The articles placed in the sanctuary are carefully chosen. They play an important role in the celebration of the Mass and of any prayer service. The finest materials are used in the creation of these items, most clearly the gold used in the candle sticks. Each piece plays a key role in the connecting of God with His people.
The Ambo is used during the Mass and other public gatherings for prayer as the point from which scripture is proclaimed. Also referred to as the lectern, during the Mass the ambo is the primary focal point during the Liturgy of the Word. The readings and psalm are prolaimed from this point, and just as the altar is the point from which the presence of Christ comes forth in His body and blood, so too at the ambo Christ comes forth in the form of the Word.
The Altar is perhaps the most well known of the objects used during the Mass. Used in the Jewish tradition as an altar of sacrifice, the Catholic teaching includes in the focus a table around which the followers of Christ gather. During Mass, this is the table upon which bread and wine are transfigured into the Body and Blood of Christ.
The Crucifix can be found in almost any Catholic home and holds a prominent place in the sanctuary of any church. It differs from a cross in that upon it is the corpus of Christ. In the Catholic theology, it embraces the redemption and salvation of Christians through the suffering of Jesus Christ. Although some find a crucifix stresses the death of Christ, its true semblence can be found in embracing the Resurrection through which humanity is saved.
The chair in which the presiding priest sits is known as the Presider's Chair. In the local parish it resembles the cathedra, or the Bishop's Chair. From this place the opening and closing prayers of the Mass are proclaimed, and it bears a heightened importance amoung the other seats in the church.
A Tabernacle can be found in every parish, containing the Blessed Sacrament, or the remaining Body and Blood of Christ from that was not consumed during the Mass. From the Jewish tradition which believe that God actually dwelt in the Ark of the Covenant, the tabernacle holds extra hosts for distribution to the sick and those unable to attend the normal Mass. Accompanying the tabernacle is theSanctuary Light, which symbolizes the constant presence of God.
The Baptismal Font can be seen at the birthplace of every Christian. It is here that every person begins their life in the Christian faith. Filled with blest water, the font is used for baptism of both infants and adults.
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