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Comparison on Roman Catholic and Methodist churches

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The two different denominations that I have chosen to compare are the Roman Catholic and the Methodist Churches. I have chosen these two denominations, as there are great differences in the emphasis of both. I have visited both St Michael and St John's Roman Catholic church, and Trinity Methodist church, which has helped me highlight the main features in both. St Michael and St John's Roman Catholic church. The main feature in the Catholic Church are the two altars, the lower one with the crucifix on it. Worship in the Roman Catholic Church follows a liturgy and is very formal. This is therefore, why there is so much emphasis on sacraments in the Catholic Church. Altars are places of sacrifices. Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross for the sins of all mankind. He is the paschal lamb that was sacrificed in the temple at Jerusalem, and the crucifix reminds Catholics of this (the passion). It is a representation of Christ on the cross to remind people that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. In the Roman Catholic Church, the altar is in an area called the sanctuary, where mass is celebrated. The altar is one of the most important symbols for the presence of Christ in a Roman Catholic Church, as it represents Jesus as a priest, offering us to share the meal that he offers to the Apostles at the Last Supper. ...read more.


In Trinity Methodist church, the pulpit was unusually off to one side. In Methodist churches, it is expected that the pulpit would be central, as the emphasis is on the word of God. The minister may use the pulpit to deliver the sermon to the congregation during the service. Methodist churches are usually rectangular and quite small, in order for the congregation to hear the word of God clearly. The windows are generally clear instead of being stained glass, designed to be able to read more easily. There are often two organs and two choir stalls, as there is an emphasis on the music, because this, just like preaching, is the word of God. Instead of an altar, there is a small communion table, which is used for bread and wine during the Lord's Supper. The bread and non-alcoholic wine are kept under a cloth on the table, not a tabernacle. In front of the communion table, there is a communion rail, where Methodists kneel to receive the bread and wine from the minister. Methodists believe that God is revealed through the preached word, rather than just through Sacraments like Holy Communion. This is also shown by the fact that Methodist churches only have Holy Communion (or Lord's supper as it is called in Methodist Churches) ...read more.


In the Methodist church, the fact that the cross is empty is to remind people that Jesus rose from the dead, because Methodist churches focus more on the resurrection rather than the crucifixion. They celebrate the fact that Jesus rose from the dead, as this emphasises the fact that Jesus was the Son of God. An empty cross helps Christians to concentrate on the rewards of repeating Jesus' footsteps and helping others. They believe that by following Jesus, they will receive an eternal life in heaven with God. The pulpit is used a lot in the Methodist Church, because in the Methodist Church, the emphasis is on God. The Methodist Church believes that the most important part of any service is listening to the word of God. They focus on liturgy rather than the sacraments. There is no altar in the Methodist churches, as the Methodist church does not believe that Christ's sacrifice is repeated during the service of Holy Communion. The Methodist Church believes that Holy Communion is just a memorial to strengthen faith and remind worshippers of the last supper. The bread and non-alcoholic wine are kept under a cloth on the table, not a tabernacle, because Methodists believe that the bread and wine just symbolise the body and blood of Jesus, rather than actually become it. Phaedra Robinson 11G RS coursework - AO1 ...read more.

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