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Korean Words for Religious Practices and Ceremonies

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When it comes to learning Korean, familiarizing oneself with the vocabulary associated with religious practices and ceremonies is a fascinating exploration into the cultural nuances of Korea. From traditional Buddhist ceremonies to Christian church services, here are some important Korean words that will help you to discuss and understand religious practices in Korea.

종교 (Jonggyo)
Definition: Religion
The word 종교 is a general term for religion in Korean, encompassing a wide range of belief systems.
우리 할머니는 종교적인 분이세요.

기도 (Gido)
Definition: Prayer
기도 is the act of praying and can be used in both Buddhism and Christianity contexts in Korea.
저는 아침마다 기도를 합니다.

예배 (Yebae)
Definition: Worship Service
예배 specifically refers to a worship service, typically within a Christian context.
일요일마다 교회에서 예배를 드려요.

절 (Jeol)
Definition: Bow or Prostration
In Korean Buddhist ceremonies, 절 is a bow or prostration made to show reverence.
그는 불상 앞에서 세 번 절을 했다.

법회 (Beophoe)
Definition: Buddhist Service or Assembly
법회 refers to a Buddhist service or a gathering for religious practices in a temple.
오늘은 특별한 법회가 있어서 사찰에 많은 사람이 모였습니다.

성경 (Seonggyeong)
Definition: The Bible
성경 is the Korean word for the Bible, the sacred scripture of Christianity.
매일 아침 성경을 읽는 것이 제 일과입니다.

찬송가 (Chansongga)
Definition: Hymn
찬송가 are hymns sung during Christian services, often expressing praise or thanksgiving.
할머니께서는 찬송가를 부르시며 즐거워하셨어요.

단식 (Dansik)
Definition: Fasting
단식 means to fast, which can be religious in nature, abstaining from food for a spiritual purpose.
매년 람아단 기간 동안 단식을 합니다.

향 (Hyang)
Definition: Incense
In both Buddhist and Confucian rituals, 향 is incense that is burned as an offering or to purify a space.
절에서는 향을 피워 신령한 분위기를 만듭니다.

수계 (Sugye)
Definition: Baptism or Precepts
Depending on the context, 수계 can refer to baptism in Christianity or the taking of precepts in Buddhism.
그녀는 어릴 적 교회에서 수계를 받았습니다.

축복 (Chukbok)
Definition: Blessing
축복 generally refers to a blessing, often given by a religious leader or during a religious ceremony.
신부님께서 그들의 결혼을 축복해주셨어요.

명절 (Myeongjeol)
Definition: Religious or Traditional Holiday
명절 denotes a traditional holiday that can possess religious significance such as Lunar New Year (설날) or Chuseok (추석).
명절이면 가족들이 모여 전통적인 의식을 치릅니다.

Learning these terms will not only enhance your vocabulary but also deepen your appreciation of Korea’s rich religious heritage. Whether engaging in conversations or participating in cultural experiences, these words will no doubt be a valuable asset in your language learning journey.

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