||- No Contact with people - Priests did not preach, proselytize, or care for a congregation, their duties were:
- Perform material and ritually magic services to the god of his temple
- Perform funeral rites for the dead
|- Close contact with people - messengers of a "divinely revealed truth."
- Preach the word of the Lord
- Attend to the spiritual, pastoral, moral, and educational needs of the members of their church
||Servants of gods - The daily temple rituals was performed to honor the gods by paying them courtesy and respect
- At dawn the priests would intone a hymn that began "Awake in peace, great god" and open the sanctuary door, where the statue of the god was housed
- A ritual prayer would be spoken four time over the image of the god, giving the gods back his soul so that he could reassert his physical earthly shape.
- The god's image was cleansed, rubbed with oil, and purified, and incense burned to fumigate the sanctuary.
The image was re-dressed in new linen garments of white, red, blue and green colors, had perfumes and cosmetics applied to his face, and was adorned with jewels.
- The breakfast meal was then laid out before the shrine and the god. There were baskets of fruit and jars of beer and wine.
All the offerings were prepared in the temple kitchens, no blood was spilt on the god's altar, nor was the animal slaughtered in the sight of the god.
- Once the god had his fill, the food was removed, and then returned to the kitchens to be distributed as wages to the temple personnel.
The image and the entire sanctuary was then sprinkled with water, five grains of natron and resin were placed on the floor, and more incense wafted. The doors of the sanctuary were then closed and resealed.
|Servants of people
- Meditation and mass
- Individual counseling sessions
- Work in civic and charitable organizations
- Performing marriage ceremonies
- Baptizing children
|Lifestyle and Family life
||- Physical purification - Priests undertook the stringent and regular purification rituals,which included regular baths in natron and other herbs, the complete removal of all body hair including that on the head and genital area was required for issues requiring
strictest purity, and maintained their dietary restrictions against raw fish and other animals considered unclean to eat. Also, and in addition to a purified lifestyle,
- They normally married, had children, and enjoyed family life.
- Priests were devoted to their religious duties in the temples at least three months out of every year, during which time they never left the temple .
|- Emphasis on spiritual purification from sins, unlike the Egyptians which
believed that purification consisted of a variety of physical requirements
- Dedication to service - no marriage allowed
||- The priestly class of society grew continually, playing an increasing role in the economy and in government as the dynasties went by.
- The average village priest was usually a local villager with a very low economic status
- Important cities had influential priests and bishops, where they often wielded a great deal of political influence on behalf of the head of the State
||Priests were chosen by the High Priest according to family blood line, |
Career priests were appointed to each temple, their numbers depending on the importance of the deity and the wealth of the temple .
|- Ordinary families had a chance of putting their sons into the priestly cast, and work in lucrative church positions,
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