Inside a Catholic Church What's there and why?
Inside a Catholic Church • The first thing you see when you enter the door of a Catholic church is • a pool of water, or in some churches a bowl of water, a holy water font • Standing by the baptismal pool is a • large candle called the paschal candle. At the beginning of our Easter celebration each year on Holy Saturday night, we light this candle for the first time. The light and example of Christ dispels our doubts and fears even as the candle's flame lights up the darkness. • Also in the baptismal area of the church, you will see • a niche in the wall or a little cabinet containing three vessels of oil: 1) oil of catechumens, used to bless and strengthen those preparing for Baptism; 2) oil of the sick, used by the priest to heal and strengthen the sick in the sacrament of Anointing; and 3) sacred chrism, used in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders.
Inside a Catholic Church • Also in this baptismal area you will see the door leading to a small room designed for • the individual celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation. • Moving from the baptismal area into the church proper, we find ourselves in a large open space called the • nave. • From wherever we stand in the church, our attention is drawn to the focal area of the liturgical action and to the three major pieces of furniture we find there: • the presider's chair, the lectern and the altar table. • The presider's chair is not a throne. The reading stand, or lectern, holds the lectionary, the book of readings from Sacred Scripture. The altar is the holy table upon which we celebrate the Lord's Supper. • At Mass the priest wears a long white garment called • an alb. • Over this he wears a larger, more colorful garment called • the chasuble.
Inside a Catholic Church • originally the alb and chasuble were the ordinary garments worn in the Greco-Roman world • The place for reserving this bread for the sick and dying is called • the tabernacle • The 14 pictures, or crosses around the walls of the church are called • the Way of the Cross. People move from one cross to the next, from station to station, praying over these incidents in the life of Jesus.