A Roman Catholic Church.

My personal recommendation of a Roman Catholic church would be St. Monica's, the local parish in Palmers Green. We visited this church during school time and I found that it is a fantastic place of worship. This is because there is an incredibly calm and peaceful atmosphere that is genuinely essential for creating a meaningful connection with God. The fact that running and shouting is not allowed means that you can fully concentrate on developing your relationship with God. As with every place of worship, it was incredibly important that we showed our awareness of the fact that we were in a sacred place where people pray. We showed understanding and respect through a conscious change in our attitude and the way we acted.

St. Monica's R.C church is liturgical. This means that liturgies are extremely organised as it includes prepared prayers, the penitential rite (this the confession and absolution at the beginning of mass), the Liturgy of the Word (bible readings and a sermon), the Liturgy of the Eucharist (giving thanks and praise, the prayer of consecration and the preparation of the bread and wine), the rite of communion (receiving the body and blood of Jesus) and the concluding rite (blessing given by the priest). The sacraments are the centre of worship and when it follows a set form, it is extremely effective. Personally, I can make a much deeper connection with God when I am in a well thought-out mass as there are no distractions like there could be in a non-liturgical ceremony. There is an incredibly holy atmosphere that makes you want to be at one with God. You can only find this order and ambience in Catholic and orthodox churches.

It is clear from the Gospels that Jesus intended that what he had begun should continue after his death. He chose disciples to be his followers, learn from him and go out and proclaim his message. This is like the priests in St. Monica's. They are fantastic preachers who we can learn valuable lessons from.

Features of a Church.

I am going to write about the features of a Catholic church and I used St. Monica's to help me describe them. I shall be educating you on the layout of the church, the atmosphere, the statues, the font, the altar and crucifix, the paschal candle, the tabernacle, the lectern, the confessional, stained glass windows and the notice board. I will describe in detail what it is, how it is used and why it is used in that way. Also, I will be explaining the belief and practices behind them.

* Layout:

St. Monica's is a cruciform church and this means that it is built in the shape of a cross. It is not so apparent when you first look at this particular place of worship but the blue carpet running through the church is in the shape of a cross. Cruciform is a common description of Christian churches which are usually, though not exclusively, built with a layout comprising:
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* An east end, containing an altar and often with an elaborate, decorated window, through which light will shine in the early part of the day.

* A west end, which sometimes contains a font, being a large decorated bowl, in which water can be firstly, blessed (dedicated to the use and purposes of God) and then placed upon infant or older believers as a sign of their dedication.

* North and south transepts, being "arms" of the cross and often containing rooms for gathering, small side chapels, or in many cases other necessities ...

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