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A kneeler is a cushion (also called a tuffet or hassock) or a piece of furniture used for resting in a kneeling position during Christian prayer.
In many churches, pews are equipped with kneelers in front of the seating bench so members of the congregation can kneel on them instead of the floor. In a few other situations, such as confessionals and areas in front of an altar, kneelers for kneeling during prayer or sacraments may also be used. Traditionally, altar rails often have built-in knee cushions to facilitate reception of Holy Communion while kneeling.
A kneeler is also a part of the prie-dieu prayer desk.
Kneelers in churches are a modern development. Kneeling was not part of the Mass in early Christianity, and has been part of the Catholic Mass only since the 16th century.
An altar is a structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes. Altars are found at shrines, temples, churches and other places of worship. They are used particularly in Pagan, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Modern Paganism. Many historical faiths also made use of them, including Roman, Greek, and Norse religion.
A cushion is a soft bag of some ornamental material, stuffed with wool, hair, feathers, polyester staple fiber, non-woven material, or even paper torn into fragments. It may be used for sitting or kneeling upon, or to soften the hardness or angularity of a chair or couch. Decorative cushions often have a patterned cover material, and are used as decoration for furniture.
The altar rail is a low barrier, sometimes ornate and usually made of stone, wood or metal in some combination, delimiting the chancel or the sanctuary and altar in a church, from the nave and other parts that contain the congregation. Often a gate, or just a gap, at the centre divides the line into two parts. Rails are a very common, but not inevitable, feature of Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Methodist churches. They are usually about two feet 6 inches high, with a padded step at the bottom, and designed so that the wider top of the rail can support the forearms or elbows of a kneeling person.
A benediction is a short invocation for divine help, blessing and guidance, usually at the end of worship service. It can also refer to a specific Christian religious service including the exposition of the eucharistic host in the monstrance and the blessing of the people with it.
The Gospel Book, Evangelion, or Book of the Gospels is a codex or bound volume containing one or more of the four Gospels of the Christian New Testament – normally all four – centering on the life of Jesus of Nazareth and the roots of the Christian faith. The term is also used of the liturgical book, also called the Evangeliary, from which are read the portions of the Gospels used in the Mass and other services, arranged according to the order of the liturgical calendar.
Vestments are liturgical garments and articles associated primarily with the Christian religion, especially among the Eastern Orthodox, Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans. Many other groups also make use of liturgical garments; this was a point of controversy in the Protestant Reformation and sometimes since, in particular during the Ritualist controversies in England in the 19th century.
A pew is a long bench seat or enclosed box, used for seating members of a congregation or choir in a church, synagogue or sometimes a courtroom.
Bowing is the act of lowering the torso and head as a social gesture in direction to another person or symbol. It is most prominent in Asian cultures but it is also typical of nobility and aristocracy in many European countries. It is also used in religious contexts, as a form of worship or veneration. Sometimes the gesture may be limited to lowering the head such as in Indonesia, and in many cultures several degrees of the lowness of the bow are distinguished and regarded as appropriate for different circumstances. It is especially prominent in Nepal, India, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam where it may be executed standing or kneeling. Some bows are performed equally by two or more people while others are unequal – the person bowed to either does not bow in return or performs a less low bow in response. A nod of the head may be regarded as the minimal form of bow; forms of kneeling, genuflection, or prostration which involves the hands or whole body touching the ground, are the next levels of gesture.
Genuflection or genuflexion is the act of bending a knee to the ground, as distinguished from kneeling which more strictly involves both knees. From early times, it has been a gesture of deep respect for a superior. Today, the gesture is common in the Christian religious practices of the Anglican Church, Lutheran Church, Roman Catholic Church, and Western Rite Orthodox Church. The Latin word genuflectio, from which the English word is derived, originally meant kneeling with both knees rather than the rapid dropping to one knee and immediately rising that became customary in Western Europe in the Middle Ages. It is often referred to as "going down on one knee" or "bowing the knee". In Western culture, one genuflects on the left knee to a human dignitary, whether ecclesiastical or civil, while, in Christian churches and chapels, one genuflects on the right knee when the Sacrament is not exposed but in a tabernacle or veiled.
A prayer rug or prayer mat is a piece of fabric, sometimes a pile carpet, used by Muslims and some Christians during prayer.
The offertory is the part of a Eucharistic service when the bread and wine for use in the service are ceremonially placed on the altar.
Solemn Mass is the full ceremonial form of the Tridentine Mass, celebrated by a priest with a deacon and a subdeacon, requiring most of the parts of the Mass to be sung, and the use of incense. It is also called High Mass or Solemn High Mass. However, in the United States the term "High Mass" is also used to describe the less elaborate Missa Cantata, which lacks deacon and subdeacon and some of the ceremonies connected with them.
In the history of Christianity, the African Rite refers to a now defunct Christian, Western liturgical rite, and is considered a development or possibly a local use of the primitive Roman Rite. Centered around the Archdiocese of Carthage in the Early African church, it used the Latin language.
A choir, also sometimes called quire, is the area of a church or cathedral that provides seating for the clergy and church choir. It is in the western part of the chancel, between the nave and the sanctuary, which houses the altar and Church tabernacle. In larger medieval churches it contained choir-stalls, seating aligned with the side of the church, so at right-angles to the seating for the congregation in the nave. Smaller medieval churches may not have a choir in the architectural sense at all, and they are often lacking in churches built by all denominations after the Protestant Reformation, though the Gothic Revival revived them as a distinct feature.
The Alexandrian Rite is the liturgical rite used by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, as well as by the three corresponding Eastern Catholic Churches.
Mass in the Catholic Church goes by many names. As fundamentally an action of thanksgiving to God it is called Eucharist, which means thanksgiving. Other terms for it are Lord's Supper, Breaking of Bread, Eucharistic assembly, memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection, holy sacrifice of the Mass, Holy and Divine Liturgy, Sacred Mysteries, Most Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion, the holy things, and finally Holy Mass from the sending forth (missio) of the faithful.
The Divine Service is a title given to the Eucharistic liturgy as used in the various Lutheran churches. It has its roots in the pre-Tridentine Mass as revised by Martin Luther in his Formula missae of 1523 and his Deutsche Messe of 1526. It was further developed through the Kirchenordnungen of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that followed in Luther's tradition.
Prostration is the placement of the body in a reverentially or submissively prone position as a gesture. Typically prostration is distinguished from the lesser acts of bowing or kneeling by involving a part of the body above the knee touching the ground, especially the hands.
The coronation of the Emperor of Brazil was the religious rite of consecration during which the monarchs of the Empire of Brazil were solemnly blessed, anointed, crowned, invested with the other items of the imperial regalia and enthroned, according to the usages of the Catholic Church, the Empire's official, established Church. The coronation of the Brazilian monarch confirmed the accession of a new emperor to the throne, and corresponded to similar rites that took place in other Christian monarchies. The two Brazilian emperors, Pedro I and Pedro II underwent the ceremony of coronation, on 1 December 1822 and 18 July 1841, respectively. Those remain the two sole acts of coronation that took place in the South American continent.
Swedish monarchs were crowned in various cities during the 13th and 14th centuries, but from the middle of the 15th century on in either the Cathedral in Uppsala or Storkyrkan in Stockholm, with the exception of the coronation of Gustav IV Adolf, which took place in Norrköping in 1800. Earlier coronations were also held at Uppsala, the ecclesiastical center of Sweden. Prior to Sweden's change into a hereditary monarchy, the focus of the coronation rite was on legitimising an elected king.
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