I was thinking of doing a study of ritual in the Bible and was surprised when a keyword search turned up only one reference:
These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. (Hebrews 9:6-10 ESV)
Curious don’t you think? Leviticus is brimming with ritual isn’t it? Why no references? Delving deeper it is apparent that there are many more references to “ceremonies”, to “festivals”, to “traditions”, and most especially, to “laws”. Clearly the ancient Israelites engaged in symbolic actions, both in routine and crisis situations, but clearly they did not speak of it this way. What does this suggest about worldview?