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Churches Essay, Research Paper

Stations of the Cross

These are found in the form of pictures, which are hung on the walls. There are 14 of them and they show what happened to Jesus from his trial to his crucifixion. Some of the scenes are taken from the bible and the others are just legend. These pictures are sometimes used in worship but they are mostly there for people to see exactly what Jesus went through. Confessional

Also known as the ¡¥confession box¡¦. These are not so common recently but they are still quite frequent in churches built a long time ago. It consists of two room connected with a window in between them. The priest sits in one side and someone would go into the other side and confess his/her sins to the priest. They usually would start with the words ¡§Father, forgive me for I have sinned¡K¡¨ Then they would tell the priest what they had done and the priest would forgive them. Offertory Candles

People pay to light these candles as a symbol of ongoing prayer. The candle is lit by worshippers and continues burning ¡V shows that prayer doesn¡¦t die out even if the worshipper forgets about it ¡V Prayer is continuous. Also, candles can be lit in remembrance of the dead if someone close to a worshipper has died. Font

This is a bowl of water located at the front of the church. It is used for baptism, which is a very important service for Roman Catholics ¡V it is one of the sacraments. Infant baptism is practised by sprinkling water from the font. The parents make promises to bring up the child as a Christian. Also, the godparents make promises. Baptism symbolises entry into Christianity and Christian faith so Roman Catholics regard it as very important. Tabernacle

This is the cupboard in which the holy bread and wine is kept for mass. This is also very important for Roman Catholics as it is also one the sacraments. In the service of mass, also known as Holy Communion, the priest offers bread and wine to the worshippers and says ¡§This is my body broken for you ¡K this is my blood shed for you¡K¡¨ The worshipper then takes the bread and eats it along with the wine. Roman Catholics believe that the bread and wine actually changes during mass (transubstantiation). 1.c) i)

The country is divided into parishes, each has a parish church. Each church has a head called the priest. Parishes are grouped together in dioceses. A bishop is in charge of a diocese. The head church of a diocese is a cathedral. The bishop has authority and he represents a wider denomination. The bishop has a seat in the cathedral called a cathedra. The bishop sometimes takes important services like mass. An archbishop is in charge of a group of dioceses. The Pope is the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Here is a line of authority:

Curate „_ Priest „_ Bishop „_ Archbishop „_ Pope c) ii)

Services in the Roman Catholic Church follow the Missal (the Roman Catholic prayer book). But members of the congregation can lead intercession (Prayer for others). Bible readings are laid down in an official ¡¥lectionary¡¦. The sermon is usually based on these readings. The priest usually chooses hymns to fit in with the theme of service. But the priest is usually responsible for the style of worship. J D Lea-Wilson

RELIGIOUS STUDIES 68108/

COURSEWORK ASSIGNMENT 2

CHURCHES

RS2

2. a)

Christians go to church to demonstrate commitment to God. Regular attendance of Sunday services shows dedication to religion and to God. It expresses that you worship God and your love for him is powerful enough to give up a morning every week. It might just be a simple tradition, someone could have gone to church every Sunday with their parents and didn¡¦t want to stop. Going to Sunday services can also affect the way you are. Each sermon in each service has a special meaning. This is what Jesus taught through parables. The worshipper gets a lot out of church ¡V forgiveness for everything he/she has done wrong, this is essential in life; concern for others (prayers of intercession), this is very good to have as it makes them more aware; a huge sense of God¡¦s power and love, perhaps the most important thing, a feeling of goodness inside. This inspires and makes you feel much better about life and others; it affects your mood and livelihood as well. It also helps through fellowship, it makes you feel a sense of belonging to the church community and this helps with life and attitude to. The final thing it may change in someone¡¦s life could be guidance ¡V it helps people through the hard times in their life and makes them feel wanted. On the other hand I can see why some people wouldn¡¦t go to church. I think this can be for a number of reasons ¡V people may prefer to worship by themselves; someone could have different ways of worshipping and wouldn¡¦t want to contradict anyone else¡¦s or someone might feel that worshipping God is a very personal thing to do.

b)

Being religious is very likely to get you to go to weekday activities much more than if you weren¡¦t religious. Regular churchgoers are more likely to go to these activities to help with the community spirit; to worship God; to receive guidance for simple life problems or just to enjoy whatever there¡¦re involved in. Weekday activities can consist of anything from bible discussion groups to youth club activities. All these activities create a strong sense of community within the worshippers and churchgoers. Some activities like home groups combine informal friendship and chat with prayer and study of the bible ¡V it¡¦s this ¡¥community¡¦ which lifts people up and makes them feel wanted which, in turn, helps them to worship and put to faith in God. The church has 3 functions ¡V worship of God, fellowship with other Christians and serving others in and outside the church. Weekday activities fulfil all three of these functions which is incredibly good for not only people in the church but for others as well. Weekday activities also help people meet others with the same interests; help people work with others to achieve the same goals e.g. charities. They are also good because they let people have others for support or help if facing difficulties.

c)

I think that Christians would give more to charity because it is seen as ¡¥the Christian thing to do¡¦. Giving to charity can be very rewarding as well, not only is it a form of worship but it also makes the giver feel good. One of the most important commandments was to love thy neighbour and this is essentially what charity is all about ¡V loving one another. Jesus taught us to look after our neighbours and this is exactly what we are trying to do. Charity can be described as ¡§Helping others in the name of Christ,¡¨ which shows how is can be thought of as worship. Giving to charity is showing your love for Christ so lots of religious people do it. I would think that Christians give a lot more to charity than others because one of the three goals of the church is to serve others and this might make them give more willingly to charity, whereas a non-Christian might give less willingly as they might not believe in helping others so much. Charity was originally a translation from a Greek word meaning love. This is possibly why Christians find it much easier to give. Jesus said we should give more and take less. All these factors encourage Christians to give money.J D Lea-Wilson

RELIGIOUS STUDIES 68108/

COURSEWORK ASSIGNMENT 2

CHURCHES

d)

If someone was part of a church community and someone else wasn¡¦t there would be a huge difference between them. If someone was facing a serious illness they would have a huge amount of support (this is true of people who go to church and those who don¡¦t) but the person who went to church would have so much more. People would do things for them, be especially nice to them and most importantly pray for them. They would get a large amount of practical support, which would make them feel looked after, and the prayer would help. But it¡¦s not just about the support they would receive; it is also about death. If a Christian died then all Christians would believe that they would go to heaven. This would make the person who was ill, feel much better is they know that they are moving on; maybe it will also help the person not be so afraid of death and to die a quieter death. If a person was not religious and was facing a serious illness they still might have plenty of support but they wouldn¡¦t have that same feeling that they were moving onto some where much better. Someone who didn¡¦t go to church would be very scared of death and they would not have the same kind of full support and that feeling that whatever happens there will always be someone there waiting for them.

e)

If someone was a Christian and they got married is would be an incredibly important part of their life. Marriage is sometimes described as a state of life and this is regarded as hugely important for all Christians. God intended marriage to be forever, this is reinforced by the words of Jesus said at the marriage service ¡§What God has joined, man should not separate.¡¨ The basis of marriage should be love, the same love as the love for the church and for God. When children are created there are also ideals involved; God created the family and he is the father of it. The parents are supposed to be responsible for the morals and the religion of the children and these are very important. The New Testament and the Old Testament both stress the importance of discipline, when bringing up children, very much. They would have to think about taking their children to church every weekend (if they went to church) because this could ultimately decide whether they would be religious or not. The parents would have a lot of decision making when it comes to religion but it is ultimately up to the parents but whether they are religious would alter their decisions quite a bit.

J D Lea-Wilson

RELIGIOUS STUDIES 68108/

COURSEWORK ASSIGNMENT 2

CHURCHES

RS3

3. a)

The church has three main functions, in order of importance: worship, fellowship and serving of others. Fellowship is very important because it brings a huge sense of well being. Also, Jesus himself worshipped in a synagogue along with many others so it can¡¦t be wrong to worship with other people. Jesus said Where two or three meet in my name, I am there, among them,¡¨ by this he doesn¡¦t mean when there is one person he is not there but he could mean that the more people there are together the stronger the presence and the faith is. Sometimes Christians are thought of as a huge body or one big family with Jesus as the head. As in all families something is definitely wrong if the members of this family don¡¦t communicate with each other. Christians and family members should talk and share things with each other ¡V this is a very important part of life. Also, Christians need each other to worship with and if one Christian doesn¡¦t need others to worship with that doesn¡¦t mean that others don¡¦t need him/her to worship with. On the other hand I can see why some Christians don¡¦t worship with others. They might think worship is a very personal, private thing ¡V just between them and God and no one else. They might just worship better and concentrate more by themselves. So whether Christians worship with others is completely up to them (it all comes down to personal preference). b)

Special buildings can help worship very much. It all depends on your personal view. Some people would rather have a very special place for worship ¡V like a church. In this special place decorations and banners can be put up. It could also be a community place. People might find it much easier to worship in a special place, which is customised, for maximum aid to worship. Some people think it is a good idea to build a church just for God ¡V this could be a form of worship. On the other hand I can see why some people would prefer to worship in simple place. They might feel that to worship God nothing special is actually needed ¡V just a presence of faith. They might not have enough money to build a church. I think that there is such a thing a holy place but only if you believe in one. A place cannot be holy if no one believe in it. Also, there must be a presence of faith in God. A strong community can build a holy place (the common church). c)

Christians from different denominations have different churches because they have different beliefs and in order to put these beliefs into practice they have different furniture, decoration etc. For example Roman Catholics believe that the sacraments are incredibly important so their churches are arranged around that. Another example could be the Baptist church. They believe that people should only be baptised when they know what¡¦s happening to them (not when they are babies but young adults or older). This means their church is built with a big font (called a baptistry) and that is the centre of their church. Also, the age of a church can decide what¡¦s in it. If it was built a long time ago then it could be more traditional with pews and confessionals (depending on the denomination), whereas if it was built recently it would have chairs and bright wallpaper. The Quaker denomination believes that it doesn¡¦t matter where you worship. As you can imagine this alters their church very much. Again, what is in the church all depends on the belief and attitudes of the denomination/person.

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