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Congregate Religious Property
Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Baha’i scriptures (also known as the collected writings of Baha’u’llah) are used in congregate worship and meditation. The heart of his ethical teachings is in a book titled Hidden Words. Baha’u’llah’s principal doctrine is contained in the Kitab-i-Iqan (The Book of Certitude). Among the best known of his mystical writings is the Seven Valleys. However, foremost among the writings is the Kitab-i- Aqbdas (the Most Holy Book).

The many writings of Bab and those of Abdul-Baha are also a sacred source of reference for Baha’is. Baha’is also recognize the Bible, the Qur’an, and the holy texts of the world’s other revealed religions as sacred.


1. Altar
2. Image of the Buddha
3. Bell and dorje
4. Incense and burner
5. Zafu (small cushion)
6. Zabuton (meditation mat)
7. Singing bowls
8. Candles
9. Candle holders
10. Cup
11. Tingshas (clappers)
12. Silver bowls
13. Prayer wheel
14. Flowers, usually made of silk as a substitute for fresh flowers

Eastern Rite Catholicism

1. Framed pictures or images of icons and wall hangings depicting icons

See Roman Catholicism for other possible religious items.


1. A statue of the deity, usually Shiva or Vishnu
2. Bell
3. Conch shell
4. Flowers, silk or artificial are acceptable substitutes
5. A mixture of camphor and red powder
6. Dry Rice (1/2 cup)
7. Containers (small) for water and a small spoon or ladle
8. Incense


1. Prayer Rugs, either several large ones or enough small ones to accommodate all participants in Jumu’ah prayer
2. Holy Qur’an

Jehovah’s Witnesses

1. Bibles (New World Translations preferred)
2. Song Books
3. Song tapes/tape player
4. Occasional use of Baptismal


1. The following accouterments are needed for the Sabbath services on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings:
a. Sabbath candles and candle holders
b. Cups
c. Grape juice
d. Challah bread or matza
e. Prayer books
f. Prayer shawls (enough for each participant)

2. Congregate religious items used in conjunction with the observance of the holy days are:
a. Shofar (Yom Kippur)
b. Megillah (Purim)
c. Menorah (Chanukah)
d. Holy day prayer books
e. Haggadah (Passover)
f. Succah (Succos)
g. Four Species (Succos):
- lulav (palm branch)
- etrog (citrus-like fruit)
- myrtle
- willow

3. Tefillin 


1. A small altar (trono)/shrine(boveda)
2. Up to three drums or bata (sacred ritual drums): the iya – the mother drum, the itotele – the middle- sized drum, and the okonkolou – the small drum
3. Beaded gourds (shakeres)
4. Colorful flower arrangements (plastic may be substituted for live flowers)
5. 1 or 2 cigars
6. Cascarrila (egg shell powder)
7. Smoked fish powder
8. Manteca de corojo
9. Incenses
10. 4 coconut rinds
11. 21 cowrie shells
12. White-cloth covering for the altar/shrine
13. 9 water glasses
14. A shell or dish for burning tobacco
15. Inexpensive small statues of the saints (plaster of paris or plastic)
16. Small bells attached to colored ribbons and fixed to a staff or pole the size of a broomstick

17. A small amount of citrus-scented water (to take the place of alcohol-based Florida Water)

Devotees may add other materials at hand, usually natural items of sacrifice, to the altar to please their respective Orishas.

Orthodox Christianity

1. Larger icons of Jesus Christ and Mary with stands
2. Censer
3. Incense
4. Charcoal
5. Votive candles
6. Altar and cloth
7. Small side table and cloth
8. Gospel Book
9. Spoon and knife (plastic)
10. Chalice, diskos (paten)
11. Red cloth napkins
12. Wine
13. Leavened bread (must be specially prepared for each communion service. Consult with the celebrating priest for details)
14. Star (small metal cover over bread)
15. Service books and booklets
16. Liturgical vestments (stole, phelonion, belt, cuffs).
17. Olive oil

Protestant Christianity

1. Bibles/prayer books
2. Hymnal/song books
3. Candles
4. Communion/altar table
5. Communion ware
6. Font/baptistery
7. Musical instruments for accompaniment
8. Vestments
9. Liturgical banners
10. Prayer/anointing oil
11. Wine and/or grape juice
12. Altar bread
13. Altar cross

Roman Catholicism

1. Three main pieces of furniture must be provided for Mass and other Catholic rituals.
a. Altar represents Christ and his sacrificial meal. It often contains a sacred altar stone reserving its use for rituals
b. Pulpit represents God’s word proclaimed to the people
c. Chair represents the authority of the presider who gathers the people together in unity of worship

2. Worship Accouterments
a. Wheat communion hosts or bread
b. Wine
c. Chalice
d. Ciborium
e. Roman Missal (Sacramentary)
f. Lectionary
g. Candles
h. Cruets
i. Altar linens
j. Corporal
k. Processional crucifix
l. Tabernacle
m. Ashes and Palms for seasonal observances
n. Liturgical vestments (including albs, chasubles, stoles, and dalmatics)
o. Musical instruments for accompaniment
p. Missalettes and hymnals

3. Other common Catholic religious items
a. Holy water font
b. Bells
c. Religious paintings and/or statues
d. Banners
e. Stations of the Cross
f. Monstrance
g. Pix
h. Aspergillus
i. Thurible and incense
j. Easter candle and stand
k. Holy water bottle
l. Holy oil stock

Ritual books should be provided for the Catholic minister for baptisms, communion services, marriages, anointing of the sick, and funerals.


1. Flag of Ethiopia
2. Incense
3. Picture of H.I.M. Haile Selassie
4. Larger Ankh


Pastoral leadership for a Gurdwara and utilization of religious accouterments would be accommodated on an as needed basis through a local Gurdwara.

The Khalsa is a spiritual community of men and women devoted to purity of thought and action. Each Khalsa vows to wear the five K’s: Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (wooden comb), Katchera (underwear), Kara (bracelet), and Kirpan (curved sword/dagger).


All information in this section has been compiled from the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Technical Reference for Inmate Religious Beliefs and Practices