Outward practice of one's religion in worship or prayer expressed through rituals and ceremonies.

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45
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11answers
22k views

Why does Judaism celebrate Sabbath on Saturday and most Christians celebrate Sabbath on Sunday?

When did most Christians (possibly excluding exceptions such as Seventh Day Adventists) and Jews start celebrating Sabbath on different days of the week and why?
20
votes
1answer
49k views

What is the story behind a monk’s tonsure?

As the title asks: What is the significance of this particular haircut (the tonsure), why is it associated with monks and what is the history behind it?
18
votes
4answers
8k views

Why does communion frequency vary in different denominations?

Different churches celebrate the Eucharist (Communion, Lord's Supper, ...) with different frequency. At one extreme, Catholic and high Anglican churches tend to celebrate it at least daily. Many ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

According to the Bible, how should Christians meditate? [closed]

In the recent years the word "meditation" has been used widely, including in non-religious contexts. Should we, Christians meditate? If yes, what should we do while meditating? S What does the Bible ...
18
votes
2answers
23k views

What are the steps to become Confirmed in the Catholic church?

What are the steps you have to take (general steps not necessarily church specific) as someone raised in the Catholic church to become Confirmed?
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it true that early Christians were baptised naked?

I was told that people were baptised naked in the early Christian church. Is this true? If so, could you provide references please?
15
votes
3answers
6k views

Nuns wearing wedding bands?

On a recent trip a nice nun took a picture of my family. I noticed that the nun was wearing a wedding band on her left hand. I have a vague recollection of reading somewhere that nuns are considered ...
14
votes
7answers
5k views

What do Protestants who deny transubstantiation do with the remainders of wine and bread after the Eucharist?

What do Protestants who deny transubstantiation do with the remainders of wine and bread after the Eucharist? For example, in Eastern Orthodox Church, after the liturgy the priest must consume (I ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Why should I choose one particular congregation or denomination?

Assuming that one believes in an almighty Lord, why should one choose a particular Christian congregation or denomination? For example, why should one choose to serve God by helping the poor through ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Why would cold running water be preferred for baptism?

The Didache, or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (an early Christian text not part of the New Testament) says of baptism (chapter 7): On the subject of baptism, baptise thus: after having taught ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the reasoning for Latin being the official language of Catholic Mass?

The New Testament was originally written in Greek. But yet Roman Catholics held Mass in Latin for hundreds of years. What scriptural evidence, if any, caused Latin to be picked over Greek? Was any ...
10
votes
2answers
8k views

What specific foods and drinks are forbidden by the LDS (Mormon) Church?

I understand that members of the LDS (Mormon) Church are prohibited from drinking coffee and perhaps some other drinks and possibly food, much like the Jewish people in the Old Testament were ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Is Latin considered a more holy language in the Catholic church?

I've heard that many Roman Catholic churches still hold Mass services and particularly ceremonies (e.g. weddings) in Latin. Is this true, and if so why is Latin considered to be a better language than ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Does any church follow the Apostolic Tradition of Baptism ‘in the nude’, or was that never the tradition?

The Apostolic Tradition was the work of Hippolytus, written somewhere between 215 and 400 AD. Recent scholars seem to take the later date (source). The whole writing can be found here: Apostolic ...
8
votes
1answer
203 views

What is “Spiritual Warfare”?

What is spiritual warfare? And how is it different from malefic ("black") magic? One Evangelical Christian sums it up with, Prayer should not be spellcasting. God is not your djinni.
7
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the theological justification for only the priest drinking the wine in a Catholic Mass?

I recently attended a Catholic Mass for a funeral. When it came time for the observance of the Lord's Supper, only the priest drank the wine. There may be some protestant churches which also follow ...
7
votes
2answers
236 views

Did the Christian practice of having a prayer before Bible study evolve during Martin Luther's time?

In Eric W. Gritsch's book, A History of Lutheranism, he reports, He memorized whole portions of the Bible (available in the Latin translation of St. Jerome, c. 348-420) and used various existing ...
7
votes
1answer
161 views

What is the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God?

What is an overview of the practices, doctrines, and goals of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God that distinguish it from other Evangelical and Pentecostal groups active in Latin America?
7
votes
3answers
690 views

Is communion service at the rail vs. in the pews a function of denomination or church size?

In the small baptist churches I've been a part of, (and the LDS service I attended), the communion elements are served to worshippers in the pews. In my Episcopal church, everybody comes up to the ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

When and where did the Catholic tradition of first communion at 7 years old start?

I found out a few weeks ago from a friend that she celebrated her first communion around her 7th birthday, which seemed like an oddly specific age. In addition, the way she talked about it, and the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Which type of Baptism is preferred in today Catholic Parishes?

Didache 7 Concerning baptism, you should baptize this way: After first explaining all things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in flowing water. ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do Catholics recite the phrase “Thanks be to God” during Mass?

Why do Catholics recite the phrase "Thanks be to God" during Mass? They say this many times too. After the priest speaks, the congregation follows in unison, "Thanks be to God."
6
votes
2answers
308 views

Is there a special significance attached to a Latin Mass?

Every so often, one of my Catholic acquaintances will mention that they will be, or have just attended a Latin Mass. I know pretty much nothing about a Latin Mass, other than (obviously) that it's ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Why is the funeral/burial several days after death?

I've noticed that Christian funerals and burials tend to come several days after the death, even in cases where the death was expected, there was no police involvement (so no need to wait on ...
6
votes
1answer
144 views

What denominations obligate daily Bible reading and prayer?

It is my understanding that the default position within mainstream Christianity is that prayer and reading the Bible are key to promoting spiritual well-being and growth and that as such they are ...
6
votes
1answer
104 views

How did the tradition of Mothering Sunday arise?

Mothering Sunday is a tradition that dates back to at least the 16th century. People would visit their "mother church" either a cathedral or large local church and people were often permitted to ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Do Christian concepts of fellowship allow for a congregation to welcome atheists to participate in their community? [closed]

Due to family issues, I have come to distance people from me, mainly because the family issues made me a rough person and I am not "easy" to hang around. For the same reasons, I was never close to the ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why don't Presbyterians have altars?

Why don't Presbyterians have altars in their churches or in their homes? Who administers the sacraments, especially communion, then without an altar? Do children help out at all? In other churches, ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do Salvation Army members wear uniforms in the church?

I have seen Salvation Army church members going to church in white uniforms. Here is a sample image (source). What is the role of uniforms in the Salvation Army? Is it compulsory for them to ...
5
votes
1answer
719 views

How do practicing Catholics keep track of all the sins they commit before going to Confession?

How do practicing Catholics keep track of all the sins they commit before going to Confession? Do they have to confess all of them or as many as they can remember? Is contrition the sign of having ...
5
votes
2answers
453 views

At what age and how do young Catholics know or be notified that they have committed a mortal sin or a venial sin?

At what age and how do young Catholics know or be notified that they have committed a mortal sin or a venial sin? Basically, do they tell the priest at Confession that they have committed a mortal sin ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

At what age should my daughters start wearing a head covering when they pray?

Catholic tradition has generally dictated that women wear a head covering - be it a veil, mantilla, etc. - while at Mass. First and foremost, the 1917 Code of Canon Law stated: "...women, however, ...
5
votes
3answers
336 views

What is the purpose of attending the mass and going to Confession?

(My curiosity is going to cost me my reputation again. Anyway, here it goes...) In Catholicism, how important is attending the mass, going to Confession and other liturgical rituals? Do these ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do some denominations not wash feet before taking communion?

Why is it that some denominations follow the ordinance of humility as described in John 13 while others do not? What reason is there for not performing the foot washing ceremony before partaking in ...
5
votes
1answer
141 views

When and why did Protestantism begin moving away from liturgy?

I have been to some Protestant churches that have a liturgy on Sunday mornings (Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc) but most of the churches I've attended do not (Baptist, Assembly of God, etc). By ...
5
votes
1answer
42 views

Is there any theological reason that Eastern Orthodox clergy tend to maintain long beards?

I have minimal familiarity with the Eastern Orthodox tradition, but I can typically guess by seeing a photo that a person is an Eastern Orthodox clergyman.
5
votes
1answer
250 views

Are there any major Protestant denominations that meet every day and are together all the time like the early church was?

To my knowledge, most Protestant denominations (Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Non-denom, etc...) structure their church to meet once a week, with maybe a bible-study once a week as well. Though I ...
5
votes
1answer
196 views

Can you give air-kisses to icons in the Eastern Orthodox church instead of physical kisses?

Can you give air-kisses to icons in the Eastern Orthodox church instead of physical kisses? I was reading this website, which teaches church etiquette to church-going Christians. The website seems to ...
5
votes
1answer
355 views

How are patriotic songs used in US churches?

A comical blog mentioned “patriotic worship”. It is also hinted at in this article and in this article where it is made clear that patriotic songs such as the ones listed here are sung and they are ...
5
votes
1answer
232 views

Is it appropriate to leave a Catholic rosary in place on a cemetary headstone?

Is it appropriate to put a rosary on a relatives headstone and leave it there even if it starts to discolor and rust the headstone? Would it be a desecration of the grave if someone removed it ...
5
votes
2answers
551 views

How is the feet-washing ritual observed during Lent?

How is the feet-washing ritual observed during Lent? How many denominations actually do this, besides the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England? What is significance of maintaining this ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does the Catholic church have so many Masses throughout the week?

Why does the Catholic church have so many Masses throughout the week? For the practicing Catholic, which Mass service is most important? There are the weekly worship services, weekend worship ...
4
votes
2answers
205 views

What is World Youth Day?

A recent question mentions World Youth Day. Wikipedia says that it's an event for young people organized by the Catholic Church. That isn't very helpful, since there are a lot of different types of ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Protestant rejection of the Catholic implementation of confession

(Pardon the length - my original post was more concise, but wasn't clearly conveying my question.) Background: I am currently studying the Spiritual Disciplines at a Protestant seminary. For those ...
4
votes
1answer
235 views

Catholic Baptism Process Pre-Vatican II

Today the Catholic Church makes potential converts participate in the RCIA program. Before Vatican II could someone go into a Church and tell the priest he wants to be Catholic and receive baptism on ...
4
votes
1answer
159 views

Why do Anglicans kneel when Catholics would stand?

During the liturgy in both churches, there are several times (for example, at the Collect, just before the first reading) when a prayer is introduced by words, "Let us pray." At those times, we ...
4
votes
1answer
370 views

How are Lutheran weekday “prayer services” different from “matins” or “vespers”?

From Wikipedia, matins: Lutherans preserve recognizably traditional matins distinct from morning prayer, but "matins" is sometimes used in other Protestant denominations to describe any ...
3
votes
3answers
345 views

How Christians are expected to accommodate or view the existence and presence of other religions vis a vis Christianity?

We as Christians acknowledge the God’s plan of salvation at work first through Judaism in OT and then through Christianity in NT. So this question does not apply to Judaism. This plan of salvation ...
3
votes
2answers
87 views

How is “abstain from things strangled” not contradictory to “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man”?

The following words from the Lord seem to imply that men can eat all kinds of food: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the Order of Special Full-Time Servants?

The Order of Special Full-Time Servants appears to be a religious order of Jehovah's Witnesses. What is a religious order in the context of Witness theology? Is it theologically meaningful at all? To ...