Features of Churches- Places and Forms of Worship

HideShow resource information

Stations of the cross

  • A set of engravings/ pictures made of wood/ stone of the key scenes in trial+ death of Jesus

1) Jesus is condemned to death

2) Jesus is nailed to the cross

3) Jesus dies on the cross

1 of 19

Importance of the Stations of the Cross (6 marks)

1) Last hours- to re-enact the last hours of J's life+ reflect

2) The Passion- used as a way of retelling the story of the passion

3) Public/ Private- used for public/ private worship; led by the clergy or followed silently+ personally

4) Good Friday- Christians use them on Good Friday to remember J's journey to Calvary

5) Suffering+ sacrifice- to remember the suffering+ sacrifice of Jesus by praying+ meditating at each station

6) Pilgrimage- used as a way of performing your own 'pilgrimage' following in the footsteps of Christ

7) Spritual devotion- praying to the Stations of the Cross is a spiritual devotion used by some Christians, particularly during Lent

2 of 19

Holy Water Stoup-RC

  • Situated near the entrance of the Roman Catholic church
  • Close to the doors-a symbol of welcoming the person to be baptised into the faith
  • A small sink/ bowl built into the wall of the building+ is made of stone
  • Contains Holy Water- blessed by the parish priest
  • Followers enter/ exit the church-> pass by the holy water stoup+ dip their fingers into the water+ make a sign of the cross
  • Reminder that when they go in, they are entering into God's presence
  • Leave-> going back into the world as Christians
3 of 19

Crucifix- RC

  • A cross with an image of Jesus upon it
  • Reminds followers of J's sacrifice
  • Centrally placed behind the altar
  • Main focus during the services
4 of 19

Statues- RC

  • Of Jesus/ Virgin Mary
  • Remind believers of important people+ events but are also symbolic+ express key beliefs
  • Help understand who they were+ why they are important to Christianity
  • Mary- often shown with her hands outstreched, welcoming followers-> demonstrates her caring nature+ that the church welcomes everyone to become members of it
  • Sometimes she is holding the infant Jesus-> role as the mother of Jesus
  • Sometimes is pictured rising into heaven-> RCs believe that just like J, she ascended into heaven
  • Statues might be of the saints after whom the church is named
  • These saints might also appear in pictures/ stained glass, decorating the church
5 of 19


  • Decorated box set into the eastern wall at the end of the church
  • Contains the bread used in the Mass
  • Blessed bread is regarded as the body of Jesus-> this area is the most holy in the church
6 of 19

Orthodox Church

  • Right, true, traditional
  • Cruciform shape
  • Sanctuary- a special area considered holy+ separated off from the main part of the church by iconostasis
  • The sanctuary area contains the altar
  • Contains icons- two-dimensional images/ paintings decorated with gold leaf- appear to be lit up
  • Vividly colourful
  • Domes- rise above the iconostasis
  • Helps sound pass from the sanctuary into the nave+ reminds believers of God
  • No music
  • Chanting
  • No organ
  • Few chairs
  • Stand during services
7 of 19

The Baptist Church

  • Non-conformist- rejecting rules+ traditions
  • Baptistry- the area for the performing of baptisms; a pool covered+ situated near the front of the church; filled with water is used
  • Believer's baptism- people should only be baptised when they want to
  • Full immersion- the person if fully immersed in the water for a brief moment
  • Pulpit from which the minister who leads the services gives their speech
  • Lectern
  • No altar
  • Lord's Table where bread+ wine are placed
8 of 19

The Methodist Church

  • Simply decorated
  • Following a simple but religious life
  • Lord's Table
  • Pulpit
  • Lectern
  • Ministers perform baptisms+ Communion Services
  • Everyone is encouraged to take part in the services
9 of 19


  • Not a Church but Society
  • Meeting House
  • Friends
  • Chairs are organised so that they face each other
  • Table not used for bread+ wine
  • No Communion Service
  • Silence+ meditation
10 of 19

Why do different denominations have different ways

  • Each denomination has its own beliefs about how worship should take place
  • Jesus left very few instructions with his Disciples about how they should worship when he was no longer with them
11 of 19

Ways in which the place of worship can be used by

  • Bible reading+ services
  • Taking part in the Eucharist in which bread+ wine are shared amongst the congregation
  • Music+ singing+ dancing- songs express beliefs about God; thanksgiving; praise
  • Make 'the sign of the cross'- reminder of J's death
  • Kneeling- sign of respect
  • Shaking hands- 'a sign of peace'- believers are a part of the Christian community+ care for each other
  • Silence+ meditation- contemplate+ reflect
  • Prayer
  • Sundary services
12 of 19

Importance of Eucharist (6 marks)

1) Last Supper- reminds Christians of the Last Supper before J's crucifixion

2) Sacrifice- reminds of J's sacrifice on the cross

3) Institution- Jesus instituted Eucharist at the Last Supper when He told his Disciples:

"Do this in remebrance of me" (Acts 20:7)

4) Symbolically/ literally- the giving of his body+ blood is symbolised by the bread+ wine+ actually becomes his body- trabsubstantiation; or he is spiritually present in the church

5) Death+ resurrection- remember J's death+ resurrection through taking part in the Eucharist

6) Connection- allows Christians to connect with God-> builds a bridge between God+ humans

7) Meal- shared by all Christians showing commitment+ the importance of the Christian community


13 of 19

Why attending Sunday Services is important to Chri

1) Time for family+ rest+ worship- Sunday is seen as a day for rest, even though Christians don't observe the Sabbath

2) Commemoration- weekly commemoration of Jesus's resurrection. From the very beginning of the early church, Christians gathered on the 1st day of the week to break bread.

"On the 1st day of the week we came together to break bread" (Acts 20:7)

Sunday is the holy day of Christianity+ therefore, the most important day of worship.

3) Sunday is the main day of the week for Christians to partake in the Eucharist. Christians believe that they should gather to worship+ the Sunday service is the opportunity to do so.

"For where 2 or 3 come together in my name, there I am with them" (Matthew 18:20)

Importance of Eucharist:

-Jesus instituted it

-Remember the Last Supper

14 of 19

Importance of the Sunday Services

-Reminder of the sacrifice on the cross

4) Sunday services allow Christians to gather together to worship God+ express their beliefs. Allow Christians to worship God as a community+ grow in their faith through the sermon+ Bible teachings. An opportunity for families to worship together outside the restrains of the work+ school.

15 of 19


  • A way in which Christians try to communicate with God: internal convo with God; spoken prayer; silent
  • Aims to develop a personal relationship with God


1) Thanksgiving

2) Praise God- adoration

3) Say sorry- confession

4) To ask for God's help to give you strength- Supplication

To ask for intervention in the world, e.g. if someone is ill- Intercession

16 of 19

Do Christians need a special place to worship?- Ye


  • A building gives a place where Christians can assemble+ share their faith. The centre of the community. Christianity isn't a solitary religion but a community one. Every human community has special buildings that are a physical statement of the community.
  • A special building can aid worship with its design, features+ location. E.g. the cruciform design of a church reminds Christians of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.
  • Services like Eucharist aren't available in private worship. Church leaders need a place to perform services, e.g. baptisms, marriages, funerals, etc. The church provides services, e.g. clubs+ activities, Sunday School, etc.
  • Jesus did attend the synagogue+ the Temple-> supported organised public worship.
  • The church building is a centre of the Christian msision- helping the homeless+ needy-> money raised by churches goes to charitable causes
  • The church is also a place of solitude, contemplation+ private worship


17 of 19



  • The church today is used more for services than worship
  • Christians worship an invisible God who is everwhere+ can be worshipped everywhere
  • Buildings are a waste of money that could be spent on helping the poor
  • Your faith is in your heart, you should not display it
  • Jesus himself didn't spend a lot of time in a religious building. He did visit the synagogue+ the Temple, but spend a lot of time preaching outside, e.g. by the Sea of Galilee.
  • Jesus didn't approve of how the Temple had become a place of commerce rather than a place of worship.
  • The word "church" originally means the group of people, not the building-> the Christian Church can exist without a particular place of worship.
  • Many Christians nowadays meet in their homes or shared buildings to worship-> they don't need a church building
  • Private worship allows you to concentrate on God more, giving you time for reflection on you life+ meditation- no distractions
18 of 19

Importance of religious leaders in worship (12 mar

1) Services- Anglican priests lead worship+ services (marriages, funerals, Eucharist, etc.)+ prayers+ preach the sermon

2) The Pope is God's divine representative on Earth- appointed by Him

3) Order of liturgy- ensure that worship is orderly+ prevents groups in the congregation taking control

4) Guide- have been trained+ ordained beforehand-> the church has accepted them+ given them the right to guide worship in a traditional way. Lead the congregation through the Holy Communion service in a way that is appropriate to the denomination's view of the Holy Communion in a set pattern.

5) Valuable members of the community- visit the sick+ take part in charity events to raise money for the community. Missionary work- help those in need.

6) Tell the congregation about Christian beliefs+ way of life. They preach about the right Christian lifestyle+ J's teachings.

7) Plan a coherent service- help focus the attention of the worshippers by planning a coherent service. E.g. by organising other members of the congregation to take part in the service

8) Representatives- of the church in an area+ preside over the church services in that area.

9) Evangelisation- promote the church+ tell everyone about their religion+ beliefs to attract more followers.


19 of 19




Excellent, helpful.

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Christianity resources »