs of associations, foundations, brotherhoods that manifest popular religiosity, there is a link between vocation and charity. The number of charitable works are diverse, mainly among the members, however the purpose of their birth is different.
- a) Popular religiosity should be able to manifest an action of humanitarian aid and promotion of society.
- b) It should be achieved that the customs of religiosity are carried out in a dignified manner but with austerity, without waste of any kind, without luxuries or ostentation of money, since this is not the true meaning of the Christian vocation.
The pastoral accompaniment of popular religiosity is necessary for people who dedicate themselves to it; These people must be priests, lay faithful or people consecrated to it.
We must pray for such a situation trying to get the parish priests to be sensitive to the importance of caring for popular religiosity, as well as trying to place people who dedicate themselves to these activities.
Differences between both religions
Regarding this point, we must inform the reader that there are, as the title of the topic in reference says, two important references in terms of popular religiosity, we can determine them as follows:
They are called official religiosity and popular religiosity. Here we try to determine both.
1) official religiosity: it is considered the most important in terms of the expression of the sacred, also called foundational hierophany. This is transmitted through processes of internal socialization of religious associations, such as selection of the clergy, seminaries, religious education foundations, relative to catechesis, Sunday teachings.
2) popular religiosity: this is centered on ritual manifestations and on a way to maintain supernatural forms. This religiosity is characterized by being transmitted through family and local customs, which are characterized by collective experiences such as: festivities, pilgrimages to holy places, pilgrimages, gastronomy, processions, etc.
Likewise, it can be considered that popular religiosity is usually an experience of faith on each individual but that it cannot be considered as negative, because each person responds in terms of himself and his ideology.
Religion: difference of beliefs
Within this title we are going to develop the different existing religions in the world and their ideologies, customs and other comments that we believe are important for the reader to get their own idea about it.
We must mention that the subject of religions is not considered homogeneous or easy to understand, taking into account only the reading of sacred books of the various religions.
Due to the presence of religion at the origin of the intellectual activities of our lives, it has achieved a great number of customs, rites, diverse beliefs in the different religions existing in the world; Due to this, it is important to have and understand the existence of different religions to understand such a phenomenon.
As we said before, we are going to determine the different types of religions, although in a fairly basic or summarized way, just so that the reader has an idea of it.
The classification of religions is not usually easy, since it does not represent a single criterion or thought when dividing them into groups. Apart from the above, the religious theme is based on ideologies, which does not allow the truth of things to be given in relation to the total and real understanding of it.
It is made up of ideologies or thoughts and traditions that are not linked to the belief in divine spirits with their own intelligence and attitude. As an example of this, we see Buddhism, which is considered a non-theistic religion.
However, they can be understood through their philosophy, although their descriptive term is broad within the religions that it includes, these are defined within traditions, dogmas, and rites.
forms of pantheism
It is based on the thought of the divine and the natural and these two characteristics are determined as an absolute unit, impossible to divide.
All this with a meaning that the divine goes beyond the natural and contrary. It is also thought that what happens in nature is caused by itself in a self-sufficient way.
This could be considered as a kind of romantic philosophy by means of which the thought of atheists is given.
These religions that are grouped within this category are based on the thought that the world was created or is guided by beings with supernatural powers.
These types of religions are divided into two: monotheistic and polytheistic.
They are referred to and believe in only one God, for them it is the force with the most power and virtue. In the event that there are other supernatural divinities, they will be in a lower category in relation to the power they hold.
To the monotheistic religion belong the so-called Judaism, Abrahamic, Christianity and Islam. Thus, the lesser known ones called Mazdaism or Sikhism, which is common in India, are also within this category.
In these are two supernatural representations with characteristics of the same level that deal with contrary basic principles and that fight among themselves. Such a struggle determines the verified situations in relation to the natural and the attitude of the people. In this group is the Manichean religion.
In this group there is no existence of a God or duality, on the contrary there is variety, not affecting the level or degree of power they have. Among the best known in this group are Hinduism, as well as religions such as those present in Egypt, the Greco-Roman, and also the Scandinavian mythological belief.
Classification by their ancestry
Another way of dividing religions is by the diversity of criteria, which have nothing to do with the beliefs they present; but on the contrary by the beginning of the geographical and cultures to which they are attached.
Within these divisions we can insert several that are usually the most common, namely:
They are also known as Abrahamic religions. These are characterized by the figure of the biblical character of Abraham as well as the Fertile Crescent region.
Among these are immersed the originals of India such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism.
In relation to this we must determine that according to the variety of cultures that are present on this continent, an endless number of cults or customs are determined, among which some are based on animism, that is, it encompasses many elements that are around as objects, landscapes, animals, are thought to present specific spirits and purposes.
Similarly, it is good to note that this form of religion is rooted in various places on the planet.
These religions that are grouped in this term belong to the predecessor peoples of Colonization. They are based on oral customs, among these the amount is observed in terms of the isolation of the towns, as well as the size of the colonies.
Types according to their influence
Likewise, religions are usually differentiated according to the way in which their ethnic origins are passing.
Within this group are the largest Christianity, Islam, which are not attached to a particular nation or its culture.
These religions are found in specific areas and tied to family tribes or races. Within this group there are religions with different ideologies, however they present a sense of reason and real intention to various types of plants, objects, animals as well as a lack of sacred texts.
They are vocations that have their origin in the recent according to the rites, basic customs of ancient religions which were transferred by the most dominant ones. This religion tries to find out about the rites, past doctrines and the generation of symbols and frequent actions. The religion called Wicca is usually an example and an integral part of this group.
new religious movements
This is considered a group of some limitations that is made up of various forms of religious vocation, which are of recent origin and do not deal with what is necessary in terms of the recovery of traditional values; on the contrary, they accept their origin within the general society.
Beliefs and their change
Although there are religions with different categories, it should be borne in mind that they do not all have beliefs with undefined limitations, however we must remember that such forms of thought change over time.
As an example of this we can determine Christianity, which is determined by a variety of scriptures of a sacred type in which a God is denoted, who often has kindness but on other occasions is usually cruel; In this regard, this religiosity invites its faithful to act correctly, seeing the lives of the saints as an example.
Also many times acting as true warriors. In some areas there has been a mixture with old thoughts to Christianity, deriving from it concentrated religions.
In this article we have wanted to deal with the broad topic of popular religiosity and all that it implies.
Likewise, although in a very brief way, we wanted to illustrate to the reader the various forms and beliefs of peoples and cultures in terms of thoughts, rites, types of customs, etc., that each of them entails within its origin.
Popular religiosity as such determines a simplicity regarding the subject of faith, which must be simple and true since through it the living spirit of God the Father is venerated; also through it is the correct way to live and manifest faith in a real and specific way in our lives.
This way of life and manifestation of faith makes our peoples feel the same, and also reaches the little ones. When faith is evangelized and purified, it becomes a beautiful way of life in Jesus Christ, acquiring a great evangelizing power.
In this way we must ask God through the intermediation of the Virgin Mary, and thus achieve the maintenance and protection of popular religiosity which has been guarded for many centuries, in the deep feeling of the Christian peoples and communities.
We want to ask God and that through Him and the priests, religious figures, as well as the faithful of our associations, these thoughts and guides of the pastors, and the affection of all, it is possible to maintain these ideologies and feelings in the hearts of the mysteries and life of Jesus Christ our Savior. Blessings to all.
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