Eastern Christianity consists of four main church families, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the Assyrian Church of the East, as well as the Eastern Catholic Churches. The term is used in contrast with Western Christianity, the term does not describe a single communion or religious denomination. Some Eastern churches have more in common historically and theologically with Western Christianity than with one another, the various Eastern churches do not normally refer to themselves as Eastern, with the exception of the Assyrian Church of the East and its offshoots. Eastern Christians do not share the religious traditions, but do share many cultural traditions. Christianity divided itself in the East during its early centuries both within and outside of the Roman Empire in disputes about Christology and fundamental theology, as well as national divisions and it would be many centuries that Western Christianity fully split from these traditions as its own communion.
The Eastern churches differences from Western Christianity have as much, if not more, to do with culture, for the non-Catholic Eastern churches, a definitive date for the commencement of schism cannot usually be given. Oriental Orthodoxy separated after the Council of Chalcedon in 451, since the time of the historian Edward Gibbon, the split between the Church of Rome and the Orthodox Church has been conveniently dated to 1054, though the reality is more complex. This split is referred to as the Great Schism. Eastern Orthodox Christians accept the decisions of the First seven Ecumenical Councils, the Eastern Orthodox Church is organized into self-governing jurisdictions along geographical, ethnic, and/or linguistic lines. Eastern Orthodoxy is thus made up of 15 or 16 autocephalous bodies, smaller churches are autonomous and each have a mother church that is autocephalous. This is in contrast to the Catholic Church and its various Churches, members of the latter are all in communion with each other, parts of a top-down hierarchy.
The majority of Catholics accept both the Filioque clause and, since 1950, the Assumption of Mary and this puts them in sharp contrast with the Eastern Orthodox. Yet some Catholics who are not in communion with the Catholic Church side with the Eastern Orthodox here and reject these teachings and it is estimated that there are approximately 240 million Eastern Orthodox Christians in the world. Today, many adherents shun the term Eastern as denying the universal character. They refer to Eastern Orthodoxy simply as the Orthodox Church, these churches are called Old Oriental churches. Oriental Orthodoxy developed in reaction to Chalcedon on the limit of the Byzantine Empire and in Egypt. In those locations, there are Eastern Orthodox patriarchs, thereafter it was often known, possibly inaccurately, as the Nestorian Church in the West. Surviving a period of persecution within Persia, the Church of the East flourished under the caliphate and branched out, in the 16th century dynastic struggles sent the church into schism, resulting in the formation of two rival churches
To facilitate eye-contact and improve posture when facing an audience, lecterns may have adjustable height and slant. People generally use lecterns while standing, in pre-modern usage, the word lectern was used to refer specifically to the reading desk or stand. One 1905 dictionary states that the term is applied only to the class mentioned as independent of the pulpit. Lecterns used in academia—generally in seminar rooms and lecture theatres—may have certain features that common lecterns lack and these features usually include a microphone stand, audio-visual controls, sometimes even an integrated computer and recording system. Lecterns of this sort are generally attached or integrated into a large desk, in the Christian Church, the lectern is usually the stand on which the Bible rests and from which the lessons are read during the service. The lessons may be read or chanted by a priest, minister, or layperson, the lectern is normally set in front of the pews, so that the reader or speaker faces the congregation.
Lecterns are often made of wood and they may be either fixed in place or portable. A lectern differs from a pulpit, the latter being used for sermons, churches that have both a lectern and a pulpit will often place them on opposite sides. The lectern will generally be smaller than the pulpit, and both may be adorned with antipendia in the color of the liturgical season, in monastic churches and cathedrals, a separate lectern is commonly set in the centre of the choir. Originally this would have carried the book, for use by the cantor or precentor leading the singing of the divine office. Lecterns are often eagle-shaped to symbolise John the Apostle, especially in North America and Great Britain lecterns are sometimes made as angel lecterns. Because the Torah scrolls are generally large, the feature of the bimah in a synagogue is a table large enough to hold an open Torah along with a tikkun or Chumash. In some synagogues, this table may resemble a large lectern, in traditional yeshivas and some synagogues and members of the congregation may use small desks called shtenders.
These closely resemble conventional lecterns, and indeed, one shtender may be used as a lectern by the Hazzan leading the service. Note however that each group in a yeshivah may have its own shtender and in some older synagogues. Some older synagogues have large collections of shtenders, pulpit Podium Lector Lection Analogion Media related to Lecterns at Wikimedia Commons Herbermann, Charles, ed. Lectern
In architecture, an apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome, known as an Exedra. Smaller apses may be in other locations, especially shrines, an apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault. Commonly, the apse of a church, cathedral or basilica is the semicircular or polygonal termination to the choir or sanctuary, in relation to church architecture it is generally the name given to where the altar is placed or where the clergy are seated. An apse is occasionally found in a synagogue, e. g. Maoz Haim Synagogue, the apse is separated from the main part of the church by the transept. Smaller apses are sometimes built in other than the east end. The domed apse became a part of the church plan in the early Christian era. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the apse is known as diaconicon. Various ecclesiastical features of which the apse may form part are drawn here, The chancel, directly to the east beyond the choir contains the High Altar.
This area is reserved for the clergy, and was formerly called the presbytery. Hemi-cyclic choirs, first developed in the East, came to use in France in 470, famous northern French examples of chevets are in the Gothic cathedrals of Amiens and Reims. The word ambulatory refers to an aisle in the apse that passes behind the altar and choir. An ambulatory may refer to the passages that enclose a cloister in a monastery, or to other types of aisles round the edge of a church building
Clergy are some of the main and important formal leaders within certain religions. The roles and functions of clergy vary in different religious traditions but these usually involve presiding over specific rituals, some of the terms used for individual clergy are cleric, clergywoman and churchman. In Islam, a leader is often known formally or informally as an imam, mufti. In Jewish tradition, a leader is often a rabbi or hazzan. Cleric comes from the ecclesiastical Latin clericus, for belonging to the priestly class. This is from the Ecclesiastical Greek clericus, meaning appertaining to an inheritance, Clergy is from two Old French words, clergié and clergie, which refer to those with learning and derive from Medieval Latin clericatus, from Late Latin clericus. Clerk, which used to mean one ordained to the ministry, in the Middle Ages and writing were almost exclusively the domain of the priestly class, and this is the reason for the close relationship of these words. Now, the state is tied to reception of the diaconate.
Minor Orders are still given in the Eastern Catholic Churches, and it is in this sense that the word entered the Arabic language, most commonly in Lebanon from the French, as kleriki meaning seminarian. This is all in keeping with Eastern Orthodox concepts of clergy, which include those who have not yet received, or do not plan to receive. A priesthood is a body of priests, shamans, or oracles who have religious authority or function. Buddhist clergy are often referred to as the Sangha. This diversity of monastic orders and styles was originally one community founded by Gautama Buddha during the 5th century BC living under a set of rules. The interaction between Buddhism and Tibetan Bon led to a uniquely Tibetan Buddhism, within which various sects, the interaction between Indian Buddhist monks and Chinese Confucian and Taoist monks from c200-c900AD produced the distinctive Chan Buddhism. In these ways, manual labour was introduced to a practice where monks originally survived on alms, layers of garments were added where originally a single thin robe sufficed and this adaptation of form and roles of Buddhist monastic practice continued after the transmission to Japan.
For example, monks took on administrative functions for the Emperor in particular secular communities, again, in response to various historic attempts to suppress Buddhism, the practice of celibacy was relaxed and Japanese monks allowed to marry. This form was transmitted to Korea, during Japanese occupation, as these varied styles of Buddhist monasticism are transmitted to Western cultures, still more new forms are being created. This broad difference in approach led to a schism among Buddhist monastics in about the 4th century BCE
The term is taken from Latin minister, which itself was derived from minus. In Catholic churches, the concept of a priesthood is emphasised, many ministers are styled as The Reverend, however some use Pastor as a title, and others do not use any specific form of address. The Church of England defines the ministry of priests as follows, Priests are called to be servants, with their Bishop and fellow ministers, they are to proclaim the word of the Lord and to watch for the signs of Gods new creation. Formed by the word, they are to call their hearers to repentance and to declare in Christs name the absolution, with all Gods people, they are to tell the story of Gods love. They are to baptize new disciples in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and they are to unfold the Scriptures, to preach the word in season and out of season, and to declare the mighty acts of God. They are to preside at the Lords table and lead his people in worship, offering them a spiritual sacrifice of praise.
They are to bless the people in Gods name and they are to resist evil, support the weak, defend the poor, and intercede for all in need. They are to minister to the sick and prepare the dying for their death, guided by the Spirit, they are to discern and foster the gifts of all Gods people, that the whole Church may be built up in unity and faith. All denominations require that the minister has a sense of calling. One of the clearest references is found in 1 Timothy 3, 1-16, moreover he must have a good report of them which are without, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to wine, not greedy of filthy lucre. And let these first be proved, let them use the office of a deacon, even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children, the churches have three orders of ordained clergy, Bishops are the primary clergy, administering all sacraments and governing the church.
Priests administer the sacraments and lead local congregations, they cannot ordain other clergy, however, in some denominations, deacons play a non-sacramental and assisting role in the liturgy. Until the Reformation, the clergy were the first estate but were relegated to the estate in Protestant Northern Europe. After compulsory celibacy was abolished during the Reformation, the formation of an hereditary priestly class became possible, whereby wealth. Higher positioned clergy formed this clerical educated upper class, High Church Anglicanism and High Church Lutheranism tend to emphasise the role of the clergy in dispensing the Christian Sacrament. Bishops and deacons have traditionally officiated over of acts worship, rituals, among these central traditions have been baptism, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, the Mass or the Divine Service, and coronations
The nave /ˈneɪv/ is the central aisle of a basilica church, or the main body of a church between its western wall and its chancel. It is the zone of a church accessible by the laity, the nave extends from the entry — which may have a separate vestibule — to the chancel and may be flanked by lower side-aisles separated from the nave by an arcade. If the aisles are high and of a width comparable to the central nave and it provides the central approach to the high altar. The term nave is from medieval Latin navis, a ship was an early Christian symbol. The term may have suggested by the keel shape of the vaulting of a church. The earliest churches were built when builders were familiar with the form of the Roman basilica and it had a wide central area, with aisles separated by columns, and with windows near the ceiling. Old St. Peters Basilica in Rome is a church which had this form. It was built in the 4th century on the orders of Roman emperor Constantine I, the nave, the main body of the building, is the section set apart for the laity, while the chancel is reserved for the clergy.
In medieval churches the nave was separated from the chancel by the rood screen, medieval naves were divided into bays, the repetition of form giving an effect of great length, and the vertical element of the nave was emphasized. During the Renaissance, in place of dramatic effects there were more balanced proportions, longest nave in Denmark, Aarhus Cathedral,93 metres. Longest nave in England, St Albans Cathedral, St Albans,84 metres, longest nave in Ireland, St Patricks Cathedral, Dublin,91 metres. Longest nave in France, Bourges Cathedral,91 metres, including choir where a crossing would be if there were transepts, longest nave in Germany, Cologne cathedral,58 metres, including two bays between the towers. Longest nave in Italy, St Peters Basilica in Rome,91 metres, longest nave in Spain, Seville,60 metres, in five bays. Longest nave in the United States, Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York City, highest vaulted nave, Beauvais Cathedral, France,48 metres high but only one bay of the nave was actually built but choir and transepts were completed to the same height.
Highest completed nave, Rome, St. Peters, Italy,46 metres high, with architectural discussion and groundplans Cathedral architecture Cathedral diagram List of highest church naves
Church architecture refers to the architecture of buildings of Christian churches. These large, often ornate and architecturally prestigious buildings were dominant features of the towns, far more numerous were the parish churches in Christendom, the focus of Christian devotion in every town and village. In the 20th century, the use of new materials, such as steel, the history of church architecture divides itself into periods, and into countries or regions and by religious affiliation. The simplest church building comprises a single meeting space, built of locally available material, such churches are generally rectangular, but in African countries where circular dwellings are the norm, vernacular churches may be circular as well. A simple church may be built of mud brick and daub and it may be roofed with thatch, corrugated iron or banana leaves. However, church congregations, from the 4th century onwards, have sought to construct buildings that were both permanent and aesthetically pleasing.
This had led to a tradition in which congregations and local leaders have invested time and personal prestige into the building, within any parish, the local church is often the oldest building, and is larger than any pre-19th-century structure except perhaps a barn. The church is built of the most durable material available. To the two-room structure is often added aisles, a tower, chapels, in the first three centuries of the Early Christian Church, the practice of Christianity was illegal and few churches were constructed. In the beginning Christians worshipped along with Jews in synagogues and in private houses, after the separation of Jews and Christians the latter continued to worship in peoples houses, known as house churches. These were often the homes of the members of the faith. Saint Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians writes and Prisca, together with the church in their house, greet you warmly in the Lord. Some domestic buildings were adapted to function as churches, one of the earliest of adapted residences is at Dura Europos church, built shortly after 200 AD, where two rooms were made into one, by removing a wall, and a dais was set up.
To the right of the entrance a small room was made into a baptistry, some church buildings were specifically built as church assemblies, such as that opposite the emperor Diocletians palace in Nicomedia. The books of the Holy Scriptures were found, and they were committed to the flames, the utensils and furniture of the church were abandoned to pillage, all was rapine, tumult. That church, situated on rising ground, was within view of the palace, and Diocletian and Galerius stood, as if on a watchtower, disputing long whether it ought to be set on fire. The sentiment of Diocletian prevailed, who dreaded lest, so great a fire being once kindled, some part of the city might he burnt, for there were many and large buildings that surrounded the church. Then the Pretorian Guards came in battle array, with axes and other iron instruments, from the first to the early fourth centuries most Christian communities worshipped in private homes, often secretly
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin was an English architect, designer and critic who is principally remembered for his pioneering role in the Gothic Revival style of architecture. His work culminated in designing the interior of the Palace of Westminster in Westminster, Pugin designed many churches in England and some in Ireland and Australia. He was the son of Auguste Pugin, and the father of Edward Welby and Peter Paul Pugin, Augustus was born at his parents house in Bloomsbury, England. As a child, his mother took Pugin each Sunday to the services of the fashionable Scottish Presbyterian preacher Edward Irving, at his chapel in Cross Street, Hatton Garden, London, Pugin learned drawing from his father, and for a while attended Christs Hospital. After leaving school he worked in his fathers office, and in 1825 and 1827 accompanied him on visits to France, in 1831, at the age of 19, Pugin married the first of his three wives, Anne Garnet. Anne died a few months in childbirth, leaving him a daughter and he had a further six children, including the architect Edward Welby Pugin, with his second wife, Louisa Button, who died in 1844.
His third wife, Jane Knill, kept a journal of their life, from their marriage in 1848 to Pugins death. Their son was Peter Paul Pugin, following his second marriage in 1833, Pugin moved to Salisbury, England with his wife, and in 1835 bought half an acre of land in Alderbury, circa one and a half miles outside the town. On this he built a Gothic Revival style house for his family, of it, Charles Locke Eastlake said he had not yet learned the art of combining a picturesque exterior with the ordinary comforts of an English home. In 1834, Pugin converted to the Roman Catholic Church and was received into it the following year, a number of reforms in the early 19th century relieved these restrictions, the most important of which was the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829, which specifically abolished the restrictions. After 1829 it became, at least theoretically, possible for Roman Catholics to have a successful career, his conversion acquainted him with new patrons and employers. Shrewsbury commissioned him to build St, in 1836, Pugin published Contrasts, a polemical book which argued for the revival of the medieval Gothic style, and a return to the faith and the social structures of the Middle Ages.
Each plate in the book selected a type of urban building, each structure was the built expression of a particular view of humanity, Christianity versus Utilitarianism. Pugins biographer, Rosemary Hill, The drawings were all calculatedly unfair, but the cumulative rhetorical force was tremendous. In 1841 he published his illustrated The True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture and he conceived of Christian architecture as synonymous with medieval, Gothic, or pointed, architecture. In the work he wrote that contemporary craftsmen seeking to emulate the style of medieval workmanship should reproduce its methods. In 1841 he left Salisbury, having found it an inconvenient base for his architectural practice. He sold St. Maries Grange at a financial loss
A parish is a church territorial unit constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the care and clerical jurisdiction of a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or more curates. Historically, a parish often covered the same area as a manor. By extension the term refers not only to the territorial unit. In England this church property was technically in ownership of the parish priest ex-officio, the eighth Archbishop of Canterbury Theodore of Tarsus appended the parish structure to the Anglo-Saxon township unit, where it existed, and where minsters catered to the surrounding district. In the wider picture of ecclesiastical polity, a parish comprises a division of a diocese or see, parishes within a diocese may be grouped into a deanery or vicariate forane, overseen by a dean or vicar forane, or in some cases by an archpriest. Some churches of the Anglican Communion have deaneries as units of an archdeaconry, in the Roman Catholic Church, each parish normally has its own parish priest, who has responsibility and canonical authority over the parish.
These are called assistant priests, parochial vicars, curates, or, in the United States, associate pastors, each diocese is divided into parishes, each with their own central church called the parish church, where religious services take place. An example is that of personal parishes established in accordance with the 7 July 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum for those attached to the form of the Roman Rite. Most Catholic parishes are part of Latin Rite dioceses, which cover the whole territory of a country. There can be overlapping parishes of eparchies of Eastern Catholic Churches, the Church of England geographical structure uses the local parish church as its basic unit. The parish system survived the Reformation with the Anglican Churchs secession from Rome remaining largely untouched, Church of England parishes nowadays all lie within one of 44 dioceses divided between the provinces of Canterbury,30 and York,14. A chapelry was a subdivision of a parish in England. It had a status to a township but was so named as it had a chapel which acted as a subsidiary place of worship to the main parish church.
In England civil parishes and their parish councils evolved in the 19th century as ecclesiastical parishes began to be relieved of what became considered to be civic responsibilities. Thus their boundaries began to diverge, the word parish acquired a secular usage. Since 1895, a council elected by public vote or a parish meeting administers a civil parish and is formally recognised as the level of local government below a district council. The parish is the level of church administration in the Church of Scotland
A crossing, in ecclesiastical architecture, is the junction of the four arms of a cruciform church. In a typically oriented church, the crossing gives access to the nave on the west, the arms on the north and south. The crossing is surmounted by a tower or dome. A large crossing tower is common on English Gothic cathedrals. With the Renaissance, building a dome above the crossing became popular, because the crossing is open on four sides, the weight of the tower or dome rests heavily on the corners, a stable construction thus required great skill on the part of the builders. In centuries past, it was not uncommon for overambitious crossing towers to collapse, sacrist Alan of Walsinghams octagon, built between 1322 and 1328 after the collapse of Elys nave crossing on 22 February 1322, is the. Greatest individual achievement of architectural genius at Ely Cathedral according to architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner, a tower over the crossing may be called a lantern tower if it has openings through which light from outside can shine down to the crossing.
In Early Medieval churches, the square was often used as a module. The nave and transept would have lengths that were a multiple of the length of the crossing square. This was to ensure that the church was properly proportioned
Christian cross variants
This is a list of Christian cross variants. The Christian cross, with or without a figure of Christ included, is the religious symbol of Christianity. A cross with figure of Christ affixed to it is termed a crucifix, the term Greek cross designates a cross with arms of equal length, as in a plus sign, while the term Latin cross designates a cross with an elongated descending arm. Numerous other variants have developed during the medieval period. Christian crosses are used widely in churches, on top of buildings, on bibles, in heraldry, in personal jewelry, on hilltops. Crosses are a prominent feature of Christian cemeteries, either carved on gravestones or as sculpted stelae, roman Catholic and Lutheran depictions of the cross are often crucifixes, in order to emphasize that it is Jesus that is important, rather than the cross in isolation. Large crucifixes are a prominent feature of some Lutheran churches, as illustrated in the article Rood, several Christian cross variants are available in computer-displayed text.
The Latin cross symbol is included in the character set as 271D. For others, see Religious and political symbols in Unicode, basic variants, or early variants widespread since antiquity
An altar is any structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes, and by extension the Holy table of post-reformation Anglican churches. Altars are usually found at shrines, and they can be located in temples, today they are used particularly in Christianity, Hinduism, Taoism, as well as in Neopaganism and Ceremonial Magic. Judaism used such a structure until the destruction of the Second Temple, many historical faiths made use of them, including Greek and Norse religion. Altars in the Hebrew Bible were typically made of earth or unwrought stone, altars were generally erected in conspicuous places. The first altar recorded in the Hebrew Bible is that erected by Noah, altars were erected by Abraham, by Isaac, by Jacob, and by Moses. In Catholic and Orthodox Christian theology, the Eucharist is a re-presentation, the table upon which the Eucharist is consecrated is called an altar. The altar plays a role in the celebration of the Eucharist, which takes place at the altar on which the bread.
The altar is often on a higher elevation than the rest of the church, in Reformed and Anabaptist churches, a table, often called a Communion table, serves an analogous function. In some colloquial usage, the altar is used to denote the altar rail also. The main altar was referred to as the high altar, in the earliest days of the Church, the Eucharist appears to have been celebrated on portable altars set up for the purpose. Some historians hold that, during the persecutions, the Eucharist was celebrated among the tombs in the Catacombs of Rome, other historians dispute this, but it is thought to be the origin of the tradition of placing relics beneath the altar. Although in the days of the Jerusalem Temple the High Priest indeed faced east when sacrificing on Yom Kippur, the ministers, celebrated the Eucharist facing east, towards the entrance. Some hold that for the part of the celebration the congregation faced the same way. After the sixth century the contrary orientation prevailed, with the entrance to the west and the altar at the east end.
Then the ministers and congregation all faced east during the whole celebration, most rubrics, even in books of the seventeenth century and later, such as the Pontificale Romanum, continued to envisage the altar as free-standing. The rite of the Dedication of the Church continued to presume that the officiating Bishop could circle the altar during the consecration of the church and its altar. Despite this, with the increase in the size and importance of the reredos, most altars were built against the wall or barely separated from it. This diversity was recognized in the rubrics of the Roman Missal from the 1604 typical edition of Pope Clement VIII to the 1962 edition of Pope John XXIII, Si altare sit ad orientem, versus populum