Christianity has a rich tradition of using various religious items that help deepen the faith of its followers. These items serve as tools that can enhance your devotion and understanding of Christian teachings. Each item plays an essential role in the religious life of a Christian. When you have these tools yourself, it will help you reach a deeper understanding of your faith.
If you are struggling to find a closer relationship with God or simply want something tangible to remind you of your connection to your faith, then there are a few essentials you should have. In this article, we will give you a few ideas on what you should have if you are new to Christianity or if you are looking for the perfect gift for one.
1 – Cross or crucifix
The cross holds a central place in the Christian faith since it symbolizes the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The cross represents Christianity itself, reflecting the core beliefs and values of the faith with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
There is an infinite variety in the way crosses and crucifixes can be displayed. Some people choose to wear them as Catholic jewelry, such as necklaces and bracelets. These necklaces vary from simple designs to intricate pieces.
In homes and churches, wall crosses, and crucifixes are commonly seen. They’re decorative but also serve the purpose of bringing Jesus into the space.
Whatever form the cross takes, it can serve as a constant reminder of your faith, which brings you closer to God. Use a bookmark with the symbol so that when you are done reading, a glimpse of it will root you back into your faith. A small cross in your car will help you feel safer in the presence of Jesus.
2 – Rosary
The rosary looks a lot like a beaded necklace, but it is far from that. It is an essential spiritual tool in the arsenal of every Christian. The practice of praying the rosary dates back to the Middle Ages and has evolved to become a fundamental part of Catholic devotion.
Praying the rosary involves a series of prayers, with each bead representing a specific prayer. It starts with the Apostles’ Creed, followed by one Our Father, three Hail Marys, and a Glory Be.
The rosary comes in various styles and materials, reflecting the diversity of those who pray it. Beads can be made from simple wood or glass or more elaborate materials like pearls or semi-precious stones. Many rosaries become heirlooms and are passed down through the generations.
3 – Christian prayer book
Prayer is an essential part of the life of a Christian as it offers both a meditative experience and a feeling of communicating directly with God. After a prayer session, it is not uncommon for Christians to hear the voice of God in their hearts. With this in mind, it makes sense that a prayer book would be at the heart of your daily routine.
Different prayer books for Christians depend on your denomination. Although some prayers will transcend denominations, some are specific, so you’ll need to find the one that corresponds with yours.
When selecting a prayer book, consider your prayer style and your faith tradition. Some prayer books are more liturgical, following a structured format similar to church services. Others may offer more spontaneous prayer forms.
Some prayer books will follow the calendar of your sect, which will have prayers and readings appropriate to different seasons like Advent, Lent, and Easter.
The language and readability of the prayer book is another important aspect. You may prefer the traditional and poetic language of older prayer books, while others find contemporary language more relatable and easier to understand.
4 – Candles and incense
Candles and incense are often used to enhance the atmosphere for prayer and meditation. The act of lighting a candle can be a way of offering a prayer to God. In many cases, the act of lighting a candle is to ask God or the saints to look after a departed loved one. Incense is used to represent prayers rising to heaven.
Traditional beeswax candles are popular for their natural composition and the symbolism of purity associated with beeswax. Scented candles can create a calming atmosphere for personal prayer at home.
Incense, too, comes in different forms and fragrances. Frankincense and myrrh, mentioned in the Bible, are common and have a rich, ancient association with Christian worship.
Featured Image by João Geraldo Borges Júnior from Pixabay