Practices Of Christianity

Practices of Christianity

2.1 Forms of worship:

Liturgical worship – structured, with a set routine and pattern. E.g. Eucharist.

Informal worship – varied with more spontaneous elements, even when there is a pattern

Individual worship – by a believer on their own rather than gathered with others,

Liturgical worship Informal worship Individual Worship
Performed at set times for services in church, often on Sundays. Also performed at set times for services, often on Sundays. But on other days too, Saying of prayers or reading the bible. Can happen at any time of the day
Members of the church and the public would perform liturgical worship. Eucharist would be for those baptized or christened. Members of the church and the public would perform informal worship Happens in the individuals homes or where they feel alone.

The nature and importance of prayer in Christianity:

-Prayer is an essential part of a Christians faith and follow’s Jesus lifestyle.

-It is believed to be communication with Jesus, or God and is the building of a relationship.

-It is a natural part of daily life and can be at specific points during each day, or any time the person feels the need to pray.

-There are many different types of prayer:

1) Adoration – Praising God

2) Confession – saying sorry and asking for forgiveness

3)Thanksgiving – Saying thank you

4) Supplication – asking for others.

One of the popular prayers is The Lord’s Prayer: ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.’  

What is the lord’s prayer? It is a pattern of prayer Jesus gave to his disciples when they asked him how to pray
When is the Lord’s Prayer used? It is often recited or sung in many Christians services.
Why is it important? It is the pattern Jesus himself gave. It is also used by almost all Christians traditions. It is considered to be a perfect prayer. It is totally selfless.

2.2 Sacraments

Sacraments are an outward sign of an invisible and inward blessing by God.

1) Baptism – This is the sprinkling of water over someone’s head to remove them of original sin and to welcome them into the Christian faith.

2) Confirmation – accepting responsibility for your faith and destiny.

3) Eucharist – a Christian service, ceremony or sacrament remembering and acting out the Last Supper in which bread and wine are supplied.

4) Penance – a member of the church confesses sins to a priest and is given absolution, which is being purged of sin.

5) Anointing the sick – this gives a sick person grace to unite their suffering to the passion of Christ. This given physical and spiritual healing according to God’s will.

6) Holy orders – this creates the hierarchy, of deacon, priest and bishop.

7) Marriage – to unite with someone they love for rest of their lives.

The role, meaning and celebration of baptism:

What is baptism? An initiation into the Christian church family.
When does it happen? Baptism usually occurs in babies or young children. This is sometimes called ‘christening’
Why is baptism important? Baptism is a rite of entry marking people’s membership of the Christian church

The role, meaning and celebration of Eucharist:

What is Eucharist? It a service to remember the death of Jesus and includes the bread and wine used by Jesus at the last super with disciples. Christians see the bread as a symbol of body and the wine as his blood
When does it happen? Catholics will perform Eucharist every Sunday morning. 
Why is Eucharist important? The word ‘Eucharist’ means ‘thanksgiving’ and is a thanksgiving for the life and death of Jesus and for the Christian faith.

2.3 Pilgrimage and Celebrations:

Christian Pilgrimage:

-A journey to a sacred place, usually as an act of religious devotion.

-It is an experience that is likely to deepen or develop spiritual faith.

Example of pilgrimage:

Bethlehem. This is where Jesus was born. A Christian may visit Bethlehem to gain a closer bond with Jesus and to walk in his footsteps

Christmas:

Celebrating the birth of Jesus is the main focus of Christmas

Has a period of preparation which may include fasting.

Rehearsing the story of the Nativity through plays or crib scenes in churches is very common

Incarnation. This is when God was born in human flesh as Jesus

Services called ‘Christingle’ take place with a candle and an orange with symbolizes Jesus as the light of the world

Traditionally Christmas Carol concerts are held, with special readings, carols and music.

Midnight Mass Communion services often take place in churches on Christmas eve, to mark the beginning of Christmas day

All Christmases, even non-Christian celebrations, usually involve the giving of presents to family and friends. This is the remembrance of the gift of Jesus to the world.

Saviour is how Christians see Jesus. They believe that Jesus was born to be the savior of the world.

Easter:

Easter is remembering the time Jesus spent in the desert fasting and praying.

Ash is made from the palm crosses used the previous Easter, and a cross is marked on people’s foreheads in the Ash Wednesday service.

Saviour. This is how christens see Jesus. His death was to take away the sins of the world and to defeat death itself. This is why Easter is an important festival in Christianity and services often include lights (candles) and darkness to represent death and resurrection.

Thursday of Easter week is to remember the last supper Jesus had with his disciples.

Easter Sunday is the day to remember the resurrection of Jesus.

Resurrection is central to the Easter message, not only the belief in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, but the assurance of resurrection for believers into a new life with God.

2.4 Christianity in Britain and the Church in the local community:

Christianity in Britain:

Since the 2001 census results showed an increase in diversity in religion and non-religious beliefs in Britain.

The 1011 Census showed Christianity as the largest religion, which Muslim as it’s second.

UK laws, festivals and traditions:

-Traditionally Christians worship on Sundays as it is the ‘day of rest’. Britain still follows this tradition in the modern day as shopping hours are restricted on Sundays.

-Witnesses in court of law swear to tell the truth. This is often done while placing a hand on the Bible.

-Christian hymns and readings are sung in national or public events for example, remembrance services.

The role of the church in the local community:

-Services of worship

-Bible study groups

-Sunday school

-meal for the homeless

-Youth club

-Weddings

-Funerals

-Baptisms

-Foodbank

-Polling stations

2.5 The Worldwide Church:

The importance of mission, evangelism and church growth:

Church Growth

-There has been a decline in the UK church attendance with the result that many churches have had to close.

-Evangelical churches have grown in recent years as their form of worship is more lively.

Evangelism: This means ‘preaching the good news’:

-Sharing the good news with people in everyday life (Christianity)

-Giving out leaflets or pamphlets with a clear Christian message

-Standing up on a platform and preaching to listeners

-Living a life of faith as a testimony to others, who will ask questions

Mission: The mission of the church

-To tell others of the Christian message of salvation

-To help Christians to live a life of faith and to grow in that faith.

2.6 The work of Tearfund: Christian beliefs in action

What is tearfund? A Christian charity to help end poverty
What do they do? They work with local churches by giving help to the poor in many countries across the world. They help to provide aid after natural disasters. They support long-term projects in LEDC countries.
Why are they important? Tearfund helps to raise awareness of social issues such as poverty and discrimination in the worlds: -It campaigns against causes of poverty worldwide -It gives practical help in order to act out the teachings of Jesus to help others -It encourages self-help for individuals and communities.

2.7 Persecution of Christians past and present

-The persecution of Christians has always taken place, and there have been many martyrs who are people who have been killed due to their religious beliefs.

-Jesus was a martyr. He warned his followers that they would be persecuted.

-Christians believe they have a divine command to spread the good news of Jesus, even if that means they are in danger.

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