Even though American society is becoming more and more casual, there is still a great deal of fascination with ceremonial rituals. On July 23rd, people around the world tuned in to watch the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympic Games. This year, the opening ceremonies featured performers illustrating the pictograms (icons that look like humans) of each Olympic sport.
- Did you watch the opening or closing ceremony for the Olympics? If so, why? (Accept all reasonable answers.)
Share this video with your class [5:02; watch as much as time allows].
Performers’ pictograms embody 50 Olympic disciplines | Tokyo Olympics | NBC Sports
When you finish watching the video, discuss the following questions:
- Why do you think so many people wanted to catch a glimpse of this event? (Not only are the Olympic Games a point of public interest, but people still like the idea of formal ceremonies. It is part of a longstanding tradition.)
- Does anyone know what the opening ceremonies include? (Answers will vary. Possible answers include parade of athletes, speeches, opening the games, lighting the Olympic flame, etc.)
- What distinctive ceremonies are still practiced in America today—either religious or secular? (Students answers will vary. Graduations, military honors, weddings, funeral rites, etc. are all practiced by different groups of people.)
Even though some formal ceremonies are becoming obsolete, we’re going to see how both water baptism and Communion continue to be an important part of the Christian faith.