1.4.1 Architecture of a Catholic Chruch

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  • ARCHITECTURE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
    • SOWA
      • The Catechism says that people of God should build a church for worship wherever the authorities allow it.
      • The Catechism says that a church is a house of prayer in which the Eucharist is celebrated and reserved, where the faithful assemble, and where Jesus Christ is worshipped.
    • HOW THE FEATURES REFLECT BELIEF
      • The ALTAR reflects the belief that the priest offers Mass on the altar as a symbol of Christ offering himself as a sacrifice to God on the Cross.
      • The CANDLES reflect the belief that Jesus is the light of the world.
      • The TABERNACLE reflects the belief that Jesus is really present in the blessed sacrament.
      • The BAPTISMAL FONT at the entrance of the Church reflects the belief that baptism is what makes a person a member of the Church.
      • The LECTERN reflects the belief that faith and truth come from the Bible and the teaching of the Church.
      • The SACRED HEART symbolises the eternal fire of God's love in Christ.
    • DIFFERENT BELIEFS
      • HOW DOES IT HELP WORSHIP
        • The Altar is always at the centre of the church building as it is here that the Eucharistic prayer is said. This helps worship as it helps us to put the Eucharist at the centre of our worship and our lives.
        • The Catechism describes the church as a 'house of prayer'. The inclusion of features such as the Lady Chapel in the design of the Church helps facilitate prayer.
        • The sanctuary area is a holy space which is separate to the nave. When the priest brings the bread and wine from the sanctuary to the people it is a reminder of how much God loves us as he chooses to come to his people.
      • IT IS NOT NEEDED TO AID BELIEF
        • Some people may say that if the priest were to sit with the congregation, rather than the sanctuary, it may draw people further into the mysteries of mass.
        • Some people may argue that masses can be held anywhere. For some people masses held outside, for example on pilgrimages, may be the most memorable and powerful, and therefore a designed church is not required.
    • DESIGN FEATURES
      • NAVE: where worshippers sit.
      • NARTHEX: the entrance to the church where people can gather before or after mass.
      • SANCTUARY: the sacred space where the altar is kept.
      • FACES EAST:  to symbolise Jesus' resurrection.
      • CRUCIFORM SHAPE: to symbolise the crucifixion and sacrifice of Jesus.
      • STAINED GALSS WINDOWS: tell stories from the Bible.

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