The Church

Christians can gather in almost any place to worship God. They usually assemble in a place specially dedicated for this purpose. We call such a building a church. A smaller church is sometimes called a chapel. The church in which a bishop’s chair (cathedra) is located is called a cathedral.

Worship

Sunday is the day of worship for most Christians. The form of worship is varied according to which Christian tradition is followed. Catholic worship centres on the celebration of the Mass or Eucharist also known as Holy Communion in other Christian churches. This service commemorates the Last Supper Jesus Christ had with his disciples the evening before he died. In many Christian churches, typical worship includes the singing of hymns or religious songs, readings from the Bible, prayers and preaching. It is a corporate act of the congregation in praising and worshipping God.

Christians generally have their regular Sunday Worship services at different times on Sunday. Catholic Christians begin their worship on Saturday evening.

Festivals

Good Friday commemorates the suffering, crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that Jesus died on this day for the salvation of the world.

Christians traditionally celebrate Christmas on December 25th, to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Today, non-Christians also celebrate Christmas by exchanging gifts and well wishes.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, which is a period of penance. The season of Lent lasts for forty days and some Christians fast during this period. Lent culminates in Holy Week when Christians remember the last week of Jesus’ life. Holy Thursday recalls the Last Supper and the Washing of Feet. The death of Jesus is commemorated on Good Friday with special services sometimes reenacting the crucifixion.

On Easter Sunday, Christians recall the resurrection of Jesus. They celebrate Jesus’ victory over death and proclaim his promise of life after death.

Diet

On Fridays, Catholics usually abstain from eating meat (this does not include fish and seafood), as an act of penance to remember Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross for their sins. Most members of other Christian churches do not have dietary laws, although some abstain from alcoholic beverages. Non-Christians should not take personal offence when some Christians refrain from eating food that has been prayed over or offered to deities.