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Rituals and Worship

Sacred Time

As Confucius stated that ultimate reality is beyond human comprehension, there is no sense of sacred time outside of ordinary time. Confucius was a great supporter of ritual, as he felt that ritual solidified human social bonds; thus, in a sense, ritual sacralized ordinary time and daily life.

Sacred Space

Confucius stated that divine realms are beyond human comprehension, so there is no Confucian concept of a sacred space outside of the realm of life on earth. The focus of Confucianism is ordinary human interactions, and thus, in a sense, the ordinary space of daily life becomes sacred space.

Rites and Ceremonies

Despite his disinterest in ultimate questions, Confucius was a strong advocate for ritual. He believed that participation in ritual served to unite people and strengthen the human community.

Worship and Devotion in Daily Life

To live one's life as the best person one can be, to constantly strive to cultivate one's character, and to act according to one's proper role within the human community—these are the daily devotional activities of one who is trained under the Confucian system.


Symbols specific to Confucianism are relatively rare, and almost always pertain to scholarship. Stylized images of Confucius attired as a scholar are often seen, and sometimes images of his scholar-disciples are also portrayed in paintings or statues.