ROMAN CATHOLICISM

Worship, The Virgin Mary and Penance

Worship, The Virgin Mary and Penance


Worship

gcse religious studiesThe Catholic Mass is the main form of worship held in church. The modern mass is conducted in English with the priest facing the congregation. Catholic traditionalists still observe the Tridentine Mass. This is spoken in Latin and the priest stands facing east with his back to the congregation.

At the beginning of daily mass the priest enters the body of the church, sometimes accompanied by a deacon and altar servers. The service usually includes two or three readings from the Bible, the ceremony and prayers of the Eucharist and the Lord’s Prayer which may be sung or recited.

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Virgin Mary

gcse religious studies

The Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, is especially important to Roman Catholics. Catholics mark the Feast of the Annunciation when Mary was visited by the Angel Gabriel who told her she would have a virgin birth and she should call the child Jesus.

Catholics also celebrate the Assumption, when Mary was taken to heaven after she died to be with her son. Catholics believe that nobody can go to heaven until the world ends, but Mary is the exception. Unlike others, Mary had never sinned.

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Penance

The Sacrament of Penance, sometimes called Confession, allows Catholics to confess their sins to a priest who can then absolve them. It expresses God’s forgiveness through his representative on Earth, the priest. Catholics are required to confess at least once a year.

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