The necessary elements of a Hindu sacrifice are: (I) the sacrificer, who provides the victim, and is affected, directly or indirectly, by the sacrifice; he may or may not be identical with (2) the officiant, who performs the rite; we have further (3) the place, (4) the instruments of sacrifice and (5) the victim; where the sacrificer enjoys only the secondary results, the direct influence of the sacrifice is directed towards (6) the object; finally, we may distinguish (7) three moments of the rite - (a) the entry, (b) the slaughter, (c) the exit.
In like manner (2) the officiant prepared himself for his task; but in his case the natural sanctity of the priest relieved him of the necessity of undergoing all that the common man had to pass through; in fact, this was one of the causes which brought him into existence, the other being the need of a.
Important features of Greek sacrifice, though not necessarily found in every rite, were the putting of wreaths and pieces of wool on the victim, the gilding of its horns, the lustration of the officiant and the sprinkling of those present with holy water.
An officiant at once struck it with his axe and another cut its throat; then all save the one who struck the first blow partook of its flesh.
The victim was often kept in captivity and well fed; to transfer their sins people laid their hands upon him as he was led in procession, his head covered with ashes; on the way to the place of sacrifice were three enclosures, the second open to chiefs and priest only, the third to the officiant and his helper alone; the blood of the victim was offered to the gods.
An Indian sweetmeat is stirred up in water with a two-edged sword and the novice repeats after the officiant the articles of his faith.