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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 features are used in worship.

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Introduction

GCSE Religious Studies Coursework Places of Worship Part A 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 features are used in worship. Since it began, the Christian Church has split many times, into lots of different denominations. The different denominations believe and practice certain things in different ways. However, they all believe in Christ so they are all the same religion, Christianity. What the different denominations believe determines how they worship, and how they worship determines the layout of their church. I am going to compare the Orthodox Churches and the Anglican Church. In Orthodox Churches, the building itself is split into two parts by a big screen covered with icons of Mary, Jesus and the Saints. It is called an "iconostasis". The iconostasis symbolizes the divide between earth (the main part of the church where the congregation stand) and heaven (the sanctuary - behind the iconostasis). In the centre of the iconostasis are the Royal Doors, behind which there is a curtain. The opening of the Royal Doors and the drawing back of the curtain symbolise God opening the way to heaven for man to approach and be united with him. ...read more.

Middle

In worshipping God, Christians get the chance to acknowledge Him as their creator, saviour, Messiah, and as their Father. When Christians worship, they are a community coming together for teaching and encouragement about God. So, in this worship unites a community. It also helps people to know how to live their lives and gives them hope when things are not going very well for them. For all Christians, worship can also be the chance to celebrate the sacraments, whether they are only baptism and the Eucharist (like the Protestant Churches of the Reformation), or all seven sacraments (like the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches). A sacrament can be defined as "an outward sign of inward grace or blessing". So, the sacraments are very important to all Christians. The Orthodox Churches came into existence in 1054, when a group of Eastern bishops split from the Catholic Church. So, they are reasonably similar to the Catholic Church in the way they worship. They only celebrate mass; they don't have any services without Holy Communion. They consider the altar and Holy Communion to be very important. However, they also think the iconostasis to be important and priests very special. Whereas, the Anglican Church started in 1534: after the reformation. It is a mix between the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lastly, in the bible, when the rich man wants to follow Jesus, Jesus tells him to give all his possessions to the poor and follow Him. So, maybe instead of using the money itself, the Church should give it to the poor and have faith in God and follow Him. The main points against this statement are, firstly, Christians believe that in building a place of worship specially for worshipping God and with elegant designs that are expensive, they are showing honour and respect for God. Secondly, some Christians feel special places of worship have a particular atmosphere in them. Thirdly, a church can be a place to get away from the stress of daily life and be alone and quiet with God. Lastly, even if the Church did give money to the poor, some people may just use it for alcohol and drugs, rather than using it to sort out their lives and even the lives of their families. From what I have seen, I think someone from the Orthodox Churches would probably be against this statement, because they have the very richly decorated iconostasis. I think the Anglican Church probably has mixed views, as it is a mix between the Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches. My personal view mainly supports this statement. I think it is a good idea, but I think there should be some special places of worship but they just shouldn't be richly decorated. (466 words) (1585 words) Graham Thornton ...read more.

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