Christianity 2

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  • Created by: lucy_wils
  • Created on: 17-04-14 15:38

Key Features of a Catholic Church

Stations of the Cross: Traditional prayer at each station - more meaningful through repetition

Confessional: Confession and absoloution given by the priest, restoring the relationship between the individual and God through repentance, absoloution and satisfaction

Font: Used in baptism to perform the first sacrament

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Key Features of an Orthodox Church

Dome: Heavens stretching over the earth revealing that in the KofG and in Church, 'Christ unites all things in himself, things in Heaven and things on earth'

Main Enterance: (East - west) Enter through the West representing the darkness of sin and leave through the East representing the light of truth

Icons: Prostrate themselves infront of them out of respect for what is represented within them

Interior is divided into three parts:

  • NARTHEX: Represents this world in which mankind is called to repentance
  • NAVE: The place of the assembled Church, which includes both the living and departed
  • SANCTUARY: Seperated from NAVE by ICONSTASIS, set aside for those with a special function during the divine services
  • ICONSTASIS: Central feature of the building and is covered with icons (images of Jesus, Mary, the annunciation and scenes from the last supper) Represents the unbridgeable gap that seperates God and the people
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Orthodox Church - In the Iconstasis

The Royal Doors: The Divine Liturgy is regarded as a mystery and must not be viewed directly by the congregation, so at the climax of the Liturgy these doors are swung open to symbolise Jesus breakign the barrier seperating God and man

The Holy Table/Altar: Found behind the Royal Doors and is where the bread and wine are consecrated; represnting the point of meeting and union with God and his Kingdom

The Bishop's Throne: The Bishop is head of the Church and represents Jesus Christ

The Floor: This World

The Ceiling: Heaven

Christ the Pantocrator: The all-ruling Christ, represents Christ looking down from Heaven upon the assembled congregation, reminding them of His presence in the whole universe

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Key Features of CofE

Altar: Focal point on the east wall. Here the bread and wine are blessed during the Eucharist, as a reminder of Jesus' sacrifice

Pulpit: For preaching the 'word of God'

Lectern: Bible is placed on this and readings take place here. Might be in the shape of an eagle to represent God's word being transported throughout the world

Font: Used in baptism. It may be at the entrance to symbolise entry into the Church (community)

Stained Glass Windows: Traditionally to focus the minds of the believer

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Key Features of a Baptist

Bapistry: Place of adult baptism which can take the form of a large Baptism pool

Pulpit: Much emphasis is placed on teaching and preaching the word of God. The person leading the service stands here to read from the Bible, and explain is meaning in the sermon.

Communion Table: Emphasis placed on sharign of the Lord's Supper. Usually an ordinary loaf of bread is used, and the wine is drunk from little individual glasses - people stay in their seats adn pass the bread and wine from one person to the next

Platform: For musicians and singers (an important aspect)

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Symbols

CROSS: importance of death and ressurection

CRUCIFIX: importance of suffering and death

ALTAR: idea of sacrificial nature of death

DOVE: representing Holy spirit

CANDLES: light of presence of God

BAPISTRY: belief about baptism by immersion

FONT: belief about infant baptism

PULPIT: beliefs about importace of Bible and preaching

ORGAN: beliefs about importance of music in worship

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Do Christians need Special Buildings?

Yes:

  • Honour God's greatness
  • Feel His presence in the atmosphere created - House of God
  • Jesus did attend the synagogue and the Temple so he supported public worship
  • The church today is the centre of the community and more than just for services
  • The church building also helps the homeless and needy
  • Money raised by church goes to charitable casues
  • Can also be a place of solitude, contemplation and private worship

No:

  • Fear distractions mgiht cause believers to break the second commandment
  • God is available in all places
  • Jesus spent most of the time teaching outside, e.g. Se of Galilee
  • Jesus did not approve that the Temple had become a place of commerce rather than worship
  • Church originally meant the group of people so can exist without buildings
  • Many Christians meet in their own homes; do not need place of worhsip
  • Money spent on churches could be put to much better use, e.g. poor and homeless
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Church used by the Community

  • Precious resource that plays a vital role in communities
  • Contributes to social cohesion, education and regeneration
  • Building might be used for cultural activities, such as exhibitions, drama performances, rehearsals and concerts
  • May host a cafe, post office, farmers market, shops or cyber cafe
  • Or community services like mother and toddler groups, play groups, drop ins for youth groups or elderly people
  • Important resources for school visits and toursim
  • Churches and their extended uses can tackle rural exclusion, enhance the quality of life and improving social cohersion
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Eucharist

Worship: To praise, adore and glorify God

Eucharist:

  • Means thanksgiving
  • Break bread because Jesus commaded to do as he did
  • We are brought close to Jesus' own action
  • 'Do this in rememberance of me' 
  • At the Last Supper, Jesus and his followers were celebrating passover
  • Originally passiover but Jesus transformed the meal to mark the salvation from sin and death instead of from slavery, and no lambs were to be sacrificed as Jesus himself was slain

RC: Transubstantiation the bread and wine become the flesh and blood of Jesus. Celebrating mass is the most important - it is the heart of the faith. 

Protestants: Reject this belief, think it is metaphorical 

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Private Prayer

ADORATION: Intense love

CONFESSION: Facing one's sins and asking for forgiveness

THANKSGIVING: A sense of gratitude

INTERCESSION: Asking on behlaf of somebody else

Christians use a umber of objects to help them pray, e.g. rosary beds, statues, the bible, cross, candles, news headlines and icons. However, it is important to rememeber that these do not in themselves become the object of worship.

  • Prayer is a means of recieving God's grace
  • In saying prayers Christians can achieve a snese of sharing problems with God
  • Prayer can provide strength to overcome fear and suffering
  • Prayer is not just for one's own benefit
  • In times of need Jesus prayed but this did not mean he ignored the plight of others
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The Clergy

  • Bishop: in charge of the diocese
  • Priests: in charge of the parish
  • Deacons: one who intends to become a priest - acts as an assistant

Examples of Priest's work

  • Baptise adn teach
  • Seek the lost
  • Pardon the penitant sinner
  • Bless our homes
  • Pray for the afflicted
  • Comfort mourners
  • Strengthen us in our last hour
  • Commend our souls
  • Visit the community
  • Organisations
  • Fund raising
  • Counselling 
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Why are religious leaders so important in Christia

RC: God's special person. Catholic priests cannot marry - they take a vow of celibacy and only men can be ordained. 

  • Responsible for the parish and the day to day running of their church
  • Bring the faith and community together
  • Ensure that services of worship are performed according to the traditions and belief of their denomination 
  • Responsible for life event ceremonies
  • Ensure festivals are celebrated properly e.g. easter and christmas
  • Many evangelise or work as missionaries
  • Lead the service of the Eucharist
  • Important in the community for thier work with those who are sick or house-bound
  • Visits hospitals, schools and prisons to lead services or give them advice
  • Some leaders organise pilgrimaages
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Baptism

  • Act of initiation into the Christian Church. This can be infant (RC and CofE) or following a public declaration of faith (Baptist)
  • Infant Baptism is followed by confirmation in young adulthood
  • Christins are commanded to baptise others in Mt 28:19
  • All Curches use the Trinitarian formula 'I baptise you in the mame of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'
  • RC: Enterance into a new life

Symbols in Baptism:

  • Water is used because it is a symbol of new life
  • Wearing White symbolises purity and innocence but also the rejection of sin
  • The Baptismal Candle symbolises Jesus and how he is the 'light of the world.' 
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Confirmation

  • Confirming the promise made on thier behalf at Infant Baptism
  • It is a Bishop who confirms the candidate
  • The ceremony may be followed by Mass (RC)
  • Or in the CofE the young person may now recieve Communion

RC: It is the completion of the sacraments of initiation. 

CofE: Only recognises Baptism and the Eucharist as these were the only ones instituted by God

Some Christians do not recognise the need for sacraments, e.g. Quakers for God's grace is available to all adn his spirit is in all people all the time. 

Christians believe that Confirmation is a sacrament:

  • Sacrament is a rite or ceremony through which God bestows his blessing
  • In Confirmation the Bishop lays hand on the head of the candidate as a symbol of God's grace in bestowing the Holy Spirit on the person
  • Through this act the person becomes a full memeber of the 'body of Christ' - the Church
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Marriage

  • Christian teaching set a high value on marriage
  • New Testament suggests that the union of man and woman reflects the union of Christ with the Church
  • Jesus taught that from creation, it has been God's purpose that marriage should be life long and intimate
  • Jesus was opposed to divorce except for adultery

COUPLES WHO ARE NOT REGULAR CHURCH GOERS MARRYING IN CHURCH:

  • Motives - do they want God's blessing or do they want it to have a nice atmosphere?
  • Judging others - is it so that their family won't judge them if they dont
  • How far one believes marriage is a sacrament
  • Should anyone be denied the possibilites of recieving God's blessing?

SHOULD MARRIED COUPLES SHARE EACHOTHERS BELIEF?

  • Pre marital discussion and should have potential difficulties worked out
  • Tolerance and mutual respect
  • Family life reflecting Christian morals and values
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The Nurture of the Young and the Role of the Famil

  • Having children and bringing them up is a central pupose of marriage
  • The family is part of God's plan for caring for individuals: the young are nurtured, elderly cared for
  • Moral values are taught and religious beliefs passed on and encouraged
  • RC Christians must promise to bring their Children up as Catholics
  • In the RC marriage service the place of children is firmly established
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Funeral Service

  • Passing of physical life to spiritual life
  • Christian service reflects on the death being an event in life, for some there is a sense of 'going home'
  • Readings and prayers are then chosen to focus on belief in the resurrection
  • Reminder of Christ's promise 'I am the resurrection'
  • Eulogy- celebrates the life and contribution of the deceased
  • Comittal includes the words 'earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust'

Christian Attitudes to Death:

  • Forgiveness of sins - In Christ believers are assured of forgiveness, therefore they should have no fear of death since heaven is assured
  • Resurrection of the body - The dead shall be raised to life, given new heavely body (comfort)
  • Life everlasting - those who in Christ will live with Him in paradise. Believers will welcome death as beign a gateway to meeting saviour and Lord
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Christian Belief in Life after Death

  • Just as God raised Jesus, so too He will raise them at the end of time so no more death
  • Some believe that the new resurrected life will give them a new, re-created body that will live as now but without sin
  • Others prefer to think about the immortality of the 'soul' but beyond this is a mystery
  • There is no reincarnation only life with God
  • Many Christians (particularly RC) believe in a state called Purgatory which is time after death during which the soil is purified and, with the aid of prayers by saints, eventually come into God's presence 
  • Those who die hating God/ loving evil will suffer eternally in hell
  • RC say that the 'principal of pain of hell is eternal seperation from God'
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Charity and Concern for Others

  • Christianity is about acting on beliefs and trying to make the world better and happier 
  • Basis of action is love
  • Christian love (AGAPE) includes charity, tolerance, and respect towards all people
  • The response to love can be corporate or individual
  • Help is often practical with individuals perhaps volunteering their services
  • Mother Teresa dedicated her life to serving God 
  • People who become nuns or priests are said to have a vocation
  • Some clergy work in the world, serving more practical needs of the community or some live in monastries helping through prayer and contemplation
  • Other Catholic Charities such as CAFOD and Christian Aid put love into action by relieving hardship, suffering and poverty 
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CAFOD in detail

Believe that all human beings have a right to dignity and respect

The resources are a gift to be shared equally by all men and women, whatever their race, nationality or religion

They act based on principles of compassion, solidarity, stewardship and hope

They draw inspiration from scripture, the Church's social teaching adn the experiences and hopes of the poor

Their mission is to promote human development and social justice in witness to Christian faith and Gospel values

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Sacred Writings

Bible: 

  • Divided into two parts - Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) and New Testament
  • Old Testament in Hebrew, New Testament in Greek originally
  • 66 books in total copiled over a period of time
  • Contains different types of literature: history, prophecy, law, poems, letters and Apocalyptic

Gospels: Good News

Epistles/Letters: Responses to problems and queries within the early communities

Public Worship: Sermons, Readings, Psalms for singing, Seasonal themes placed on lectern and New Testament honoured in some rituals e.g. Gospels processed in Orthodox Church

Private Worship: Private study for education and meditation, simple reading since it is God's word, stimulus for some action, guidance, comfort and challenge 

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Importance of the Bible to Christians

  • Word of God therefore a guide on how Christians should live their life
  • Might be seen as God communicating with the reader
  • Source of knowledge for Christians, teaches them about life during the times of the Old Testament and the Early Church
  • Source of support to Christians when they have problems or at times of distress
  • Can be used for public, family and private worship as a focus for ditation, contemplation and an inspiration for prayer
  • Can be used for study, individually or in groups, so that Christians can build their knowledge and understanding of God
  • Source of authority for life events adn festivals

Demonstrated importance:

  • Used in sermons
  • Place on the lectern
  • Christians often stand for reading of the Gospel
  • Regarded as a revelation from God
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The Apocrypha "Hidden or Secret"

Refers to the texts which are left out of officially sanctioned versions of the Bible

It refers to those books whose origin was doubtful or unknown

Books were rejected because no Hebrew version of these texts could be found, even though they were present in the Greek Old Testament

Eventually were accepted by the Chruch, until the Reformation when Protestants rejected the books as lacking divine authority 

Anglican Church: May be read for an example of life and instruction of manner but the Church do not apply them to establish any doctrine

All other Protestant Churches in Britian ignore them

Catholic bible does include the Apocrypha

Orthodox Christians also accept the Apocryhpa

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Sunday

Christians have their day of rest because:

  • Jews Sabbath is the day before
  • God rested on the seventh day
  • Jesus rose on the first day 
  • Historically, it was a distinguishing mark between Christians adn Jews in Roman Empire trials

RC: Duty on Sunday is to go to Church - Christ is made present

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