Temple Etiquette

1. Proper Temple Etiquette

Temple complexes are the highest sanctuaries and holy grounds in Daesoon Jinrihoe. Thereby, when you visit a temple complex, you should adopt a heart which is solemn and reverent and apply yourself completely to the observance of proper etiquette. When you come to a temple complex, proper decorum dictates entering through Sungdomun Gate and at that point, you should face Bonjeon Hall, join your palms together, and offer a series of bows. At this point, worshippers do as instructed by their temple guide, and individual actions or wandering around the temple grounds are prohibited.

The area beyond Sungdomun Gate is known as Jeongnae (Interior Court), and in this location, you should fold your hands over your lower abdomen, adopt a reverent mind, and walk with great civility.

2. Ritual Propriety Observed at Yeongdae

Since the Shrine of Gods (Yeongdae) is the most sacred of all locations, those who enter there during Temple Acclimation should wear Hanbok (traditional Korean clothes) and maintain the highest degree of respectfulness and decorum. The dress code for those engaged in Temple Acclimation is to wear Hanbok, however, it is also permissible for men to wear business suits.

While taking the stairs up to Yeongdae, you should bend your waist slightly forward at an over 30° angle (Gukgung, a ritual posture of bending in order to convey respect) and keep your heels slightly lifted to move quietly and avoid stepping on the threshold of the entryway. Once inside Yeongdae, your temple guide will direct you to an open position. After being settled in that space, adopt the posture known as Myeonsu (bowing one’s head) by keeping your head lowered and your hands crossed over your abdomen.

If your Temple Acclimation includes entry into the Hall of Sacred Paintings known as Daesoon Seongjeon, there too, you should make sure to follow your guide’s instructions, speak quietly, and walk gently.