Spiritual Itineraries - Christian Religion
With more than 2 billion adherents, Christianity is the most eminent religion in the world. About 42 million Britons consider themselves as supposedly Christian and there are about 6 million people who are actively devoted towards this belief. According to the followers of Christianity, Jesus Christ who appeared in the Holy Land about 2,000 years ago, was incarnation or can say Son of God. People who followed his lessons became the disciples of Christianity and a number of Christian churches developed after the end of his life.
History of Christianity:
The narration of Christianity is based on the life, death as well as revivification of Jesus Christ. The conventional story reveals that Jesus Christ was born in stable of Bethlehem, the Holy Land. A young virgin, Mary gave birth to the son of God by the Holy Spirit’s action. An account of his birth has also been depicted in the new testament of the Bible written by Luke and Mathew.
The Christians believe that the birth of Jesus Christ was consequence of prophecies that took place in the Jewish Old Testament claiming that the Massiah would set free Jewish citizens from imprisonment or slavery.
The fact after his birth is unknown or little known until he started his ministry at the early age of 30. He spent his 3 years as a teacher, healer as well as miracle worker. He gave lessons in parables which were everyday stories containing divine messages for those who would grasp it. Twelve displaces who were his followers helped him in his work. His education to masses distressed the religious authorities of Palestine who then handed him as an activist over to the Roman authorities. Christ strived for heresy, blamed and at last assassinated by crucifixion.
Based on a popular myth of Christianity, on Sunday after his capital punishment, some of Christ’s women followers found that the tomb in which his deceased body had been kept was vacant. And then Jesus appeared alive in the same previous condition before his death. His resurrection was noticed by many of his followers over few days and according to the beliefs of Gospel, Christ then was taken up into the paradise.
Religious Facts and Customs of Christianity:
Christianity developed in the West countries, but at present it has stretched out to each continent and has become the largest faith in the world. Christians believe in only one God, who is one person and exists as Son, Father as well as Holy Spirit. According to their belief, Jesus is the marvelous and human Messiah who has been sent to protect the whole world. Gathering at churches for devotion and worship of Christ, companionship, study, and involvement with the world through social action and evangelism are the central practices of Christianity.
3 Most important rituals of Baptism
Baptism : For those communities of Christianity that follow infant baptism, it is the first ritual of life. During this ceremony the priest sprinkles holy water onto the infant’s head and utters that he baptizes the baby for the sake of the Son, the Father as well as the Holy Spirit. As the baby is unable to understand the ritual, Godparents make vows on the behalf of the child. During this ritual the baby is also given with Christian names is also termed as christening. It is a long-standing custom that is widespread earlier than Christian religion period.
Adult Baptism : According to some churches or the Baptists, consider that infant baptism isn’t a healthy ritual as infant can’t understand the beliefs and customs of Christianity. These churches focus mainly upon baptizing adults, which has been termed as ‘believer's baptism’. These types of churches generally baptize by completely submerging the individual in water, which portrays a symbol of dying as well as being born another time into the Christian belief. These churches contain a small but deep pond or pool at the front side of the church particularly for this ritual. During normal services this pool is covered by a fake floor.
Confirmation or Substantiation : This service permits those who got baptized as infants to become complete grown up members of their house of worship. Before an individual becomes eligible or can be confirmed, he has to undergo a stage of study and training along with their cathedral minister. A Bishop performs the act of confirmation.
The worshipping method in Christianity entails praising God through music as well as speech, readings from Holy Book or scripture, various types of prayers, a sermon along with holy festivities like Eucharist. People visit in group in churches to offer reverence or to worship Christ, in group. Individual Christians are also allowed to worship God at any place and on their own.
Various cathedrals, even within the identical denomination, make use of different forms of worship. With a choir singing and difficult music some churches will be elaborated while others will hand over the music to the people attending worship, who then sing simple songs or hymns. Some cathedrals will give out the much of their work to ministers while some may encourage great congregational involvement.
Christian Festivals and Celebrations
Christian’s festivals are celebrated in the same way as other festivals are rejoiced by people. The Christian community celebrates festivals like Good Friday, Easter and Christmas. All these celebrations are multihued and full of spiritual sentiments.
Good Friday : Good Friday is celebrated as Jesus' death anniversary on the cross. Jesus was killed or put to death on the day of Friday prior to Easter Day, it is believed by the Gospels. Since then, in early churches Good Friday has been celebrated by keeping fast and through penance. In the Orthodox, Anglican traditions and Roman Catholic, , the festivity of the Eucharist is prohibited; ceremonial service entails worship of the cross, the Passion description from the Gospel of St. John, along with spiritual union using bread and wine sanctified the earlier date, Maundy Thursday. Other types of ceremony include meditation and prayer at the locations of the Cross, a sequence of 14 images, generally on wooden crosses, portraying Christ's crucifixion as well as the occasions passing up to it.
Easter : It is also recognized as Pascha , the Sunday of the Resurrection, the banquet of the rebirth or the Resurrection Day, is the most significant religious feast that falls out in Christian Calendar. This festival is observed linking late March plus late April while in East early April to early May. It rejoices the rebirth of Jesus, which took place after the ending of his life by crucifixion. In various Catholic Churches, Easter is in fact considered an eight-day feast also known as the Octave of Easter.
Christmas : It celebrates Jesus Christ’s birth and communicates his message of tolerance, love and brotherhood. It's a carnival of mankind and humanity. Though this festival is the primary celebration of the Christian calendar, but now it has an exceptional importance in everyone's life. People all over the world celebrate it as a universal festival. In 336 A.D, in the previous Roman calendar, the first mention of 25th December as the birth Jesus’ birth date occurred. In India it holds a specific significance.
Christian Pilgrimage Sites located in India:
- The Church of St. Cajetan, Goa
- Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa
- Church of St Francis of Assisi, Goa
- Christ Church & St. Michael's Cathedral, H.P.
- Santa Cruz Basilica, Kerala
- Church of the Sacred Heart, Delhi
- Little Mount, Chennai (Madras)
- Cathedral Church of St. Thomas, Mumbai