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Christianity

The Christian faith is represented by many different traditions. Members of the forum are represented by the following churches:

Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, Indian Orthodox African Pentecostal and Methodist.

Christianity in Ireland

Christianity came to Ireland by the early 5th century, and spread through the works of early missionaries such as Palladius and Saint Patrick. Most denominations of Christianity are organised on an all–Ireland basis which includes both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland, 84.2% of the population adheres to the Roman Catholic Church. In Northern Ireland, the various branches of Protestantism collectively form a majority of the population. The single largest denomination in Northern Ireland is, however, the Roman Catholic Church which accounts for some 44% of the population.

The Roman Catholic Church traces its lineage to the male apostles who, according to Christian teaching, were chosen by Christ to continue his teaching. The Christian Bible is the key holy book of the movement, which shares the principal beliefs of other traditions of Christianity.

The Catholic Church has a developed governance structure. The head of the Church is the Pope and Bishop of Rome. Clergy are called priests.

 

Lutheranism is a branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the teachings of the 16th century German reformer Martin Luther. The Christian Bible is the key holy book of the Church, which shares the principal beliefs of other traditions of Christianity.Lutheranism is the largest religion in areas of Northern Europe and has a significant presence in North America and some African countries. Clergy are called pastors. 

With a history of 300 years in Ireland, the Lutheran Church in Ireland was re-founded in 1955 as a German-speaking Church. It covers the whole island of Ireland. The Church is centred in Dublin with a Church building and a hall. German Services are provided on a monthly or three-times-a-year base in eight other places, including Belfast. The centre of the community is the services, all of them followed by a tea and coffee. Several groups for children, youth and adults form the community. The Lutheran Church has an English Programme as well, as many Lutherans from other Countries are joining services and meetings. The Lutheran Church is member of the Irish Council of Churches, the Dublin Council of Churches, the Irish Council of Christians and Jews and the DCIF.

Methodism began in England in the 18th century as a revival movement within the Anglican Church and was led chiefly by John Wesley and his brother Charles. The Christian Bible is the key holy book of the Church, which shares the principal beliefs of other traditions of Christianity.

The Church has approximately 75 million members worldwide. The Methodist Church in Ireland extends throughout the island and has its own governance structure.

Methodist clergy are called ministers.

 

The Church of Ireland belongs to the Anglican Communion, a world wide grouping of self-governing churches, including the Church of England. In Scotland and the United States, members are known as Episcopalians.

The Christian Bible is the key holy book of the Church, which shares the principal beliefs of other traditions of Christianity.

Clergy are usually called priests or deacons. Those in charge of parishes are usually described as rectors.

 

Orthodox Churches trace their roots to the twelve male apostles who, according to Christian teaching, were chosen by Christ to continue his teaching. The Orthodox movement comprises a group of independent churches that follow particular teachings, each having the right to elect its own leaders.

The Christian Bible is the key holy book of the Orthodox Churches, who share the principal beliefs of other traditions of Christianity.

The Orthodox movement is the largest Christian community in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, while it is the second largest Christian community in the world.

Clergy are referred to as priests.

 

Presbyterianism, a Christian movement, owes its origin to John Calvin, a 16th century French reformer.

The Christian Bible is the key holy book of the Presbyterian Traditions, who share the principal beliefs of other traditions of Christianity.

Presbyterianism is now a worldwide Christian movement. Clergy are called ministers.

Celebrating Together

The Eucharist and the Word

Church services on a Sunday divide into two general types: Eucharistic services and services of the Word.

Both types of service will include hymns, readings and prayers.

The Eucharistic service will be focussed on the act of Holy Communion.

The service of the Word does not include this rite, but instead features a much longer sermon, in which the preacher will speak at length to expound a biblical text and bring out its relevance to those present.

Style

Different churches, even within the same denomination, will use very different styles of worship. Some will be elaborate, with a choir singing difficult music, others will hand the music over to the congregation, who sing simpler hymns or worship songs.

Some churches leave much of the action to the minister, while others encourage great congregational participation.

(Of course all churches encourage the full participation of the congregation in praising God with heart, mind, and soul, but some churches give the congregation more physical participation.)

Words of Faith

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

John 13:34-35 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

”Called to be free” (Galatians 5,13) is one of the main sentences from the Bibel, re-discovered during the time of Reformation. It’s Christ’s love who set us free from sins.

Jesus’ word “You are the salt of the Earth” (Matthew 5,13) shows that it is not about numbers and power bringing God’s love among people.

As Christians we believe there is one God who reveals himself as the Creator of the Earth, as the Son who became flesh of our flesh, and as the Holy Spirit which is God working in and woven into his creation. 

Inspiration Corner

Style of prayer

  • Adoration: Praising God

  • Contrition: Asking for God’s forgiveness

  • Petition: Asking God for a favor

  • Thanksgiving: Showing God gratitude

Pope Francis

"...authentic dialogue also demands a capacity for empathy. For dialogue to take place, there has to be this empathy. This capacity for empathy enables a true human dialogue in which words, ideas and questions arise from an experience of fraternity and shared humanity."

© Dublin City Interfaith Forum

Charity Reg. No. 20202705