Tour of the Church
The Church Building
On the night before he died, Jesus broke bread with his disciples. He said, “This is my body, which will be given for you. Do this in memory of me.” [Luke 22:19]. From that time until now, Jesus disciples have come together to celebrate the Last Supper.
It was Jesus’s intent for his disciples to gather so that they might strengthen each other in their resolve to follow the way they had been shown by the Master. We read in St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews, “We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. We should not stay away from our assembly…. but encourage one another.” [Hebrews 10:24-25]
We come together to be fed by the Eucharist and to be encouraged by our faith community. In the early Church, disciples came together in each others homes. By the 4th century, large structures were built to accommodate the numbers of people who were converting to Christianity. The Church building became the focal point for what we now call the Mass. As time went on, symbolic appointments became the norm; specific vessels compliment our ritual celebrations. Our statues and stained glass windows help to tell the story of Jesus and the lives of the saints.
This tour of the Church will point out many of the common items found in a Catholic Church and explain their symbolism and purpose. The tour begins with the building itself.