Ritual is a means of preserving ancient wisdom. Like literature, art and architecture, ritual becomes deeply ingrained in the customs of a culture and is passed down from one generation to the next with little alteration. Therefore, wisdom schools often coded their teachings into rituals, many of which are still performed universally in the modern age.
Ritual bears an advantage over literature, art and architecture, in that it involves physical performance. Those deeds are easier to memorize, which are attached to physical movement, which explains why so many of the traditional rituals, such as the Christian Mass, the Jewish Passover or the Muslim Call to Prayer, involve movement. From early childhood, members of a culture will perform these rituals alongside their elders, and will thereby ensure their continuation through the passage of time.
However, the meaning behind ritual is quickly forgotten, so that form continues without the ancient wisdom it was designed to convey. Below are listed posts that attempt to revive the wisdom behind ritual:
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what of a sculpture? Imagine entering a temple and being greeted by the Buddha above. "Welcome," he seems to say, invitingly, compassionately. "You are in good company,"--his subtle smile implies wordlessly--"sit down and rest." Wordless Ancient Wisdo[...]