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8 hours $7.98
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20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Spiritual Rituals

2.0 Contact Hours / 0.20 AOTA CEUs
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe spiritually healing rituals that can be incorporated in the care of clients and for his or her self.
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The spiritual rituals of prayer, meditation, guided imagery, gratitude, spending time in nature, dancing, storytelling, and art can all help people connect to their inner being, to others, and to a divine spirit or Sacred Source. A part of spiritual and cultural traditions, rituals help to provide awareness, meaning, intention, and purpose in life.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe three phases of creating rituals.
  • Examine the spiritual ritual of prayer in health and healing.
  • Describe types and techniques of meditation, visualization, and guided imagery and describe their relationship to healing.
  • Explain the spiritual rituals of gratitude, spending time in nature, and art.
  • Discuss dancing and ritual.
  • Describe the importance of storytelling in spiritual care.
  • Provide examples of why rituals work as a healing force.

Through immigration, international travel, and globalization, spiritual journeys can take people down paths that were not available to previous generations. Today, people are exposed to many different religious practices, spiritual practices, and rituals that they may never have seen before. These practices often have specific meaning.

How does a spiritual practice differ from a ritual? While there is no one correct answer to the question, “What is a spiritual practice?” Scott (2001) provides the following perspective, demonstrating that most people view spiritual acts as part of everyday life:

  1. 91% of people see praying as a spiritual practice.
  2. 81% view attending worship services as a spiritual practice.
  3. 80% believe that parenting is a spiritual practice.
  4. 67% consider a walk in the forest to be a divine spiritual practice.
  5. 52% of adults affirm that making love is a spiritual practice.

Rituals, on the other hand, are practices that are often repeated and can provide a way for people to make life experiences meaningful. For example, rituals such as prayer and meditation may help individuals reconnect with their spirituality and thus support their spiritual health (Carrico, 2017; Burkhardt & Nagai-Jacobson, 2016; Taylor, 2002).

According to Burkhardt & Nagai-Jacobson (2016) and Taylor (2002):

  • A ritual is an enactment of cultural beliefs and values.
  • Rituals involve repetition and patterns of form and behaviors that have personal, healing value.
  • Rituals are significant aspects of many religious traditions and cultures.
  • Rituals are spiritual acts.
  • Rituals can be any activities done with awareness.
  • Rituals allow people to honor and celebrate life.
  • Rituals are sacred spaces of the mind that honor the core of human experience and the power of the Invisible Force.
  • Rituals can be rites of separation.
  • Rituals are a rich resource in caring for the spirit.
  • Rituals contain steps for recovery and reducing anxiety, fear, and feelings of helplessness.

Rituals help awaken the spiritual self and help individuals connect with their inner core, other people, nature, and everything in the world. Rituals help people to remember, to honor, and to change, and they can involve actions, symbols, and ceremonies. Rituals are a part of historical, religious, spiritual, and cultural traditions.

Traditional rituals are handed down from one generation to another, while self-generated rituals are begun by an individual or group and have no cultural history or tradition. The basic elements of rituals include actions, meaningful patterns, intention, awareness, and purpose.

Rituals can be sacred or secular and serve as reminders to allow sacred time and space in our lives (Burkhardt & Nagai-Jacobson, 2016).

  1. Examples of sacred rituals might include saying grace at mealtime, religious worship, and spiritual ceremony within any tradition, prayer, and meditation.
  2. Examples of secular rituals might include parades, family picnics, kissing under the mistletoe, or taking a daily walk for the purpose of exercise.

Almost every civilization engages in transitional rituals, from the change of seasons to life passages such as birth, marriage, and death (Biziou, 2006).

The following sections will look at how rituals are created, then at the specific types of rituals and why they work as a healing force.

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
    The American Board of Managed Care Nursing recognizes all of ALLEGRA Learning Solutions' ANCC accredited courses for continuing education credit for Certified Managed Care Nurses (CMCNs).
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC, is an approved provider of continuing education for occupational therapists by the American Occupational Therapy Association. Approved Provider # 3166
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
    This course is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program to be offered by ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC as an individual course. Individual courses, not providers, are approved at the course level. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ACE course approval period: 04/22/2021-04/22/2024. Social workers completing this course receive the specified distance learning continuing education credits.
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # CEP 14693 for the number of hours stated.
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
    The California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section accepts continuing education offered by CA-BRN approved providers.
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions (CE Provider # 50-12076) submits all continuing education records to CE BROKER after successful completion.
  • Florida Board of Nursing
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of nursing (CE Provider # 50-12076). Courses are automatically submitted to CE Broker.
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions (CE Broker Provider # 50-12076) submits all continuing education records to CE Broker after successful completion.
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Council of Dietetitics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
    This course has been approved by ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #813, ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is responsible for all aspects of their programming.


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Foundational Knowledge

Course Expires:

February 01, 2026

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.