RS - Living the christian life

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Christian Worship

Christians worship God in order to thank him for his love, ask for forgiveness for their sins and to try to understand what God wants from them.

Liturgical Worship: When Christians worship according to a set pattern on a regular basis. There will be set prayers and readings, often using the Book of Common Prayer- "we should at all times, and all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord."

Non-liturgical Worship: Less formal; does not follow a set pattern and can involve more unscripted or improvised forms of worship.

Informal worship: :usually done by families at home when saying grace for meals etc.Many Pentecostal churches also use informal worship as it is suitable for families and makes it more fun. Prayers are more spontaneous as believer say that they are led by the Holy Spirit which chooses words for them.

Private worship: it gives Christians a chance to spend time alone with God and completely connect. Most Christians will use the Bible or read the Psalms.  

Public worship helps Christians to achieve a deeper understanding of the Bible, the life of Jesus and Christian teachings. It also enables those who receive Holy Communion to welcome Jesus into their hearts.

 

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Different Christian denominations worship in diffe

Anglicans, Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians have a set form of worship. It is a formal ritual based on the sacraments, particularly Holy Communion. This type of worship is called liturgical worship and they believe it is best because:

  • Worshipping with set prayers helps them to worship god in a familiar way so that its clear what their homage is clearly expressed.
  • Set prayers are ancient and helps Christians to connect with their heritage.
  • Liturgical worship makes worships more important than someone lese leading the worship. 

Other Christian churches practise non-liturgical worship, eg Quakers and most protestants . This kind of worship has no set form and often does not involve Holy Communion. They prefer this because:

  • Worships comes from peoples own feelings.
  • More inclusive and people are allowed to express there personal identity ie. Gospel music.
  • Connects worship to the world of today.
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Sacraments

Sacrament: a rite of passage or ceremony where the grace and power of God is received. They are Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the sick, Marriage and Holy orders.

Views:

Catholics and orthodox Christians recognise seven sacraments. Essential in their life because:

  • Through sacraments they receive grace and blessing from God.
  • Makes them stronger in faith
  • Brings them Closer to God.

Protestants recognise two – baptism and holy communion.

SOWA - The 39 Articles: they state that the sacraments are important as signs of God's grace and evidence of being a Christian. "Sacraments ordained by of Christ be not only badges or tokens..."

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Sacrament of baptism

  •  recognized by protestants
  • symbolizes admission into Christian church and the wash away of sins

Infant baptism: Most Christian groups have a ceremony to welcome a baby into the faith-a christening or baptism. The baby is baptised in the belief that it will cleanse the child from original sin. Parents and godparents make promises on behalf of the child. A lighted candle is given to represent the light of Jesus.

Important for Catholics because:

  • Necessary to receive salvation
  • Member of the church
  • Baptism is publicly showing that the child is now Christians and will live like one
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Sacrament of baptism 2

Adult/believers baptism: baptist christiansprefer adult baptism as they feel only an adult can fully make the choice of belonging to the Church. Each candidate is asked questions about their faith and makes a personal testimony on why they want to become a Christian. They are baptised through full immersion.

Why important:

Signifies the end of their old life and being born again to the new life in Christ

Believe that in baptism, god’s presence and blessing is upon them

Personal commitment of faith to the lord

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Sacrament of the Eucharist

The Eucharist: It is a re-enactment of the Last Supper. The bread represents the body of Jesus and the wine his blood. Catholics call it Mass, CofE calls it Eucharist and the Baptists call it The Lord's Supper. Catholics believe in transubstantiation-the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus. Protestants believe it to be symbolic.

  • recognized by protestant
  • Consubstantiation- Jesus is spiritually present in the bread/wine.
  • Transubstantiation - The bread and wine IS Jesus

It is Important to Catholics because:

  • The sacrament is not symbolic of the body and blood of Jesus, it is his body and blood. They believe this because The Catechism of the Catholic Church strongly says “Real Presence" of Jesus' body in the Eucharist. Therefore, during mass, Jesus is there with them.
  • Celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and that they will inherit eternal life
  • Mass created by Jesus and he commanded his disciples to do mass in his memory -must obey Jesus.
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Eucharist in the Methodist church

Methodists have mostly the same beliefs as the Christian church. Known as holy communion in the Methodist church and it is held once a month, but it isn’t compulsory. They believe sacrament is to:

  • General confessions of sins.
  • Remembrance of the last supper
  • Sharing the bread and wine. Drink is non-alcoholic and drunk from individual glasses.

Importance:

  • Remembrance of the last supper and of gods mercy. Symbols of the presence of god.
  • Gives spiritual nourishment – filling them with gods grace
  • Unity to Methodists as they share the body of Christ and spread peace.
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The nature and purpose of prayer

Purpose: 1. to get closer to God and communicate with him. 2. to praise God and thank him for what he's done. 3. to ask for God's help. 4. to apologise when someone feels they have done something wrong. 

1.      Set prayers: used in liturgical worship. Some Christians have a prayer book that is used in their Sunday services or worship. Many prayers are to confess sins or help say thank you to god - SOWA “to give thanks and prayers” Thanksgiving 

The Lord's Prayer: used in personal contacts with god - "Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name..." 

2. Informal prayer: When people pray by themselves privately so in personal relationship with God. It can include praying silently or aloud. 

3. The Lord's Prayer: The most famous prayer, which it is believed Jesus taught to his followers. It contains many key Christian beliefs about God. It expresses adoration, confession and supplication to god.

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Why Christians pray......

There are many kinds of prayer so that Christians can help all, including:

adoration - praising God for his greatness and admitting dependence on him

confession - owning up to sin and asking for God's mercy and forgiveness

thanksgiving - thanking God for his many blessings, eg health or children

petition - asking God for something, eg healing, courage or wisdom

intercession - asking God to help others who need it, eg the sick, poor, those suffering in war

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Pilgrimage

History: "Every year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of Passover." -Christian pilgrimage has its roots in Jewish pilgrimage. It was first seen when early Christians began to visit places related to Jesus, e.g. Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Other popular sites are those with Saints associated with them or where visions supposedly occurred. 

Why the Christians go on Pilgrimage:

Helps them in their search for god

To become closer to god

Adds discipline to Christians spiritual life – get up and do something

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Where.....

 Jerusalem: Jesus celebrated the Last Supper, was arrested, crucified and resurrected in Jerusalem. They think about Jesus' sacrifice in dying for the sins of humanity.

Iona: Island off the coast of Scotland is considered to be sacred as many saints lived there. They spend time there in prayer and reflection.

Taize: In central France-join the monastic order or to experience and share in the community's way of life. Brings together Catholics and Protestants to spend time in meditation, prayer and silence.

Walsingham: 1061, a woman in Walsingham in Norfolk received a vision of the Virgin Mary, who showed her Jesus' home in Nazareth. Today, it is used for prayer to Jesus.

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Conclusion...

Protestants are critical of pilgrimages as emphasising “special places” is wrong because believers can encounter god anywhere. Also, dislike relics of saints as they believe only god should be treated with deep respect. They will only visit holy places like Jerusalem but won’t go to Walsingham.

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Christmas

Christmas: celebrates the incarnation and birth of Jesus-25th December. Cards and presents are given, houses are decorated, and special services are held e.g. Midnight Mass. Carols are sung and Nativity plays put on. Families share a special meal and attend a special service on Christmas Day.

Many Christians express the meaning of Christmas by helping others and sharing with them.

SOWA - "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given."

Importance:

  • Celebration of the incarnation- god became man as Jesus. Without his birth Christianity wouldn’t exist.
  • Through incarnation the power of sin has been cancelled so now it is possible for humans to have a full relationship with god.
  • Celebrating his birth Christians feel connected with Christians all over the world as they all share a common faith.
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Holy week

Holy week:  remembers the crucifixion celebrates the resurrection of Jesus

  •  Palm Sunday – Jesus arrives at the Jerusalem on a donkey, greeted by huge crowds laying down palm trees.
  • Holy Monday- Mary anointing Jesus with oil and Bethany as a sign of gods approval.
  • Holy Tuesday – Jesus predicts that Judas will betray him
  • Holy Wednesday – Judas betrays Jesus with high priest
  • Maundy Thursday – Jesus washes disciples feet and last supper
  • Good Friday – Jesus on cross – crucifixion
  • Holy Saturday -Jesus goes to hell and preaches to the dead.

Special services are held. Hot cross buns may be eaten to remind people of Jesus' death on the cross. Easter eggs represent the empty tomb of Jesus after his resurrection.

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Significance...

Holy week is the last week of Lent, and it commemorates the last week of Jesus' life.

SOWA - "The one who believes in me will live, even though they die."

SOWa - "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son,"

Reminds Christians of salvation brought by Jesus – death for humans sins

Plasm Sunday reminds Christians of that Jesus is the messiah – lay down leaves like a god

Maundy Thursday reminds them of importance of the eucharist – washing feet and to love each other

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Easter

Easter Sunday is the culmination of Holy Week. Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most important Christian festival, and the one celebrated with the greatest joy.

Significance:

  • Celebrates resurrection of Christ which proves identify of Jesus – human and divine which he taught in the Nicene creeds.
  • Easter celebrates eternal life for those who follow Jesus teachings.
  • Assures Christians that Jesus isn’t dead (resurrected) always with Christians, in church and with them.
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Future of the church

Church growth: the church has responded to the changing nature of society by trying to unite the people and bring them to the faith. Education programmes, charity and missionary work attempt to bring Christianity to all people.

Missionary and evangelical work: A missionary is a person who is sent out on a religious mission, especially to promote Christianity in foreign places. Evangelical work refers to the spreading of faith by missionaries. Christians who undertake missionary work are sent into an area to share their faith and the message of the Bible, and to provide a service to others.

History-William Carey. "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."

 

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Different views about importance of this missionar

Most conservative and evangelical Christians believe it is very important because:

  • Believe they should share their faith out of love as that’s the gods plans for Christians.
  • Jesus told Christians that their duty was to preach gospels to all nations.

Most liberal christians believe it is no longer neccessary becasue:

  • Converting people to other religions is discriminatory against those who don’t have the same faith as you.
  • Trying to convert their faith because you think yours is right and there’s is wrong is extremely offensive.
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The Church in the local community

Role and importance of the church community: 1. unites the local community. 2. provides support and comfort when needed. 3. can give advice from sources of authority, such as the minister of the vicar. 4. gives identity and belonging to people in a community. SOWA - "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."

How the local church community helps:

  • Centre for Christian identity: The local church will organise events to bring people together in the community and create a sense of Christian identity: clubs for children, such as Sunday school or youth groups; social groups, such as coffee mornings to create social opportunities for Christians; Bible study groups. 
  • Ecumenism: tries to break down barriers between different Christian denominations, reminding all Christians that they are followers of God and believe in Jesus.
  • Outreach work: Many Christians choose either to volunteer or to work in positions that involve them going out into the local community.
  • Worship through living practices: the local church community will celebrate special events, including events such as Christmas and Easter and rites of passage.
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The worldwide Church

Importance of the worldwide Church: 1. Gives a global identity to Christians. 2. Promotes unity. 3. Provides support when needed. 4. Shows how Christian teachings can be put into action globally.  "Love one another."

Reconciliation and facing persecution: Christians sometimes face persecution, including verbal and physical abuse. Christians believe they should work to overcome persecution and break down barriers. Some Christians support those being persecuted, for example by educating people about Christianity. The worldwide church emphasises the shared nature of faith to unite all Christians.

Christian teachings about charity: 1. "Love your neighbour as yourself."-Christianity teaches compassion. 2. Jesus taught about helping others. 3. "God created mankind in his own image."-we should all have equality and dignity. 4. Christians believe they will be accountable to God for their actions in this life.

Christian Aid: A Christian charity that works globally to end poverty. It campaigns against injustice and seeks to change government policy.

Divergent Christian attitudes to charity: Some Christians will tithe-giving a set percentage of their salary each month to charity. Others believe a person should give what they can afford and that Christian teachings about charity teach the importance of piety (being devoted to Christianity) and helping others in any way possible.  

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