What direction should a church face?

Why do priests face east?

‐By facing east for the eucharistic prayer. … Priests in the patristic era almost universally faced east, the direction of rising sun, during the eucharistic prayer, anticipating thereby the glory of Christ’s return to earth. And he no longer necessarily faced east in expectation of the return of Christ.

Why do Gothic cathedrals face West?

According to Helen Dietz [3], after the Christians in the Rome of the fourth-century freely begin to build churches, they located the sanctuary towards the west end of the building, with the symbolic proposal of imitating the sanctuary of the Jerusalem Temple.

Why do we pray facing East?

Syriac and Arabic Christian apologetics of the 7th century explained that Christians prayed facing east because “the Garden of Eden was planted in the east (Genesis 2:8) and that at the end of time, at the second coming, the Messiah would approach Jerusalem from the east.” Saint John of Damascus taught that believers …

What is the layout of a church?

The entryway to the church is the narthex; the church portals are located here. The nave, or center aisle is an elongated rectangle and pews are located to each side. During processions, ceremonies or masses, people walk up the nave to the altar. The crossing is where the transepts and nave intersect.

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What does facing east mean?

When people say North facing or South facing, etc., they’re talking about the direction that the front of your house is pointed towards. To find out which direction your house is facing, stand just inside your front door. … You have an East facing house if you’re face East.

What do churches 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).

Are all churches built east to west?

1. Direction: churches are always rotated east to west with the chancel, sanctuary and altar in the east. This is because the east faces towards the holy city of Jerusalem which is where, in medieval writing, God’s presence was said to be strongest.

Should a priest face the congregation?

As per the uniform format, the priest would celebrate the mass facing the devotees in the introductory part, the Liturgy of the Word (three readings of the Bible), and during the concluding blessing part. During most part of the holy communion (the Liturgy of the Eucharist), the priest would face the altar.

When did the Catholic Church turn the altar around?

After years in which priests celebrated Mass with their backs turned to worshipers, altars were repositioned after the Second Vatican Council (1963-65) so that the priest could face the people. In recent interviews, the cardinal was quick to say he is not advocating an immediate change, but is taking a longer view.

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