Role of the church (building)

If the people are the church than why is there so much emphasis on religious acts taking place in an actual “church building”?

Such as baptism or marriage. I was baptized at Harding University August 1997 in their water fountain outside during a Nat’l Youth Conference.

Is it not said that “where two or three are gathered together in My name their I am in the mist of them”

so worship technically can take place anywhere, where Christians are assembled.

agree or disagree…? and i’m all for agreeing to disagree

not looking for a debate…simply opinions or understandings of teachings.

In order to understand why Catholics do certain things in certain ways and why they do not see sacred spaces as unimportant has to do with the whole mind set of authority, what is it, who has it, and who doesn’t.

The Catholic Church was founded by Christ on St. Peter and the Apostles. He gave them the authority to decide matters of faith and morals. So, the Church believing that certain places ought to be consecrated for the purpose of worshiping God and administering the sacraments, established such places which are therefore sacred in God’s eyes.

You will recall that the early Christians began by going to the temple and their synagogues to worship. It was only after the Jews were no longer open to them coming that they met in their homes.

Even Protestant denominations meet in buildings set aside for that purpose, recognizing that no one’s home or other place is really suitable for organized, corporate worship.

Catholics are not “Lone Rangers for Jesus” but members of the one Body of Christ. We all know to whom we belong and where we belong. And on a Sunday morning (or Saturday evening) we belong in the pews, worshiping God along with all the people of God throughout the world.

Your baptism may not have been licit because you were in no danger of dying when you were baptized in such an unconventional way and place. I’m sure the denoms you attend usually baptize their members within a church building and in a baptismal set aside for that purpose, yes?

[quote=Della]In order to understand why Catholics do certain things in certain ways and why they do not see sacred spaces as unimportant has to do with the whole mind set of authority, what is it, who has it, and who doesn’t.

The Catholic Church was founded by Christ on St. Peter and the Apostles. He gave them the authority to decide matters of faith and morals. So, the Church believing that certain places ought to be consecrated for the purpose of worshiping God and administering the sacraments, established such places which are therefore sacred in God’s eyes.

You will recall that the early Christians began by going to the temple and their synagogues to worship. It was only after the Jews were no longer open to them coming that they met in their homes.

Even Protestant denominations meet in buildings set aside for that purpose, recognizing that no one’s home or other place is really suitable for organized, corporate worship.

Catholics are not “Lone Rangers for Jesus” but members of the one Body of Christ. We all know to whom we belong and where we belong. And on a Sunday morning (or Saturday evening) we belong in the pews, worshiping God along with all the people of God throughout the world.

Your baptism may not have been licit because you were in no danger of dying when you were baptized in such an unconventional way and place. I’m sure the denoms you attend usually baptize their members within a church building and in a baptismal set aside for that purpose, yes?
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of course i disagree with your last statement. it comes off as rude. it would have been better to say in catholic teaching…
because my beliefs are not your beliefs…we were having church at this particular college, and where there is water we were baptized. but it’s one thing to say its licit…in your belief, but i wouldn’t question my baptism, no more than i can judge or question yours, even if i do disagree.

The church is to lift one’s mind to higher things. The purpose of the building is to focus one entirely upon God, and to bring a small portion of His glory down upon us. That is why I loathe modern architecture. If it is plain, then it does not fulfill the function delegated it. If the tabernacle is offset, it does not focus one upon the Eucharistic Lord.

The Church is the people of God. The capital makes all the difference, in answer to your question.

Yes, we can pray anywhere, but a church is special, because there is an altar and a tabernacle (just like the Temple in Jerusalem).

That altar was blessed when it was dedicated, with all the prayers of the church (the people). Upon that altar the most profound miracle takes place every mass–Jesus the Word of God becomes physically present at that table.

There is also a tabernacle in the church, where Jesus, in his true physical presence in the Eucharist is reserved. So when I pray in a church, I am praying in God’s presence in a particular way. That doesn’t devalue praying to God in my house, in my car, in my work, in the woods … wherever I speak to God from my heart. But in church it is special.

[quote=ReflectHim]If the people are the church than why is there so much emphasis on religious acts taking place in an actual “church building”?
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Actually it is not an emphasis on “religious acts” taking place “in a church building” but rather if they are “inside the church” which means done under the auspices of the Catholic Church. (Note, Baptist, Methodist, etc. is NOT “in the church” but outside the Church.

[quote=ReflectHim] Such as baptism or marriage. I was baptized at Harding University August 1997 in their water fountain outside during a Nat’l Youth Conference.
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Anyone, even a pagan can baptize in the event of death or urgency. However the form of the Sacrament comes into question, mainly that the person who baptized you must have either immersed you in water or poured it on you saying, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” And, if you are of the age of reason at the time of the Baptism you MUST believe the Catholic Faith in order for it to be valid.(Pretty sure on this here, any Apologists out there?).

[quote=ReflectHim]Is it not said that "where two or three are gathered together in My name their I am in the mist of them"
so worship technically can take place anywhere, where Christians are assembled…
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You are correct in saying that any time two or three are gathered in Jesus name he is spiritually present, however you are not correct in understanding that the worship of God as called for by Him is fulfilled by worshipping Him outside of the Sunday obligation of attending Holy Mass. The Bible clearly teaches that we are to assemble on the Lord’s Day (Sunday) and offer the Eucharist. If you are not a Catholic it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to do this for you have no valid Eucharist.

[quote=kleary]Anyone, even a pagan can baptize in the event of death or urgency. However the form of the Sacrament comes into question, mainly that the person who baptized you must have either immersed you in water or poured it on you saying, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” And, if you are of the age of reason at the time of the Baptism you MUST believe the Catholic Faith in order for it to be valid.(Pretty sure on this here, any Apologists out there?).

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If you are baptized with water (matter) and the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” (form), the Catholic Church will recognize this as a valid baptism, even if it’s performed by Rev. Jim on TAXI (at least I think so. In any event, I just love that character!). We do not expect Batized Baptists, for example, to be re-baptized.

Incidentally, an ex-catholic friend of mine who was baptized as an infant, was re-baptized in his church, since he wasn’t of the age of reason. After I got over my initial outrage, I got to wondering, is this common?

Notworthy

Responders please note that ReflectHim is declared as a member of the Baptist Church of Christ in his profile. To be respectful, we need to realize that his view of Baptism and the Catholic view will not be the same on every issue.

ReflectHim,

The church building is a building set apart for the express purpose of worshipping God. The building is consecrated by the bishop as a place where the whole family is welcome to gather to celebrate the Sacraments (Baptism, Reconcilliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Weddings) and other services worshipping and praising the Lord. It is a central place for the parish, and, when the Sacraments are celebrated, all are welcome to attend.

Yes, God is present everywhere, and we can pray and celebrate His presence and His love anywhere in creation - it is all His. But, the church building is designed and set aside for this purpose, and is known to all to be the place where the Sacraments are celebrated.

I see that the validity and licitness of your baptism was called into question here. As bellesjoy pointed out, your baptism was not in the Catholic church, and, as such did not need to meet the requirements for the Catholic celebration, but those of your own church. **

If** you are seeking to enter the Catholic church, then we would look at your denomination to determine if it was valid within your own denomination and if your denomination intended the same by baptism that we do and that the form of your baptism is considered as a valid baptism by the church. The place that you were baptized would not have bearing unless it made your baptism invalid within your own church.

Valid baptism, as with all of the Sacraments, can occur anywhere. The norm, the preferred celebration, is in the church, the place set aside for worship and celebration, consecrated to that purpose, and performed by/with the ordinary minister of the Sacrament, a priest or deacon (depending on the Sacrament), open to all of God’s family.

Does that answer your question?

Dcn. Jim

Of course we can worship anywhere. We can also have Mass anywhere too - it is my understanding that John Paul II is said to have celebrated Mass with others while on hikes. However, Servus Pio’s post explains quite well the importance of the building. In the end, while the building is important and can enhance worship, it is not essential or required for Mass and worship.

thank you for that response, but i’m not of the Baptist church of Christ. didn’t even know of such…

i just attend both churches…from time to time

father is a minister at one

i am 21 though and not living at home…and i’m a lady. :smiley:

[quote=ReflectHim]thank you for that response, but i’m not of the Baptist church of Christ. didn’t even know of such…

i just attend both churches…from time to time

father is a minister at one

i am 21 though and not living at home…and i’m a lady. :smiley:
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Ah. I understand, looking at your profile, that you attend both the Baptist and Church of Christ assemblies.

Have we answered your question about the church building? I think that we could get side-tracked into questions about valid baptism, but I want to make sure that we do answer your original question, as well.

And, Praise Him for creating you a lady :smiley: - I’m a man, perhaps a gentleman, and praise him for creating me such, as well!

yes you have answered my question about the building…i’m not here to necessarily agree with anyone, but i do which to have my thoughts and beliefs considered. i am here to be informed not to be judged and made to seem as if i’m wrong. even if i didn’t agree with what was being said it doesn’t matter…i just want to get the understanding of your belief

but thanks anyways…i’ll continue to ask questions…i think…

[quote=ReflectHim]yes you have answered my question about the building…i’m not here to necessarily agree with anyone, but i do which to have my thoughts and beliefs considered. i am here to be informed not to be judged and made to seem as if i’m wrong. even if i didn’t agree with what was being said it doesn’t matter…i just want to get the understanding of your belief

but thanks anyways…i’ll continue to ask questions…i think…
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Please, do continue to ask questions. None of us should be here to judge you or make you “wrong.” We might, at times, insist that some things are objective Truth, but it all should be done in Christian charity. I hope that you find that most of us are happy to discuss our faith with you.

Thanks for asking the question:tiphat:!

ReflectHim,
I hope that I may help with your post which I think has served as a very important reminder for all of us.

There are three terms I hope will aide you. These are: Church (as a people), Liturgy, and finally Church (as a building).

First, Church as a people; we are the from the Greek origin of the word Church an assembly of people who have been called together. Saint Paul brings this out very clearly when he called the Church, “The Body of Christ”. As Paul pointed out, the body must function as one. Therefore, this shows that by its very nature the Church is communal.

Which brings me to the second term, the Liturgy. Again, if you look at the word Liturgy from the view point of its Greek origin, it basicly means the act of a people, not an individual nor individuals act or doing something that is similar in actions but acting in unity - again as the unified Body of Christ. Liturgy, by its natural is communal worship.

From these two points, I think it may be easy to see where I am going with my third term, the Church as a building. If we are the Body of Christ, and our Liturgy is communal worship by its very nature then it only stands to reason that there must be a common place to gather and Worship God as this unified body. What is more, as Catholics we believe that the Liturgy of the Eucharist, this communal worship is carried on in the Blessed Sacrament, that is the Real Presence of Christ Jesus, made present at the Consecration of the Mass, doesn’t end with the end of Mass. Therefore, a single place to keep the Eucharist is vital not only for a place for individual worship and other types of prayer, but to maintain the symbol (for what I think is the best definition and explanation of “Symbol” read our Pope’s work “Introduction to Christianity”) of unity. The Bread of Life which makes us one is always present to all.

But, even if you are unable to accept the Catholic belief of the Real Presence, I hope I made some sense why a Church (building) is essential for any worshipping Christian community.

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