Sacred spaces facilitate us to be here and now and connect with ourselves and something bigger than us. In My Sacred Space blog, I write about designing your own sacred space. Whatever your path is for connection, you can get inspired by the sacred space design of other faiths. That is why I am writing about the Place of Worship for Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.
Let’s look at each of these places of worship one by one.
Christian place of worship
What is the place of worship for Christianity called?
Church, yes it’s the name. Beautiful buildings with a blend of religion and architecture, churches are designed so well. From the inside, they are traditionally designed as a cross if we view them at some height. The central passageway or aisle, and the sitting area depict the vertical part of the cross. The altar and bema form the horizontal part.
An altar is a raised structure usually some steps above the ground, where clergymen sit and give sermons. All the rituals are performed here.
But wait, it’s not only about the designs. The architecture involved skillfully symbolizes different things. Let’s see what these are.
Domes and towers are a rendition of the heavens. A star or an octagon reflects that the church is here for illuminating the world with its holy light. A circle brilliantly symbolizes eternity.
What are the 3 places of worship for Christianity?
Talking about the churches, the three types are:
Basilica – originally a Roman public building for official and court works, the architecture was adapted to build churches afterward. Typically, the basilica is a Roman Catholic Church.
Cathedral – a church where the bishop (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican Churches) sits, therefore, it is an important church having responsibilities.
Different symbolisms are also in connection with the cathedrals. Let’s check them out.
- The building is very large; the grandeur indicates the Glorious God.
- The traditional ground architecture is in the form of a cross, inspired by the crucifixion of Jesus.
- The main building is named “Nave”, a Latin word meaning ship. It symbolizes that the cathedral is a ship of people dealing with the tides of life i.e. ups and downs.
- A cathedral expertly weaves the symbols of hope and steps towards salvation.
Chapel – the place of worship that is usually smaller than other churches, chapels often do not have a permanent clergyman. Also, smaller spaces inside churches having separate altars are termed chapels. Moreover, chapels are small places of worship built inside different buildings like schools, colleges, hospitals, etc.
What is the day of worship for Christianity?
Christians go to the churches for worship usually on Sunday every week. The reason behind this is that Sunday is the day when Jesus was resurrected.
Where is the place of origin of Christianity?
Jerusalem, the holy city, is considered to be the place of origin of Christianity. Jesus spent his childhood there, became a preacher and healer. His crucifixion and resurrection also took place there.
Buddhist place of worship
Does Buddhism have place worship?
Although, there’s no specific place of worship in Buddhism since Buddhists can worship at home. But yes, there are some places as well to worship. To know what these are, go below with me.
What is the Buddhist place of worship called?
A Buddhist temple is a place where Buddhists go to worship. These temples are different in structure. A Buddhist temple is considered as a pure place of Buddha, spreading peace.
What is a Buddhist temple called?
There are numerous Buddhist temples, therefore, have different names. These are chaitya, pagoda, wat, stupa, and vihara.
Buddhist temple facts
Buddhism, the religion of non-violence, has fascinating temples. Almost all the temples symbolize five pure elements: earth, water, fire, air, and wisdom. Let’s have a look at the temples and some interesting facts.
Stupa – a hemispherical structure used for mediation, a stupa is like a mound. Having a square base and a dome on top, it contains the remains of monks and nuns. Symbolically, different structural parts of stupa represent five pure elements.
Also, the stupa denotes the meditating Buddha.
Chaitya – it is simply a prayer hall containing stupa. A Nepalese chaitya is a small stupa-like monument, usually constructed in the memory of a dead person.
Vihara – it is a monastery with an open courtyard, providing living space to monks. Viharas also provide space for religious work, learning, and meditation.
Wat – a Thai word meaning enclosure, wat is a Buddhist temple in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, East Shan State, and Yunnan. It must have at least three resident bhikkhus (monks). A big image of Buddha is always present inside. Wat also gives the provision of learning.
Pagoda – a multi-storied building having tiers with upward-curving roofs, the pagoda is a pointed tower-like temple. The number of tiers is always odd. The five-tiered pagoda representing the five pure elements is common in Japan. Pagodas are mostly found in Southeast Asia and Eastern Asia.
Where is the sacred place of worship for Buddhism?
There are four sacred places in Buddhism. They are linked with Gautam Buddha’s life. Buddhists pay pilgrimage to these sacred places:
Lumbini Grove – Buddha’s birthplace (Nepal)
Bodh Gaya – where Buddha attained enlightenment (India)
Sarnath – where Buddha gave his first sermon (India)
Kusinara – where Buddha died (India)
Where is Buddhism practiced?
Buddhism is mainly practiced in China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Japan, and other Southeast Asian and East Asian countries.
Buddhism place of origin
Gautam Buddha founded Buddism in Bihar, India where he attained enlightenment.
The population of Theravada Buddhism
Theravada or Southern Buddhism has a population of 150 million. It is practiced mainly in South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.
Place of worship of Theravada Buddhism
Wats and stupas are the most common places of worship of Theravada Buddhism.
Buddhist holy book
Tripitaka is the holy book, the word means three baskets. It is further classified as Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, and Abhidhamma Pitaka.
Muslim place of worship
Where is the place of worship for Islam and What is the place of worship for Islam called?
In Islam, a mosque is a place where Muslim men go to offer five times Salaah. Muslim women usually pray at home.
There is a specific direction towards which Muslims offer their Salaah. It is called “Qibla”, the direction facing towards The Holy Kaaba, present in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
What place of worship is considered sacred by Muslims?
The Holy Kaaba is the most sacred site of worship for Muslims all over the world. Known as Masjid-al- Haraam (the sacred mosque in meaning), Kaaba is also called Bayt Allah which means Allah’s house.
The Kaaba’s magnificence always makes my heart tremble in awe of the One who is the Almighty, Allah. The place is a blend of splendor and magnificence with spirituality at its peak.
Originally, Kaaba was built by the Prophet Hazrat Ibrahim(A.S) and his son Hazrat Ismail (A.S). A black stone named Hajr-e-Aswad was placed by them at the Kaaba.
As time passed, high and strong walls were built around Hajr-e-Aswad to protect it. And now as we see, it is all covered in Kiswaa, a black silk cloth with gold Quranic verses on it. Every year on 9th Dhu-al-Hijjah, the kiswaa is changed. The whole ceremony is a soul-stirring experience to watch live.
Features of a mosque
A mosque is a beautiful rendition of art, culture, and religion. Its features include:
Qibla wall and Mihraab – a wall with a niche called Mihraab that indicates the direction of prayer.
Minaret – the tower through which Azaan (call of prayer) is given.
Dome – beautiful domes are always part of the mosques indicating the oneness of Allah, and symbolizing heaven as well.
Minbar – it is an elevated platform where Imam sits and gives the sermon.
Courtyard – it is an open space for the people to sit and pray.
Ablution Area – it is the place where people do wudu or ablution before Salaah.
The mosque is decorated from inside with beautiful calligraphy, velvety carpets, and colorful tiles and mosaics. A mosque is a place where people pray, meet each other, and know about their well beings and sufferings. It is a fine means of communication and unity among Muslims.
And it is not possible to talk about the mosques and not mention Istanbul. Istanbul is known as “the city of mosques” having over 3000 mosques. The beautiful Blue Mosque or Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Hagia Sophia, The Suleymaniye Mosque, and others are must to visit.
As I feel, worship is sacred, beautiful, and divine. And all the places of worship belonging to different religions are sacred and respectable for me. Therefore, I hope that you have enjoyed this fascinating and divine ride to different worship places.
But oh yes, if you have gained the true essence and spirit of worship, any place is your worship place. Any time is your worship time. Any day is your worship day. Because the true spirit of worshipping God liberates you from the constraints of time and space. You become a free soul, ever ready to worship your God, any time, any place. You whisper, “O Almighty, here I am, please be pleased with me and let me engulf in your presence”. And deep down in your heart, you know that you are heard and blessed.
Even though the spaces vary, they have many commonalities. They are beautiful, safe and they guide you to remember your connection.
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Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so, you can pin it to your SSacred Space Board!