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Inside a typical church Essay

Words: 1189, Paragraphs: 1, Pages: 4

Paper type: Essay

Inside a typical church, there are many features, which are very important to Christians in their worship. When a member of the congregation enters the church, he or she will firstly go through the Porch. It is open to invite the congregation into church and is always open before services to welcome people. Inside the Porch, the Holy Water Stoup is found in there. This is where people dip their fingers in the Holy water and make the sign of the cross, on their forehead.The water is for cleaning and washing away the sins symbolically, as well as preparations for the prayer and reminds the Christians of their Baptism, which is the First sacrament of Initiation. This represents welcoming into the family of Jesus. The sign of the cross, reminds them of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Many books are found inside the Porch. One of the books is the Order of Service, which tells us that the services are liturgical, that they follow a set pattern. There are lots of leaflets, about charities and congregation of activities, which tells us that there are opportunities for Christians to put Jesus’ teachings into practice in their daily lives.If you carry on into the church you will come to the Nave, which is the main part of the church. This is where you can worship during services and also where weddings, Baptisms and Funerals take place. There are seats called pews. These are wooden seats with kneelers and room stand. This shows that people taking an active a part in the services, which are liturgical. The Nave forms the main body of the cruciform, shape of the church. This means the church is in the shape of a cross.Down the side of the nave, there are confessional boxes. This is where a Penitent (a person who wishes to confess their sins or be reconciled with God) goes in one side and the priest goes through the other side. The Penitent will speak to the priest, of any sin he or she may have committed or might commit. Then the priest will tell him or her that God is, with them every step of their way. This part shows the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation in the Catholic Church.Around the walls of the church are also stained glass windows, which portraying pictures of saints or events from the bible. They were originally to help educate people who were illiterate. The priest would tell stories of the saints, the life of Jesus and particular events from the bibles, which are important to Christians. To tell Jesus’ life, there are 14 Stations of the Cross, which are pictures, carvings or sculptures showing his journey from being arrested at the garden of Gethsemane until being placed inside the tomb. This reminds the congregation of Jesus’ sacrifice towards them, and shows how much he cared for them.If you look to the front of the church, you will see a raised up area called the Sanctuary. The fact that it is raised tells us that something important happens up there. On the Sanctuary, there are certain items to be found. One of them is the lectern. This is like a bookstand, where Bible readings, biding prayers and the homily are read from. Above the lectern is the sanctuary lamp. This is only lit when the Body of Christ (consecrated host) are present in the tabernacle.The tabernacle is a special cupboard, which is shaped like a square or sometimes a dome with a lock on it. It contains consecrated hosts, which is the Body of Christ. The tabernacle sometimes has a cover on it, of which the colour matches the colour of the priest’s vestments. You may find a Pyx inside, which is a small container for carrying the consecrated hosts, to the sick, elderly and housebound. Near the tabernacle are usually flowers for decoration and also to celebrate the beauty of God’s creation. There are also candles that symbolise Jesus is the light of the world. These both are found around the altar and around the sanctuary.The candles might be placed upon a special table called an altar. This was originally place for making sacrifice to God, nowadays it is used for celebrating the Mass, which is re-enacting Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The table symbolically is a place for a family and the community to gather and share a meal just as Jesus did at the last supper and Passover. During the Mass a chalice can be found on it. This is a large cup made from pottery or precious metal. It contains the wine, which becomes Blood of Christ at the consecration. A lectionary or a Missal is placed on top of the altar. This is a book containing the Order of Service. This too shows the services are liturgical in the church.Above the altar and the tabernacle, you may find a crucifix. This is a reminder of the life, death and sacrifice of Jesus. On the right of the Sanctuary, you would usually find the paschal candle, font, pulpit and statues of Mary or their local saint. The paschal candle is a tall and very thick wax candle, which is lit at the Easter Vigil. It symbolise the resurrection of Christ. On the paschal candle can be found 5 studs containing incense, which represents the wounds of Christ. There is a picture a cross reminding us of Jesus’ crucifixion.The font is a bowl made from bronze, oak or even polished marble. It is used in Baptisms to contain the Holy water. Then position on the sanctuary tells us that Baptisms is very important. The statue on the font is a dove. The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit who is very important in the first sacrament of Initiation, Baptism. The font maybe found at the back of the church, in a special area called a Baptistery. It symbolises welcome and entry intro the Roman Catholic religion.The pulpit is a raised platform where the priest or the bishop talks to the congregation. It is here where the priest reads out the word of God. It is later explained by the priest. The pulpit is rarely used these days, since the installation of microphones. The priest usually preaches, as mentioned earlier, from the lectern.The statue of Mary may be found on the right or the left of the sanctuary. The statue may be made from plaster, bronze, brass, wood or stone. Many people light candles in front of the statue. Mary is special to the Christians, as God chose her to give birth Jesus. Statues show a person who is special to the Roman Catholic religion, e.g. Mary, St. John, and St. Wilfred and St. Joseph. It is there to remind us of the way they lived their life and remind us how they can be an example to the community. It is not there to be worshipped but to assist people in their prayers. It helps them focus their mind, which prevents them from distraction. All of the above features mentioned, are found inside a typical Catholic church and assists Catholics in their worship.

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