The Apostolic Constitutions, a work of eastern Christianity written between 375 and 380 AD, gave it as a rule that churches should have the sanctuary (with apse and sacristies) at the east end, to enable Christians to pray eastward in church as in private or in small groups.
Why are cathedrals built facing east?
When early Christians prayed they would face towards the east. Hence the tradition of building churches with the alter towards the east. One theory for why Christians pray towards the east is that the beginnings of the organized church was in Europe and worshipers were praying towards the direction of Jerusalem.
Do all churches Point East?
For those who do not have the time to immerse themselves… the answer is yes, churches do face east , but not perfectly and the discrepancy varies with location. … It is quite possible that all but the earliest extant churches were aligned and built with the help of a compass.
Why are churches East West?
As well as being oriented towards Jerusalem, Christian churches were traditionally built from East to West because the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. The sun rising in the East was associated with dawn on Easter Day, when Christ rose from the dead.
What direction should a church face?
The orientation of Christian churches reflects the historically documented concepts that one should turn eastward to pray and the architectural and liturgical principle that temples and churches should be constructed facing east (often specified as equinoctial east).
Why are you buried facing east?
Some of the ancient religions (based on the sun) would bury the dead facing east so that they could face the “new day” and the “rising sun.” Once again, Christ is considered to be the “Light of the World,” which explains the eastward facing burials. … It makes perfect sense that the Son of Man would arrive from the east.
Should Christians face east when they pray?
Unlike other religions, Christians do not face a certain way when they pray. They can pray facing any direction since God is omnipresent. While Christians do not pray in a physical direction, they do pray in a spiritual direction.
Why are churches built in the shape of a cross?
Traditionally, Roman Catholic churches were built in the shape of a cross – cruciform – or a rectangle. However, many of the newer ones are circular. This is to stress the equality of all people as they worship in God’s house.
Do Catholic churches always face east?
With regards to churches facing East, although it is true that Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches have historically been built to face East, this is not always the case. … There could be many reasons why altars face East, or even why it is sometimes customary for the congregation to face East during prayers.
What religion prays to the east?
Mizrah (Hebrew: מִזְרָח, Modern: mizrāḥ, Tiberian: mizrɔħ, east) is the Hebrew word for “east” and the direction that Jews in the Diaspora west of Israel face during prayer.
Why do Catholic churches have stained glass windows?
When churches were initially built, not many people could read and the church was seen as a learning hub. The stained glass windows depicted elaborate bible scenes, which allowed the church to communicate bible stories and Christian beliefs to people. Essentially, the windows brought the bible stories to life.
Why do we face east while praying?
The reason is the earth’s magnetic field tend to attract our head towards southwards. If the head is faced north then there is no attraction and repulsion takes place wherein the brain is affected to a partial extent. Also while praying we must east or west as these two directions are indications of sunrise and sunset.
Why is it called a narthex?
The word comes from narthex (Medieval Latin from Classical Greek narthex νάρθηξ “giant fennel, scourge”) and was the place for penitents. … In English the narthex is now the porch outside the church at the west end, formerly it was a part of the church itself.
Why do churches face towards the East?
The first Christians faced east when praying. … One such explanation is that Christ’s Second Coming was expected to be from the east: “For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:27, ESV).
What direction was Jesus facing on the cross?
Also in the celebrated temple of Solomon, the Gate of the Lord was placed eastward. Moreover Christ, when He hung on the Cross, had His face turned towards the West, and so we worship, striving after Him.
What is the gospel side of a church?
The Gospel side is the other side of the church, where the Gospel is read. Facing the altar from the nave, it is the left-hand side. In some places, especially if a comment is based on a romance language source, the Gospel side will be cited as the Evangelist side.