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Choose two different Christian denominations. Select and explain the main features of their places of worship and compare and contrast the ways in which the feature is used in worship.

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Introduction

Places of Worship Choose two different Christian denominations. Select and explain the main features of their places of worship and compare and contrast the ways in which the feature is used in worship. I have chosen the Roman Catholic Church and the Baptist Church. The most important features of the Roman Catholic Church are the Tabernacle and the Altar. These form the focal point of the building. The Altar is situated on a platform, which is usually 2-3 steps so that the congregation are involved in the mass visually. The tabernacle is usually beside or behind the altar. The altar contains a fragment from the bone of a saint. This signifies the difference between the altar and a normal table. The altar dates back to the Ancient Jews, who sacrificed animals, on a table in the temple, towards God. Catholics believe that the ultimate sacrifice is when Jesus died on the cross to save us and reunite us with God. This is seen as the ultimate sacrifice so Catholics believe there is no need to sacrifice animals towards God. Catholics believe that during the Liturgy of the Eucharist the bread and wine is turned into the body and blood of Jesus. This spiritual process is called transubstantiation. Catholics believe that this happens when the priest recites the words of Jesus at the last supper. ...read more.

Middle

The Catholic Church has made creeds 'statements of beliefs' to help people understand what they have to believe, e.g. 'The Nicene Creed' you have to believe in one God; the Father and the Holy Spirit are all God; and the Jesus Christ is completely human and is completely God at the same time. Creeds help Catholics to strengthen their faith as well. There are two creeds in the Catholic Church these are the Nicene Creed and the Apostle's Creed. These are said during the Liturgy of the Word. The Liturgy of the Word is another important part of mass, as this is when the priest says his homily, he explains the gospel and the other readings. He explains to the congregation about what the readings mean and how to use them in their everyday lives. During the Eucharist Catholics believe that the bread and wine is turned into the body and blood of Jesus. They believe through the priest the Holy Spirit; the priest transubstantiates the bread and wine. This dates back to the last supper when Jesus said "This is my body...this is my blood..." Catholics also use icons and images to help them in prayer. For example, if you see a picture of Mary and there is a sword pierced in her heart; you know that the picture is about the pain she felt during Jesus' crucifixion. ...read more.

Conclusion

A lot of the money the Catholic Church gets is already given to the poor. The church is also a huge organisation with over one billion worshippers and won't be able to fit a whole congregation in a school, public hall or a community centre. People also need to worship in an environment where they feel they're in the presence of God and people feel that the most in a church. There is a lot of poverty in the world and the Roman Catholic Church can give a lot of money to those poor countries, however, the Roman Catholic needs to maintain and decorate the magnificent churches they own. The Church also teaches that God is everywhere so would it make a difference where you worship. In the end they are going to need to decide which is more important, a beautiful building for worship or giving million of poor people a chance to live a good life like the many people in the developed world. The Church also teachers that god is everywhere so it wouldn't make a difference where you worship. I think that giving the poor people around the world a chance to live a good life is far more important than decorating and maintaining huge buildings for worship, when we can hire school halls, community centres or public halls to worship in. After all Jesus did say, "Where two gather there shall I be" I think that life is far more important than a beautiful building. Alexander Opara - 1 - ...read more.

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