• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A02 RE Coursework - Churches

Free essay example:

AO2

The altar is the table on which the sacrifice of the mass is offered and is treated with the utmost respect by the church. They represent the table used by Christ at the last supper and are centrally located so that everyone can see them. The altars contain some relics of the saints and have five crosses cut into it representing Christ’s five wounds. A quote from the encyclopedia of Catholicism says “altars are accorded the honours due a symbol of Christ’s presence” and it says of the altar “…is to be free standing, centrally located, and within the visible and audible range of every member of the worshipping community”. The altar is dressed with cloths and candles to show reverence for what happened to it.

The Stations of the Cross are 14 pictures arranged around the edges of the church. They are there to remind us of the events that occurred to Jesus, from his arrest to his death on the cross. They are used during lent in the special service called stations. The encyclopedia of Catholicism says of the Stations of the Cross, “its origins are ultimately traceable to pilgrims visiting various sites in Jerusalem associated with Christ’s suffering and death”.

Statues and stained glass windows are usually arranged around the sides or in the chapels of the church. Their purpose is to remind worshippers of the important events in the life of Jesus, the church and the saints. They can be used in worship, for example the may procession with Mary’s statue, or on saints feast days when theirs are used. The encyclopaedia of Catholicism says “fashioned as expressions of faith, they are honoured by the faithful because they represent persons who share God’s holiness”.

The tabernacle represents the temple of God; it’s the place where the Blessed Sacrament is stored after communion. Next to it is the sanctuary lamp (red candle) when this is lit it shows people the Blessed Sacrament is present & that they therefore should behave with respect-Genuflect. Church rules state the tabernacle has to be visible & made from precious metals to hold the body of Jesus. It is used in worship for exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The encyclopaedia of Catholicism says “the tabernacle is placed in a significant location, conspicuous and conducive to prayer”.

Candles represent Jesus, the light of the world. Votive candles are used as signs of our individual prayers up to God. The paschal candle represents the resurrection of Jesus and is marked with the Greek Alpha & Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet to show us that Jesus is the beginning and the end. The encyclopaedia of Catholicism says about candles “…symbol of divine light, purity and holiness” and the votive candles  “… is seen as a way of prolonging prayer”.

The lectern is at the front of the church & to the side of the altar and should be immovable to show that God’s word does not move. It is often ornate in protestant churches and an eagle is often used to show the majesty of God’s word. It is used in worship as the place where the bible readings or other readings are delivered.The encyclopaedia of Catholicism says “”or ambo, the place from which the word is proclaimed”.

The pulpit is at the front of the church and to the side of the Altar. It is often a raised feature so that the priest is raised and therefore very visible. It is used in worship for the priest to deliver his sermon.

The crucifix is a cross with a representation of Jesus' body.It is aprincipal symbol of the Christian religion. It is primarily used in the Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox Churches and emphasizes Christ's sacrifice— his death by crucifixion. It is usually at the front and centre of the church and there can be others, in side chapels etc. Some figures on the cross will be off Christ the king, these are used to focus on the belief that he rose again. The encyclopedia of Catholicism says “a cross that bears the image of the crucified Christ, a common devotional; object in catholic churches and households”.

In modern churches Baptismal fonts are placed at the back of the church, in older churches at the front & side. They are used in worship for the sacrament of baptism & at the Easter vigil. It reminds us of the baptism of Jesus & that baptism leads us to eternal life. The encyclopaedia of Catholicism says “by their shape, size or other visual feature, they depict symbolic aspects of the sacrament, e.g. death and resurrection, water and new life”.

The water stoup is usually in the entrance of the church and is used to spiritually cleanse someone before they enter the church. The encyclopaedia of Catholicism says “is therefore used to express the person’s wish to be spiritually clean before entering the church building”.

The church is a building used for prayer, worship, or other public religious services. A common architecture for churches is the shape of a cross. These churches also often have a dome or other large vaulted space in the interior to represent or draw attention to the heavens. The encyclopaedia of Catholicism says “the church is a symbol of heaven, of the world as it should and could be”.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Places of Worship section.

(?)
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Related GCSE Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics) Skills and Knowledge Essays

See our best essays

Related GCSE Places of Worship essays

  1. Muslim place of Worship.

    as Medinah under his rule is the Model society, so is his Mosque at Medinah the prototype for all Mosques. As the Muslim domain stretched, Mosques advanced in many different forms. However they all resembled the humble arrangement and characteristics of Muhammad's Mosque in Medinah.

  2. Mosque coursework

    is not accepted without Wudhu. Gjgjgj. Having performed Wudhu, Muslims from the surrounding area gather together and they all meet in the Jamaat Khana (main prayer room). The Jamaat Khana is the large hall in the centre of the mosque.

  1. Why did monasticism play such an important part in the expansion of the Irish ...

    However, the claim that monasteries were heavily involved in pastoral work, which is central to Blair's understanding of the role of monasteries, has not gone unchallenged. Cambridge and Rollason argue that pastoral care was not the paramount purpose of the monastery, claiming that such matters were properly the concern of the bishop and the secular clergy.

  2. A study of the attitudes of the Roman Catholic, Methodist and Anglican churches to ...

    By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another,'" Wilkinson reminds that Christ does not mention once homosexuality in the bible. United Methodist One church in Tucson, St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist, has completed that denomination's "Reconciling" process.

  1. The Churches struggle against apartheid and a comment on the effectiveness of this Challenge.

    churches in the rest of the world reacted; some groups supported the apartheid legislation, while others rejected this apartheid legislation. Next we shall now outline each of the Churches views and comment on their struggle against the apartheid regime. The first churches are what were known as the Afrikaner reformed

  2. Examine and comment on the attitudes of Roman Catholic and Anglican churches to Homosexuality.

    Christians are able to make judgments about the purpose of human beings and from these decisions which sexual activities are suitable for engaging in and which acts are too sinful to undertake. Gareth Moore comments on the fact that Christians believe that because "God has ordained sex for procreation it

  1. Islamic studies coursework

    After Sun set You can read salah at home, but if you read salah at the mosque with jamaat, then you get 27 extra good deeds from Allah. Also by reading in the mosque, it encourages more people to come to the mosque.

  2. A study of the attitudes of Roman Catholic, Methodist and Anglican churches to homosexuality.

    feel, they respond to changes when needed to do so and also they are a relatively new church. All three churches take their teaching from the bible. They all will go as far as to say that the homosexual act which a person commits cannot be held responsible for the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work