ablution

ablutionary, adj.
/euh blooh"sheuhn/, n.
1. a cleansing with water or other liquid, esp. as a religious ritual.
2. the liquid thus used.
3. a washing of the hands, body, etc.
[1350-1400; ME < L ablution- (s. of ablutio), equiv. to ablut(us), ptp. of abluere (see ABLUENT) + -ion- -ION]

* * *

▪ religious rite
      in religion, a prescribed washing of part or all of the body or of possessions, such as clothing or ceremonial objects, with the intent of purification or dedication. Water, or water with salt or some other traditional ingredient, is most commonly used, but washing with blood is not uncommon in the history of religions, and urine of the sacred cow has been used in India.

      The devout follower of Shintō, for example, rinses hands and mouth with water before approaching a shrine. Monks of the Theravāda (Theravada) Buddhist tradition wash themselves in the monastery pool before meditation. The upper-caste Hindu bathes ceremonially in water before performing daily morning worship (pūjā) in the home. Jewish law requires ritual immersion of their whole bodies by women prior to marriage and after menstruation, as well as by new converts to Judaism. Washing of the hands after rising in the morning and before meals that include bread are also examples of ablution in Judaism. The Roman Catholic priest (and priests of some Orthodox churches (Eastern Orthodoxy)) celebrating the eucharistic liturgy prepares himself by ritual washing of his hands in the lavabo. Seven days after Baptism those newly baptized in Eastern Orthodox churches often go through a ceremony in which holy oil is washed from the forehead. Among some of the Brethren sects in the rural United States, ceremonial foot washing is performed on certain occasions. Muslim piety requires that the devout wash their hands, feet, and face before each of the five daily prayers; the use of sand is permitted where water is unavailable.

      Like most ritual acts, ablution may carry a wide range of meanings to those who perform it. The stain of ritual uncleanness may be felt to be as real as contamination with unseen germs is for the medically minded; the act of cleansing may be only a gesture, symbolic of desired purity of soul. Or, as Carl Jung and others have suggested in studies of unconscious elements in religious symbolism, both objective and subjective aspects may be fused in the ritual act.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:
(especially of the body, as a religious rite), , , , , ,


Look at other dictionaries:

  • ablution — [ ablysjɔ̃ ] n. f. • XIIIe; lat. ecclés. ablutio 1 ♦ Liturg. rom. Action de verser sur les doigts du prêtre du vin et de l eau après la communion. Par ext. (au plur.) L eau et le vin ainsi versés. Les ablutions de la messe. 2 ♦ Relig. Lavage du… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • ABLUTION — (Heb. טְבִילָה; immersion ), act of washing performed to correct a condition of ritual impurity and restore the impure to a state of ritual purity. The ritually impure (or unclean) person is prohibited from performing certain functions and… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ablution — ABLUTION. s. f. Action par laquelle on lave, on nettoye quelque chose, il ne se dit que pour signifier ce que l on verse d eau & de vin dans le Calice, & sur les doigts du Prestre aprés qu il a communié. Avant l ablution. aprés l ablution. le… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Ablution — Ab*lu tion, n. [L. ablutio, fr. abluere: cf. F. ablution. See {Abluent}.] 1. The act of washing or cleansing; specifically, the washing of the body, or some part of it, as a religious rite. [1913 Webster] 2. The water used in cleansing. Cast the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ablution — is a term referring to washing, and can mean: * Ordinary washing: ** Hand washing ** Washing of the body ** by extension, ablutions can refer to a collection of regular activities taken to produce physical cleanliness, including washing but also… …   Wikipedia

  • Ablution — (lat.), in der katholischen Kirche die Abspülung des Kelches mit Wein nach dem Abendmahl. wobei der Priester ebenfalls seine Finger mit Wein und Wasser abwäscht oder purifiziert …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ablution — Ablution, im allg. Waschung, eine Ceremonie von Juden, Griechen, Römern und Muhamedanern geübt. 2. Die Abwaschung des Daumens und Zeigefingers in der hl. Messe nach der Communion durch den Priester, indem er sich Wasser und Wein von dem… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Ablution —   [zu lateinisch abluere, ablutum »abspülen«] die, / en,    1) Geologie: das Abtragen von noch nicht verfestigten Meeresablagerungen durch Strömungen.    2) katholische Kirche: die Reinigung der liturgischen Gefäße nach der Feier …   Universal-Lexikon

  • ablution — (n.) ritual washing, late 14c., from L. ablutionem (nom. ablutio), noun of action from pp. stem of abluere to wash off, from ab off (see AB (Cf. ab )) + luere wash, related to lavere (see LAVE (Cf. lave)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • ablution — [n] washing bath, cleansing, decontamination, lavation, purification, shower, showering; concepts 161,165 …   New thesaurus

  • ablution — Ablution, f. acut. Est lavement, Ablutio, Baptismus, Lotio …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.