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pray_hands.GIF (680 bytes) Prayer & Spirituality
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Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

A Short Course on Christianity

by Rev. Fr. Joseph T. Hilinski
Interfaith Director, The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland


Christians have many forms of what is called prayer. First prayer is a personal action done by the individual believer calling out to God in praise, thanksgiving, sorrow for sins, or petition for human needs. Christians are known by a prayer given to them by the Lord Jesus, called the Lord's Prayer or Our Father. This simple prayer is universally used among Christians. 

Prayers may be made from written texts or memorized verses as well as spontaneous invocations of God. Prayer can be done standing, sitting, kneeling, bowing, or prostrate on the ground. In public worship, the format varies among the various Christian churches, put all use some form of singing of hymns or the psalms from the bible, reading from the sacred books, preaching by a minister or priest, prayers for the public needs of the human and church community, and often including the celebration of the Lord's Supper (the Mass, the Divine Liturgy) by partaking of the blessed bread and wine to proclaim Jesus' death and yet living presence in the Christian community. This service can be very simple to the most elaborate of ceremonies using special vesture, candles, incense, and choreographed (choreographed) movements and processions.

More Christian Prayers

Church Services

It is a long tradition among all Christians to gather on Sunday, which is considered the first day of the week and the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. To gather in an assembly each week is a clear indication that Christianity while it certainly should arise from the personal acceptance of it by the individual is a community of salvation and we are saved as "the body of Christ" in the world. Christ is the head and we are his body. This again uses a comparison to accent the intimacy of Jesus with his followers-a corporate and communal reality. Christians use the word church primarily to refer to this body of Christ to which they belong in faith; only secondarily do they refer to it as a building, for the building is where the church gathers together in worship.

See Also: Lord's Prayer

Next Topic: Challenges Facing Christianity

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