Death Ceremonies

Funerals vary widely in style, from solemn and contemplative to noisy and expressive. Protestant funerals include prayers, Bible-readings, hymns, and a eulogy, or speech, commemorating the deceased before the burial or cremation. Catholics pray for the soul of the dead person and may hold a special Requiem Mass in their honour.

Jazz funeral, New Orleans, USA

White wedding dresses have been popular since the 19th century

Jazz funeral, New Orleans, USA

public prayer

Many Christians pray at home, but people will also pray in public at times of trouble or prior to performing an important task. Before her race, this athlete asks God for help and dedicates her efforts to God.

"...in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart."

philippians 4:6

Paul in his letter to the church at Philippi

Christian culture

Artists, writers, and musicians have been responding to the Christian message for 2,000 years. Very early in the history of Christianity, people were decorating church walls and writing music for use during services. Soon, much of the art produced in the western world was Christian, and as the faith spread around the world, its influence on art followed. Although there are fewer Christian artists today, Christianity still influences both our art and lives. We swear oaths in — ^^

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The wings are tilted forwards to give a sense of embrace

The visual arts

From paintings and statues of Jesus to soaring cathedrals that seem to reach to the heavens, Christianity has had a huge impact on the visual arts. Most famous examples date from earlier times, but visual artists are still being inspired by the faith. Some make art to adorn churches, and others draw on Christian imagery to produce works for a wider public.

christ of rio

Completed in 1931, Christ the Redeemer stands more than 30 m (100 ft) tall and overlooks Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It was designed by artist Carlos Oswaldo and carved from soapstone, which, although quite soft, is resistant to weather damage. From the top of the rocky outcrop of Corcovado, the statue dominates the city and has become known the world over as a symbol of Rio.

The wings are tilted forwards to give a sense of embrace steel angel

Antony Gormley's Angel of the North, which stands in Gateshead in England, has wings 54 m (175 ft) wide - similar in size to the wings of a jumbo jet. This modern angel, completed in 1998, is seen by thousands of travellers on the road and railway line that pass the site. Made of a special steel that contains copper, the statue has a rich reddish-brown colour that stands out against the sky.

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