That rituals are ambiguous phenomena has been long established in anthropology. However, while this ambiguity is often assumed to be resolved in one way or another through the course of a ritual and taken as contributing to the efficacy of rituals, we propose in this introduction that much can be gained by studying ritual ambiguity apart from its relevance for efficacy. We argue that while rituals often depend on and help create a sense of ambiguity, this ambiguity is far from always resolved. Rituals can instead highlight and intensify ambiguity, making it an enduring feature. While rituals often are seen as potential problem solvers, by participants and many anthropologists alike, we argue that much can be gained by looking at rituals as highly problematic phenomena.