Essay, 6 pages (1500 words)

St barnabas cathedral nottingham – roman catholic

St Barnabas Cathedral is the cathedral of the diocese of Nottinghamshire. It was finished on the 27th August 1844 and was built by Pugin who equated the Gothic style of the building with Christianity. The building is in the shape of a cross and this was done to show the remembrance of Christ’s suffering. Another main feature of the church is the spire in the centre of the church to draw attention to the heavens and to represent that in the cathedral we are close to God. The building is decorated with stain glass windows. These depict the saints or a part of Jesus’ life, for example one of the Stations of the Cross.

In the picture to the left you can see two saints looking at Jesus in the centre he is standing on a globe. This window can be known as a ‘sacramental’ – these are icons that are designed to help the relationship with God, they are not simply decoration. The Sanctuary is probably the most important area in the Cathedral, the sanctuary at St Barnabas is in the centre from where the spire is above. From here the priest celebrates the mass and leads services. It is slightly raised which separates it from the rest of the cathedral, but is clearly still at the heart of the church. The sanctuary at St. Barnabas contains the altar and the lectern and the bishop’s chair.

The tabernacle at St. Barnabas is kept in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. It is a very Gothic area of the building and is highly decorated. The tabernacle is the most important object in a catholic cathedral. The tabernacle is a shrine, which in this case is made of gold and precious stones and veiled with a coloured cloth. The chapel itself is set aside for private prayer and is a peaceful chapel. The tabernacle is only used by Orthodox and Catholic Christians and is not used by any of the protestant churches.

It contains the Blessed Sacrament, the bread consecrated by the priest at Mass which in catholic belief is transformed into the Body of Christ. It is reserved for Eucharist. Near the tabernacle was the sanctuary lamp which symbolises the living presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The Altar is situated in the sanctuary, it is probably the most prominent object in the sanctuary and is the holy table on which the sacrifice of Mass is offered. Traditionally, an altar which has been consecrated like the one in the Cathedral of St. Barnabas is made of stone. The altar was then decorated with gold.

The body and blood rest here during mass and so the altar is treated with reverence and covered with a white cloth. It may be decorated with candles and cross. The altar is the first table. The ambo or lectern is also placed within the sanctuary and from here the word of God is read and proclaimed within a catholic mass. Other liturgies may be said from here. If the altar is the first table then the ambo is the second table. Homilies, sermons and even prayers are given from the ambo; it is made from wood and stands facing the pews just in front of the altar. It may be decorated and is treated with respect.

The font is the representation of the river in which Jesus was first baptised. It is a little smaller but the symbolism is all there. It is from the font that children and occasionally adults are baptised and brought into God’s family. It may be placed in a baptistery or as is the case with the Cathedral it may be near the sanctuary. Pascal candle is often near the font; it is very large and placed on a high stand. It is lit throughout the Easter season and after every baptism and funeral. The Aumbry is the cupboard in which all the oils used for baptism; confirmations and the anointing of the sick are kept.

Holy water is kept in bowls around the Cathedral though mainly at the entrances. Upon entering you are supposed to make the sign of the cross. It has been blessed by the priest and can be taken away for use at home. Churches and Cathedrals try and use all of the five senses of the body. Crosses and crucifixes are put up to help you see the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is put in a place where it can be seen throughout the church. The crucifix at St. Barnabas is a large golden cross with a model of Jesus on it. It is very ornate and decorative and reflects the atmosphere of the Cathedral.

Images of the mother of Jesus are common in catholic churches. In protestant churches she is not so honoured and revered but in catholic tradition she has special significance. Main statues and pictures can be found of her. She is usually holding her baby son Jesus. Christ Church Chilwell, Nottingham- Evangelical Christ church is a parish church in the Church of England collective. It was built between 1901 and 1903; however the chancel was added in 1957 by architect Eric Vernon Royle. It is in the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham and in the province of York.

The building is a long rectangle with focal areas at the front. There is a bell which in earlier times would have been rung to tell people it was time for the Sunday service. There is also a cross on the front of the building; making it known that it was a Christian building. Christ church is a pulpit centred church, this means that their service is more based on liturgy, hymns and prayer. In contrast to Catholic churches, where the altar is the most significant object in the church; this is because Catholics celebrate the Eucharist every day, though generally on Sundays.

However in C of E churches communion (Eucharist) is celebrated once every month or fortnight. Banners decorate the sides of the church. These banners are used as both aids to prayer and to worship. They provide decoration for the church. They communicate the testimony or story, and are chiefly used by evangelists. At the front of the church sits the pulpit, this is the most important piece of furniture in the sanctuary; which for Protestants lies at the front of the church. The pulpit is noted as the place where the minister stands and is central to the whole congregation.

It may be adorned with a piece of cloth and flowers may sit on it or in front of it. In the case of Christ Church it is decorated with both a cloth and flowers. It is also the largest piece of furniture in the church apart from the organ. This shows that God’s message is the most important part of the service and is mainly used for sermons. Second to the pulpit is the lectern, this is a stand where the bible sits and it is from here that most scripture is often read. It faces the pews themselves and is where most of the word of God is said.

It looks like a small reading desk with a slanted top. Another major feature of the church is the large organ at one end. The organ is used chiefly for songs and hymns during a service. To accompany the organ Christ Church have a robe choir which sings at every service. Music is a key part of the service as it is one of the ways to worship God. The altar is at the far end and out of the way this is because Holy Communion isn’t an important part of the Evangelist tradition. On the altar stand two candles a cross and some flowers.

The candles represent Jesus who is the light of the world and the cross shows Jesus’ sacrifice for the world. Evangelists practice something called an altar call in which people are invited to the altar where they may recite the sinners’ prayer and this way they reaffirm their faith and belief in God. The altar at Christ Church was inscribed with the passage ” Do this in remembrance of me” Luke 22: 19. This states that Communion is a representation rather than like in the Catholic Church a sacrament. The font is the place where infants and adults can be baptised.

Baptism is the only sacrament celebrated by the protestant churches and so the font holds special significance. It is filled with holy water and usually only contains a couple of litres. The font to the left is decorated at the top with a cross reminding us about the sacrifice Jesus made for us. At the back of the church is a small meeting area which shows the more informal nature of the church. It is used for tea and coffee at the start or end of services and shows the more relaxed way in which evangelical Christians meet at church. It provides a place for the service to be discussed.

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