The French doctor held no taper; he was leaning against one of the columns in a respectful attitude implying that he, a foreigner, in spite of all differences of faith, understood the full importance of the rite now being performed and even approved of it.
(b) The rite of the goat devoted to Azazel.
True, this rite was used both in East and West as early as the 4th century; it was not, however, universal.
In both these cases the object of the rite is the elimination of impurity or of a source of danger.
The interpretation of the rite is uncertain; it may perhaps be connected with agrarian rites.