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Better Question. How does YOUR religion, crate sacred space. ALL RELIGIONS, PLEASE.

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I am very interested in how people or priests, preistesses, pastors, rabbi's any religious leader or patron creates sacred space to worship or pray in.

When a Catholic is praying at home, do you do anything special? When you are doing the novena, for example.
How does your priest or pastor or rabbi make the building you worship in "sacred" or set apart from the world as a "holy" place? I am not excluding Muslims, here. I simply do not know what a religious leader in a mosque is called. (someone can fill me in on that, too.)
And, Pagans, what do you do differently in a group inside, or outside or alone at home to make "sacred" space?

Thanks, I am very interested and hope people will share.
~Michelle
post #2 of 28
I am an eclectic Pagan and independent Buddhist.

I do not require any special place or arrangement in order to pray or meditate as I feel that my connection the Sacred is always present within and outside of me no matter where I am. With that said, there are some steps that can make me feel connected to and more "ready" so to speak. Particularly after a long day or something stressful (which often leads me to prayer LOL!) a series of things can help get me in the right mode.

The elements (air, water, earth, fire) feature in my creation of a sacred space. They correspond with the directions so it helps me to feel grounded and surrounded, so to speak. Creating a circle of energy that is visualized is nice sometimes, but I am most familiar with creating a circle in group ritual and worship. The circle can be walked out with the elements and all participating lend their energy to it's creation. Candles, scents, incense, stones, flowers and similiar things can play a part.

Gestures or positions can also create the space. A favorite position for me to meditate or pray in is this one. Very calming, and it allows for peace and focus.
post #3 of 28
I am a Christian. I meet with a local church in the Lord's Recovery. We believe that, according to the Bible, when we are born-again, the Lord lives within us in our human spirit. Therefore, we do not need a "sacred space" in which to worship the Lord because He is within us. We need only to turn to our spirit - to turn our heart away from the world and our self and towards the Lord in order to pray to Him. The Bible tells us to unceasingly pray. We could not do that if we had to be in a certain "sacred space" in order to pray.
I just was reading a thread in the lactivism forum about places where we have nursed our babies. When my children were babies I nursed them wherever I was where they were hungry.
I also can and do pray wherever I am. I pray in the car, in the park in the bathroom, at the mall, in the grocery store, and at my desk in front of the computer. I think we can and should worship the Lord wherever we are.
post #4 of 28
Orthodox churches are sacred space, or in the words of our old priest, "reclaimed creation"
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourgrtkidos View Post
How does your priest or pastor or rabbi make the building you worship in "sacred" or set apart from the world as a "holy" place? I am not excluding Muslims, here. I simply do not know what a religious leader in a mosque is called. (someone can fill me in on that, too.)
The person who leads prayer at a mosque is the imam.

I'll be back for the rest of the question later...a poopy diaper calls!
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by domesticzookeeper View Post
Orthodox churches are sacred space, or in the words of our old priest, "reclaimed creation"
Oh, that's beautiful.


As a Catholic, I believe that my body is the temple of the holy spirit, and that God is always with me, so a sacred space is not necessary. However, many Catholics I know have altars (like the top of a sideboard or dresser) with statues or pictures, sometimes incense, a bible, flowers, etc. in their homes. We have a statue of the the Virgin Mary in our kitchen that "looks" down at us in the place we congregate most often, and another image of our Lady of Guadalupe by the front door, the first things we see when we enter and the last when we leave.

Of course the most sacred space we have as Catholics is in the presence of the Holy Eucharist, which we believe is the Body of Christ. The Eucharist is present during mass at our churches, and is reserved in a tabernacle (a locked box) at other times so that we can come pray in the presence of the Body of Christ.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledzepplon View Post
As a Catholic, I believe that my body is the temple of the holy spirit, and that God is always with me, so a sacred space is not necessary. However, many Catholics I know have altars (like the top of a sideboard or dresser) with statues or pictures, sometimes incense, a bible, flowers, etc. in their homes.

Aren't altars lovely. It's such an important thing for me too, and I love how it transcends religious traditions.
post #8 of 28
Many Catholics cross themselves at the beginning of prayer which is a very quick form of blessing ones body, often involving holy water if it is available.
post #9 of 28
I always bless myself before and after praying. We have religious items all over the house, statues, prayer cards stuck here and there, a font, crucifix, etc.

Quote:
Of course the most sacred space we have as Catholics is in the presence of the Holy Eucharist, which we believe is the Body of Christ. The Eucharist is present during mass at our churches, and is reserved in a tabernacle (a locked box) at other times so that we can come pray in the presence of the Body of Christ.
What she said
post #10 of 28
Also the Roman Catholic priest creates a temporary sacred space on the altar during the Mass in which he consecrates the bread and wine. From what I've been told the ritual is somewhat similar to the pagan ones for calling a circle.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post

Aren't altars lovely. It's such an important thing for me too, and I love how it transcends religious traditions.
That's fascinating to me, too.
post #12 of 28
The Eucharist! The Creator and Sustainer of the Universe takes the very humble form of bread and wine right, immediately before us...

domesticzookeeper--I am envious of the mystical beauty of Orthodox Churches! And I whole heartily look forward to the reconciliation of East and West--or one can pray at least, right? Because the Orthodox Churches I've been in (mostly Eastern Rite Catholic) are the most beautifully palpably Holy places.
post #13 of 28
Your question reminds me of a detail of our Sunday Liturgy. Just before starting the most sacred part of the service, the doors are supposed to be closed and only believing members are left inside. (In modern times, non-members will remain or just withdraw to the foyer of the church.) The call to bar all the doors is actually written into the service. Then, a long prayer is sung calling everyone to set aside all worldly concerns. It is a dividing point in the service which mentally sets the place aside from the rest of the world.

By the way...
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post
I am envious of the mystical beauty of Orthodox Churches! And I whole heartily look forward to the reconciliation of East and West--or one can pray at least, right? Because the Orthodox Churches I've been in (mostly Eastern Rite Catholic) are the most beautifully palpably Holy places.
Since you feel so cordial toward the Orthodox Church, let me give you a friendly tip not to enthuse to Orthodox Christians about the coming "reconciliation of east and west." The majority of them do not consider it anything to look forward to.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post

By the way...
Since you feel so cordial toward the Orthodox Church, let me give you a friendly tip not to enthuse to Orthodox Christians about the coming "reconciliation of east and west." The majority of them do not consider it anything to look forward to.
interesting... it must be different here, at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA where I've had many a conversation about this and have never sensed that it was something not desired. We talk about the fundamental cultural differences which seem very difficult to overcome, but we always seem to leave it with "God, with whom, all things are possible."
post #15 of 28
i am both Quaker and Buddhist, and can give you 2 answers here:
in a group setting, i attend a silent Quaker meeting. we have no set leader/pastor. (some meetings in other regions do have a pastor or program to their meeting.) our space is an arrangement of benches in a square, and it is made sacred by each of us going deep within and listening for God. The room is relatively unadorned, though there is a quotation from a well known Qukaer writer framed on one wall.

in my home, i pray and meditate (2 separate things) at an altar. my altar has a candle, several stones and seashells (because i feel most deeply centered by the ocean, and it is a connection to my ancestors), a photo of a Buddha statue, and a glass of water (a small offering). i light a candle and some incense.
i have a series of prayers i usually begin with, before i settle in.
post #16 of 28
I am Christian. Pentecostal- Assemblies of God to be exact.

One of our main ways to connect with God is through worship. During church services my personal church goes all out. We have the full orchestra, the drums, electric and acustic giuitars, piano, choir..... We love to glorify the Lord through music, and song. (Which we had an amazing worship service just 9 days ago where the Lord delivered a message to our church!!! Two people spoke in tongues and two others -can't think of the term- but told us what was being said. We're still on a high from that service.... Looking forward to this Sunday, we are having an all worship service!)

Anyway, at home there is no ritual. I may put on music, but I'm singing most of the time anyway. I kinda stay in a state of worship and prayer. I love to just have quiet time with God, but it doesn't always happen during the day. So either before I get out of bed I have quiet prayer time or I do it right before bed. The rest of the time I worship by singing/ praying while I'm dancing with the kids, changing diapers, taking a walk, washing dishes.....just every day normal routine stuff. The quiet times are precious! If I had it my way everyday I would go outside during a beautiful sunset, walk barefooted through grass, dip my toes in a cool stream near by, sing sweet love/ praise songs, maybe read in the Bible as lead to do so, then end with a prayer. (That's how I worshiped as a child/ teenager.)
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ammaarah View Post
The person who leads prayer at a mosque is the imam.

I'll be back for the rest of the question later...a poopy diaper calls!
Picking up for Sister Ammaarah, since I have no poopy diapers at the moment.

An imam can be anyone, no particular training is required. Generally speaking, the oldest or most respected person in a group of praying Muslims will lead the prayer, thus being the de-facto imam. Different countries and/or institutions will have legal definitions of who can be described as clergy, but strictly within Islam, there is no benchmark test.

"Sacred space" is created through two means, via ritual washing called wudu and through pure thoughts. If you engage in wudu without being in the proper, prayerful state of mind, then the wudu is invalid and so is the following prayer. In addition to wudu, Muslims should also be in an appropriate state of dress to pray to God: clothes should be clean and in good repair (although there's no penalty if your very best clothes are rags, intent is more important), both men and women are required to cover their heads as a sign of submission to God, and the place of prayer should be clean. For this reason, many people use special prayer rugs, although they are not required. You can use any clean piece of fabric or mat, such as a towel, fabric remnant, even paper towels!

Happy to answer any further questions.
post #18 of 28
I'm LDS
When we build a new chapel or temple, we have a dedicatory prayer over it before it is used for worship. We dedicate it to God and to be used in His honor and so on.
It is not required, but many LDS families (mine included) choose to dedicate our homes when we move into them. We dedicate them to God, and ask his protection and blessing over our residence and our family for so long as we live there. We do this whether we own or rent or whatever. In this way, we believe that our homes can be a temple to the Lord too--so we don't need any particular extra preparation before praying or anything. We do usually kneel to pray, but we don't have a special area set aside or anything.

It's been interesting to read about what others do!
post #19 of 28
[QUOTE=brightonwoman;9406999]I'm LDS
When we build a new chapel or temple, we have a dedicatory prayer over it before it is used for worship. We dedicate it to God and to be used in His honor and so on.
It is not required, but many LDS families (mine included) choose to dedicate our homes when we move into them. We dedicate them to God, and ask his protection and blessing over our residence and our family for so long as we live there. We do this whether we own or rent or whatever. In this way, we believe that our homes can be a temple to the Lord too--so we don't need any particular extra preparation before praying or anything. We do usually kneel to pray, but we don't have a special area set aside or anything.
/QUOTE]

A lot of Catholics do this, too. Do other Christian denominations bless their homes? Sorry for the ignorance. Cool thread.
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledzepplon View Post
A lot of Catholics do this, too. Do other Christian denominations bless their homes?
Yes, the Orthodox do, and most homes are blessed yearly during the season of Epiphany.
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