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Catholic services believe culture, speaking style, and bible interpretation differ a lot with that for other Christian churches such Orthodox, Lutheran church, Methodist church among others. These differences since time immemorial have resulted in a crisis, conflict, and misunderstanding between believers bearing different faith and beliefs. Each side has remained to hold a strong stand on what they believe in, defending what they believe is right (White, 2016). Even though there are many differences between the Catholic Church and Christian churches, there Are Still significant similarities between them. These similarities and differences affect the way guidance and counselling exercises are conducted on clients.
Holy mass is considered as the central worship ritual in the Catholic Church in which bread and wine are mysteriously consecrated to become the body and blood of Christ referred to as Eucharist. It serves as a unique identity for the catholic worship culture. Mass is only offered by a priest but not any other church believer. Catholics believe that truly, the bread and wine on the alter change completely to body and blood of Jesus Christ offered on Calvary. According to (Mark 14:22-24) "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many". Holy mass service is celebrated by all believers and willing non-believers but receiving of Eucharist is only for the catholic members who are baptized and in state of grace. Other Christian churches celebrate the Lord's Supper which they believe that it symbolizes the blood and body of Christ but the bread and wine are not blood and body of Christ as it is the case in the Catholic Church Eucharist. Eucharist (Lord's Supper) in Christian churches can be offered by the believers and not necessarily the church leader or pastor alone (Jeffrey, FSC, and Daniel, 2013). Both share Holy Communion in commemoration of the last supper according to 1 Corinthians 11:23-25.
Both Catholic and Christian churches worship God and believe in Christ as the son of God. Additionally, both believe in one God in whom exists the Holy Trinity, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 8:6). Irrespective of whether it is catholic mass or church service or worship in other Christian churches, prayers, songs, and offerings are offered to one God. Such services are offered in churches where people gather with a common objective, praying and giving thanks to God for what He has done to them (Jordan, 2010).
Bible is considered as a holy book in both sides where believers read the bible to comfort them during hard times, get advice or counselling on concerning life issues such as marriage, how to live righteous lives and also to strengthen their faith in God. According to Psalms 119:105, the word of God gives direction to those who read or listen to it. The difference comes in on how the bible is translated and interpreted in the various churches. This usually happens in line with their beliefs and culture. Several books in the bible also differ in both catholic and Christian churches and also each recognizes specific Bible versions (Jeffrey, FSC, and Daniel, 2013).
Counselling exercise should always take into considerations the differences and similarities between the different denominations. Respecting other peoples' culture and beliefs is crucial in ensuring peace and harmony persist (White, 2016). All people from any denomination should be treated in the same way without discrimination. Counselling should use the differences between catholic and Christian churches to create togetherness and treat positively the difference in beliefs. Behaviours and spiritual values can help promote both psychological and physical well-being. Counsellors should, therefore, use these religious believes to help clients solve their problems (Jordan, 2010).
Jeffrey Gros, FSC, and Daniel S. Mulhall. (2013). The Ecumenical Christian Dialogues and The Catechism Of The Catholic Church. New York, NY: Paulist Press.
Jordan, A. (2010). Christianity. Cheltenham, England: Nelson Thornes.
White, J. F. (2016). Introduction to Christian Worship Third Edition: Revised and Expanded. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.
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