In Confessor, the final book of the "Sword of Truth" cycle, we find out that
Richard's memorized copy of The Book of Counted Shadows was a fake. In fact, every version of the book was a fake, and the real way to open the boxes of Orden was to have someone capable of turning the Sword of Truth white place it on each box and see which one turns white with the Sword.
Does this mean that any of the ritual described in The Book of Counted Shadows was necessary? I can see things like a journey to the Underworld being necessary because it prepares the person for the task (having won over someone who hates them shows that they don't have hatred themself), but what about all the drawings with sorcerer's sand? Is this necessary, especially given that
All the sorcerer's sand got burned up when Sister Ulicia and the others failed to open the correct box, and thus wasn't around when Richard opened a box himself. And of course, the instructions to use sorcerer's sand, and draw the "necessary" symbols, all came from a book that was ultimately fake.