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Olodumare and Jesus: Here’s How Worship, Prayer, Beliefs, And Rituals Differ Between Followers

Olodumare and Jesus are two supernatural beings believed by two different groups of people.

The former is the Supreme Being of the Yoruba people (located in Nigeria, Ghana, Cuba, Brazil, and other countries) who is believed to be the creator and lord of heaven.

The latter is the son of Jehovah – the God of Christians.

Both beings are worshipped in different ways by their followers.

We delve deep into the differences between Olodumare and Jesus.

Belief

To Christians, Jesus is the only son of God who resides in heaven with his Father.

They believe that before the world was created by Jehovah, Jesus existed with Jehovah and the Holy Spirit as the Blessed Trinity.

When man sinned and went out of God’s will, Jesus took the form of man, was born into the earth, and died a painful death to atone for the sins of the world.

After his death, he went back to heaven with a promise that he will come back for his believers and take them to heaven.

Now, both God and Jesus reside in heaven and have a direct connection with the people of the earth.

The followers of Santeria and Yoruba religion have a different view from this.

They believe that Olodumare is the Supreme Being and the creator of all things.

From him, heaven and earth came to be. He is ever-present and can be seen everywhere.

Besides Olodumare, the followers also believe in Olodumare’s messengers or servants – a conglomeration of spirits called the Orishas.

These are ancestral forces and psychic spirits that bridge the gap between human beings and Olodumare.

Without the Supreme Being, the spirits wouldn’t be in existence.

Worship

As mentioned. Jesus is not really the actual God of the Christians but his own son.

He is the beloved son as he died to redeem humanity after sinning against Jehovah God.

He essentially gave up his life to restore the relationship between God and human beings. 

Christians thus worship Jesus alongside the overall God Jehovah.

Christians gather in churches to worship by playing songs, and instruments, giving offerings, and praying to Jesus and his Father in heaven.

Olodumare is believed by its followers to be distant, remote, and aloof.

He essentially doesn’t interact with mortals. As such, he is largely not worshipped directly.

Instead, people deal with the orishas who are deities and lesser gods.

They sing songs, dance to, and give gifts to orishas rather than Olodumare himself.

The followers also congregate to worship the deities much like Christians do.

The Santeria religion which believes in Olodumare meets in special temples where they have spiritual meetings that take different forms.

Worship of the Olodumare is wholesome and not exclusive to words but actions as well.

These take place during ceremonies and rites whereby followers engage in silent meditation, prayer, invoking and hailing orishas via objects, prostration, clapping of hands, dancing, making sacrifices and offerings, drumming, singing, drumming, and sounding of bells as the situation demands.

 The actual form of worship is determined by the situation at hand. The worship ceremony may be private, collective, or corporate. Major events are elaborate worship events.

The followers of the religion also worship their god in their day-to-day lives.

 Since they believe that Olodumare, their ancestors, spirits, and divinities are ever present, they conduct their affairs and deeds with that understanding.

Prayer

Christians pray to both Jesus and the creator, Jehovah directly.

Under the Christian religion are tens if not hundreds of different sects.

Each one does things a little differently but the main principle is praying using the Bible or other holy books.

The books give the character of Jesus, who he is to humanity, how to pray to him, and more.

It is essentially a guide that directs the followers on how to pray to Jesus.

Prayers are done verbally, alongside musical hymns, and in silence. They can be corporate or personal and can be done in the church or anywhere.

Prayers are offered to Jesus as a form of worship and to ask for certain things like healing, wealth, peace for the nation, and more. 

In Santeria and Yoruba religions, things are a little different.

Followers don’t pray to Olodumare directly. Rather, they direct their prayers to orishas who act as intermediaries.

The difference between the Olodumare religion and the Christian faith is that the former prays solely as a way of asking for material things on earth.

The contents of the prayer are divided into omo(children), Alaafia (peace), and owo (wealth).

Orishas take the prayers to Olodumare who answers them or chooses not to for one reason or the other.

Rituals

Different Christian sects have different rituals. Many of them partake in Holy Communion which is done to commemorate Jesus’ death on the cross.

Some eat bread and fruit juice and others cracker-like food items and wine to signify the body and blood of Jesus respectively.

Baptism is also a pretty big deal when a soul accepts Jesus. Other sects have special rituals during weddings, confessions, and death.

Olodumare believers take rituals to the next level. A typical worship ceremony can have animal sacrifices where priests slaughter animals to offer to orishas.

The deities are believed to consume blood from the animals. The animals range from roosters to goats, to sheep and pigeons.

Orishas also require other gifts such as candles, flowers, and water which are offered during worship ceremonies.

Individual members of the religion also have private morning and evening rituals that are not common among Jesus’ followers. 

Learn more about Olodumare believers’ animal sacrifices here: Everything You Need To Know About Santería Animal Sacrifice

You may also want to check: Is Santeria Witchcraft?

Faith Zion

Faith Zion is a passionate expert in African culture, history, and mythology, with a focus on ancient African history. As a PhD candidate in History, she has dedicated her academic journey to unraveling the mysteries of African art, religion, and mythology, particularly during the Predynastic period. With years of experience in the field, Faith's extensive research has enriched her knowledge in various mythological traditions, including African, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, Mesoamerican, Japanese, and more.

Faith Zion
Faith Zion
Faith Zion is a passionate expert in African culture, history, and mythology, with a focus on ancient African history. As a PhD candidate in History, she has dedicated her academic journey to unraveling the mysteries of African art, religion, and mythology, particularly during the Predynastic period. With years of experience in the field, Faith's extensive research has enriched her knowledge in various mythological traditions, including African, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, Mesoamerican, Japanese, and more.
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