Interior Features of a Roman Catholic Church

Features present inside a Roman Catholic church and how they help worship.

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The Altar


A table-like structure, usually of a type of stone.

This is the place where the bread and wine are offered to God and are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ.

An altar is a place of sacrifice where praise is given to God.

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The Lectern


The place where the Word of God is proclaimed when readings from scripture take place.

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The Pulpit


A raised structure from which the priest preaches

In many churches this structure will be used as the lectern as well as the pulpit.

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The Tabernacle


It keeps the consecrated hosts that can be taken for the Communion for the sick.

It can also be a focus for private worship.

Many Roman Catholics like to pray quietly in front of the Blessed Sacrament because they believe that Christ is fully present in the consecrated host.

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The Sanctuary Lamp

A red lamp which is kept burning to show the Real Presence of Christ in the bread in the tabernacle.

It is a reminder to people of the continual love of God.

It shows strangers to the church where the Blessed Sacrament is kept reserved for private worship.

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The Baptismal Font


An item of church furniture which can be moved so that all those present can easily see a baptism when it takes place.

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Usually found around the church to help people to pray and to ask their favourite saint to intercede for them.

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The Stations of the Cross


14 plaques or carvings on the walls, representing the different events during the journey Jesus took to his Crucifixion.

They help people to pray.

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Stained Glass Windows


They brighten God's house and make it a place worthy of praising God.

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The Lady Altar


A side altar dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

This is usually a place of quiet, private prayer and it encourages Catholics to offer devotion to Mary.

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