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The Bible is the world’s all time No.1 best-selling book, and for Christians, it’s the world’s most important book – a guide for life containing God’s words. You could spend your whole life studying it (and lots of people do) but our animation takes you from Genesis to Revelation in just ten minutes.

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices - Christianity - Introduction /pre-work Worship and festivals - Different forms of worship and their significance: • liturgical, non-liturgical and informal, including the use of the Bible • private worship.

Area of Study 1 - Christianity - The significance and importance of the various beliefs, issues and practices to Christians today should be explored throughout the sections. This should include reference to how the Bible informs a Christian’s understanding of the topics and how approaches to the issues are underpinned by philosophical arguments and ethical theory as applicable. Area of Study 3 – Catholic Christianity - The significance and importance of the various beliefs, issues and practices to Catholics today should be explored throughout the sections. This should include reference to how the Bible informs a Catholic’s understanding of the topics and how approaches to the issues are underpinned by philosophical arguments and ethical theory as applicable. Area of Study 1 – Catholic Christianity - The significance and importance of the various beliefs, issues and practices to Catholics today should be explored throughout the sections. This should include reference to how the Bible informs a Catholic’s understanding of the topics and how approaches to the issues are underpinned by philosophical arguments and ethical theory as applicable.

Component Group 1 - Christianity Belief sand teachings & Practices - Worship • The structure of church services, for example Anglican Communion service, Roman Catholic mass, Quaker meeting, Greek Orthodox service and Methodist Sunday morning worship • The concept of worship • Purposes of worship • The role and importance of liturgical worship for some Christians •The role and importance of informal/charismatic worship for some Christians • The role and importance of individual prayer, private prayeranddevotionforChristians • The role and importance of private and public worship to Christian communities and individuals •Different interpretations and emphases given to sources of wisdom and authority by different Christian denominations

2.2 Unit 2 PART A - Christianity - Core beliefs, teachings and practices Beliefs - The Bible Ø As Word of God, authority, sacred scripture (Deuteronomy 4:1-2) inspiration and revelation Ø As a collection of writings based on context, audience, society, authors' intentions Ø Uses/usefulness (2 Timothy 3:16-17); absolute law, guidance, use during worship and ceremonies (Christening, Marriage, Funerals) Ø Differing ways of interpreting biblical writings: literal, conservative, symbolic, biblical myth Ø Bible in relation to other sources of authority, e.g. conscience (Romans 2:14-15), family, reason, society, situations, civil law, circumstances

Component 2 (Route A) Study of Christianity - Salvation ➢ Law: Word of God; inspiration and revelation; differing ways of interpreting biblical writings; Bible in relation to other sources of authority.

The Bible in Ten Minutes

The Bible is the world's all-time number one bestseller. A book that has inspired great art, literature, cinema, and even comics. For Christians, it's the world's most important book. A guide for life containing God's words. You can spend your whole life studying it, and lots of people do, but we've got just ten minutes.

So the name Bible comes from the Greek word Byblos and the Latin word Biblia, which both mean books. Because the Bible is a collection of books, written by different authors at different times, over about one and a half thousand years. I'm going to be talking about the Protestant Bible, which contains 66 books. The Catholic Bible has more, but I'll come back to that. There are two main sections, the Old Testament and the New Testament. A testament is a statement of belief or a contract, and the contracts in the Bible are between God and his people.

 

There are 39 books in the Old Testament, mainly written in Hebrew. The language of the Jewish people and 27 books in the New Testament, mainly written in Greek. The Old Testament kicks off with the Pentateuch, which means five books, also known as the books of the law. Genesis starts at the beginning, the beginning of everything, with God creating the world in a week. He made Adam, the first man, and Eve, the first woman, and a perfect Paradise for them to live in. But then evil reared its ugly head for the very first time. The world got so evil that God decided to scrap it all and start again. Everything was wiped out by a flood, and only good old Noah, his family and his floating zoo survived. Noah's great great great great great great great great grandson was called Abram or Abraham. And God told him that his descendants would become a whole nation of people, and promised to give them a land of their own. Abraham's grandson, Jacob, also known as Israel, had 12 sons whose families became the 12 tribes of the Israelite people, who would eventually live in the Promised Land. Joseph was Jacob's favourite son and was spoiled rotten, so his jealous brothers sold him as a slave to some passing Egyptians. But after Joseph helped out the Pharaoh with some dream analysis, he was promoted to prime minister, forgave his brothers for the selling him as a slave thing, and invited the whole family to come and live with him in Egypt.

 

Exodus is set about 400 years later, but by now the Israelites had all been made slaves. Oww! God told an Israelite called Moses to free his people and lead them out of Egypt to search for the Promised Land. God parted the Red sea so the Israelites could escape to the other side, where they stopped off at Mount Sinai and Moses climbed to the top to meet God, who handed over ten commandments to live by. And lots of other rules followed. God was offering the Israelites a tempting contract. If they obeyed his law, he'd look after them and everything would be lovely. The Israelites wandered about in the desert looking for their promised land until 40 years later, they found it. Moses gave a big speech about the importance of keeping God's law, and then he died. The next 12 books describe life in the Promised Land and the rise and fall of the Kingdom of Israel. God chose Joshua to lead the Israelites into their new home, where they fought off the nasty neighbours and divided up the land between the 12 tribes of Israel. When some of the Israelites started to disobey God's law, it was up to 11 holy men and one holy woman, called The Judges, to sort them out. The most famous Judge was the super strong Samson, who always brought the house down.

 

This is Ruth. She wasn't an Israelite, but she married Boaz, who was. And their great-grandson is David, who's very, very important in the next book. By now a priest called Samuel was in charge. But the Israelites wanted a king, like all the nations next door. So Samuel chose Saul, but he wasn't really up to the job. Then, during a battle with some nasty neighbours known as Philistines, a local shepherd boy called David, great grandson of Ruth, volunteered to fight the Philistine champion, a giant called Goliath. He won and became a national hero. So when Saul died, David was crowned and led the Kingdom of Israel into a golden age of peace and prosperity, which you can also read about in the Books of Chronicles.

 

When David died, his son Solomon became king. He's known for his wisdom for building an impressive temple in Jerusalem and for having 700 wives, give or take. But the people began to fight amongst themselves, and the kingdom split in two. Israel in the north and Judah in the south. God's messengers Elijah and Elisha warned everyone that worse was to come if they didn't obey God, but no one was listening. Then disaster, Israel and Judah were invaded by foreign powers. Solomon's beautiful temple was destroyed and the people were dragged away to become slaves. The exile, as this period is called, lasted about 70 years. And then the Jews, the people from Judah, were allowed to return home. In Jerusalem, the temple was restored and Nehemiah got the city walls rebuilt. Back in Persia, a clever young Jew called Esther had won a beauty contest to become queen and used her influence over the king to foil a plot that would have wiped out all the Jews in the empire.

 

Next, there's a section of poetry and philosophy. This is Jobe, who remains faithful to God despite lots of horrible things happening to him, so he's rewarded for his loyalty. Psalms is a book of poems and songs, many written by King David, which were used in worship, and still are. Proverbs is a collection of wise sayings, and Ecclesiastes is all about the meaning of life, or the lack of it. The Song of Solomon or the Song of Songs is a steamy love poem, possibly written by King Solomon about his wife, one of his wives. Now we come to the prophets, the people who brought messages from God, teachings, warnings or even visions of the future. Isaiah is mainly about God's judgment on people who don't follow his law, but it also predicts the birth of a new Jewish king. Remember that. Jeremiah warns everyone that unless they obey God, they are going to be made slaves. And then in Lamentations, the writers are talking about the fall of Jerusalem and how terrible it all is. But Ezekiel gives all the people in exile hope that one day they will return to Jerusalem. Daniel gets thrown to the lions when he refuses to worship a foreign king. He survives thanks to God's protection, and the second half of the book imagines all the weird punishments that evil kings will face for enslaving God's people. The 12 final prophets continue with encouraging people to follow God's law, and predictions about what will happen if they don't. For example, Jonah is told by God to warn the city of Nineveh that, unless they shape up, they'll be punished for their wickedness. Jonah doesn't want the job and tries to escape in a boat, but he's thrown overboard, swallowed by a fish, spewed up on a beach, finally goes to warn the people of Nineveh and then gets grumpy when God forgives them all.

And that's the Old Testament. Or is it because there's also the Apocrypha? Greek for hidden, a collection of seven books that weren't included in the Protestant Bible. But you'll find them all in the Old Testament of a Catholic Bible. And Bibles used by Eastern Orthodox churches can have over a dozen more books.

 

The New Testament begins with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, known as the Gospels, which means good news. Each Gospel tells a story of Jesus's life from a slightly different viewpoint, and there's a lot of overlap, especially between Matthew, Mark, and Luke, which are known as the Synoptic Gospels, a word which means that they all have pretty much the same idea about what happened. John has a different take on events and spends more time explaining what he thinks it all means.

The story is told by all the Gospels goes like this. A young Jewish virgin by the name of Mary has a miracle baby called Jesus, and is visited by wise men from the east and some local shepherds, who are all convinced that the baby is a new king of the Jews. But when Jesus grows up, he becomes a carpenter. Then, when he's about 30, he's baptized by his cousin John, a different John, and becomes a traveling preacher with a radical message of love and forgiveness. As well as giving straight down the line teaching like The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus also told a good story, and parables, as they're called, were stories with a point. Then there were the miracles. Jesus changed water into wine, calmed storms, raised the dead, and those are just the highlights. You might have heard of the disciples, which means pupils or followers. Jesus chose these 12 men to help spread his teaching, and they eventually became leaders of the first churches, apart from Judas. The gospel writers all described Jesus using the Hebrew word Messiah or Christ in Greek, which means anointed one, or a person who has had perfume poured all over his head. This was a ceremony performed for people like Saul and David when they were chosen to be kings hundreds of years before, but by the time Jesus was born, the word Messiah had come to mean a hero like King David, who would begin a new kingdom of God. Bits of the Old Testament had foretold the coming of this Messiah, and the writer of Matthew is careful to point out how he thinks Jesus fits the bill. According to the Gospel of John, Jesus isn't just the Messiah, he's God in human form. Jesus's death and resurrection, which means to come back to life, is the most important bit for Christians because they believe it shows God's power over evil and the promise of life after death. The Gospel of Luke ends with Jesus rising up to heaven, promising that one day he will return.

 

Acts or, The Acts of the Apostles, picks up the story and describes how Christianity began to grow thanks to people called the apostles, which means messengers. Men like Peter, who was one of Jesus's disciples, and Paul, who wasn't. Paul's job had been to wipe out Christianity, but after seeing a blinding light and hearing Jesus speaking to him from heaven, he started to spread Christianity instead. The rest of the New Testament is full of letters, many of them written by Paul to friends or to groups of Christians. They were full of advice and teaching, so they were kept and copied and passed around.

The very last book in the Bible is called Revelation or Revelations or the apocalypse. The author John, yet another John, describes his scary visions of a terrible future. Then Jesus returns to Earth as promised. Evil is destroyed once and for all, and the world becomes a Paradise again, which is how God always wanted it to be, right from the very start, all the way back in Genesis.

 

The Bible in Ten Minutes

Video length - 10.13
Published date - Oct 2023
Keystage(s) - 2 and 3
Downloadable resources

A young Buddhist called Hivin guides us through how he meditates at his local London Vihara.

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices: Buddhism - Different forms of Buddhist worship/meditation - Different forms of worship/meditation and their significance. - Meditation

Area of Study 1 – Buddhism- Section 1: Buddhist Beliefs - Section 3: Living the Buddhist Life- Meditation: the nature, purpose and significance of meditation in Buddhism

Component Group 1 - Buddhism-Belief sand teachings & Practice - Practices - Worship •The role and significance of different forms of worship including: •• Meditation •• Chanting •• Puja and devotional ritual •• Mantra •• Malas •• Offerings •• The significance of worship in the temple •• The significance of worship in the home •The purpose of devotional ritual

2.1 Unit 1 - Buddhism - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Practices Meditation Practices  Significance and importance of meditation (Dhammapada 282)  Types of meditation – breathing (samatha)  Loving kindness (mettabhavana)  Insight meditation (vipassana)

2.3 Component 3 (Route A) - Option 1: Buddhism - Practices Meditation ➢ The significance of meditation; Dhammapada 282, Surangama Sutra ➢ Mindfulness of breathing (samatha meditation) ➢ Loving kindness (mettabhavana meditation) ➢ Insight meditation (vipassana meditation) ➢ The importance and role of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; example of Gautama Buddha (enlightenment through meditation). Buddhas and bodhisattvas as the focus of devotion and meditation

Holy Cribs: Meditation

Hivin:     Buddhists like me call worship puja, and the most important kind of puja we do is meditation. Meditation is concentrating or thinking deeply about something, and it helps us to learn how our minds work so we can be more like the Buddha and see the world for what it is and live happier lives. It sounds simple and it sort of is... but it's really difficult to do it well.

There are two main kinds of Buddhist meditation. Samatha is about calming and stilling your thoughts getting into a peaceful and clear state of mind. Vipassana means insight, and this is the main aim of Buddhism. Being able to see things clearly, seeing them for what they are and then being able to let go, because they don't really matter. There are different ways to meditate, but this is how I do it.

You sit down cross-legged, put one hand above another, and then you breathe in and out. Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth, and then you control your breathing. The meditation that we do in here is 'loving-kindness' meditation. You go through the five precepts, which is guidance given by the Buddha in order to live a noble and purposeful life. And then you give blessings to your family, to your friends, to your loved one, to your neighbours. Then we have five minutes of silence where you contemplate on your breathing and your thoughts and really try and clear your mind of any neighbouring thoughts.

Buddhism: Meditation

Video length - 02.20
Published date - May 2023
Keystage(s) - 2, 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

A young Buddhist called Hivin shows us how he uses chanting when he worships at his local London Vihara.

Component 1: The study of religions - beliefs, teaching and practices: Buddhism- Meditation, the different aims, significance and methods of meditation - Samatha (concentration and tranquillity) including mindfulness of breathing.

Area of Study 3 – Buddhism- Section 3: Living the Buddhist Life- Chanting: the nature, purpose and role of chanting in Buddhism as a devotional practice and to gain mental concentration including Dhammapada 1–2, confidence and joy; the divergent understandings of the importance of chanting in Buddhist life today, with reference to Theravada Buddhism, including Tiratana: Dhammapada 190, and Mahayana Buddhism, including Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Component Group 1 - Buddhism-Belief sand teachings & Practice - Practices - Worship •The role and significance of different forms of worship including: •• Meditation •• Chanting •• Puja and devotional ritual •• Mantra •• Malas •• Offerings •• The significance of worship in the temple •• The significance of worship in the home •The purpose of devotional ritual

2.1 Unit 1 - Buddhism - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Practices Meditation Practices  Significance and importance of meditation (Dhammapada 282)  Types of meditation – breathing (samatha)  Loving kindness (mettabhavana)  Insight meditation (vipassana)

2.3 Component 3 (Route A) - Option 1: Buddhism - Practices Meditation ➢ The significance of meditation; Dhammapada 282, Surangama Sutra ➢ Mindfulness of breathing (samatha meditation) ➢ Loving kindness (mettabhavana meditation) ➢ Insight meditation (vipassana meditation) ➢ The importance and role of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; example of Gautama Buddha (enlightenment through meditation). Buddhas and bodhisattvas as the focus of devotion and meditation

Holy Cribs: Chanting

Hivin:     When Buddhists like me worship - what we call puja - we often use chanting instead of the songs or hymns you might get in other religions. The chants we use are short phrases called sutras, which come from our holy books, and they're in an ancient language called Pali, which was spoken when the Buddha was alive, over 2500 years ago. Chanting helps me to get into the right frame of mind to meditate.

 

(Chanting)

 

First, I'm concentrating on the words, but as I repeat them, the words become less important than the sounds. And then if I'm doing it right, I even forget about the sounds, and my mind is free from all other thoughts.

 

(Chanting)

 

Now my meditation can begin.

 

Buddhism: Chanting

Video length - 01.35
Published date - May 2023
Keystage(s) - 2, 3 and 4
Downloadable resources
Holy Cribs: The Vihara
A young Buddhist called Hivin welcomes TrueTube to his Vihara in West London. We’re given the full tour while learning about Buddhist beliefs and worship, and even get to see the monks who live there.

Component 1: The study of religions - beliefs, teaching and practices: Buddhism - The nature, use and importance of Buddhist places of worship - Temples, shrines, monasteries (viharas), halls for meditation or learning (gompas) and their key features including Buddha rupa, artefacts and offerings.

Area of Study 3 – Buddhism - Section 3: Living the Buddhist Life - Features of Buddhist places of worship: the divergent nature, history and design of Buddhist places of worship, including temples, gompas, viharas, shrines in Theravada, Mahayana and Triratna Buddhism; how and why the places of worship are used, including reference to the shrine room, shrine facing east, and the library, showing the importance learning, including reference to the Kimsila Sutta. Puja: The nature and purpose of puja in the vihara and the home, including reference to Mangala Sutta; examples of the different types; when each type might be used and why; the importance of having different types of worship and their use in different Buddhist contexts.

Component Group 1–Beliefs and teachings & Practices - Buddhism-Practices - Sacred and significant places and spaces for Buddhists •The importance ,features and functions of: •• Temples •• Gompas and viharas •• Shrines •• Sites of pilgrimage •• Artefacts and offerings •• Retreats •The events that take place in different significant places, including Bodh Gayaand the Deer Park at Sarnath •The meaning and significance of key artefacts and offerings made at different significant places,includingthedifferentimages of the Buddha and his hand positions( mudras) • The purpose and form of retreats • The importance of undertaking pilgrimages • Common and divergent emphases placed on significant places and spaces by different Buddhist groups, including the role and importance of retreats •Different interpretations and emphases given to sources of wisdom and authority by different Buddhist groups

2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Part A - Buddhism - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Practices Places of 'Worship' and Puja  The importance of features and functions of a vihara/home shrine  Diversity of practices in Theravada and Mahayana puja (Buddha, buddhas, bodhisattvas, mudras, mantras, mandalas)  Dana (giving) – opportunity to make offerings of food to monks.  Examples of the work of sanghas in Wales (Swansea, Cardiff, Raglan)

2.3 Component 3 (Route A) - Option 1: Buddhism - Practices - Buddhist places of worship in Britain and elsewhere ➢ The importance of features and functions of temples and viharas; statues, shrines, stupa and meditation area. Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist temples in Britain compared to those in countries where Buddhism is widely practised. ➢ Offerings: food, light, flowers, incense, offerings of food to monks (dana)

Holy Cribs: The Vihara

 

Hivin:     Hello and welcome to the London Buddhist Vihara. My name is Hivin and I'm a Buddhist. My religion is called Buddhism and our holy building is often called a temple, but the proper name for it is a vihara. And I'm going to show you around. Come on in. The first thing we do is take off our shoes and leave them on this rack. We do this to keep the inside of the building as clean as possible, as a symbol of purity. A vihara is a Buddhist monastery, a place where Buddhist monks live and we do have monks living here. The proper name for a monk is a bhikkhu. Bhikkhus are people who have decided to devote themselves into a spiritual life of simplicity and meditation. Come with me. This is a shrine room. It's the most important part of a vihara or any Buddhist temple. We come here to do puja, which means worship, and to meditate in front of a shrine which contains a statue of the Buddha. The Buddha is not a god. He was a man named Siddhartha Gautama, a royal prince who lived in Nepal about 2500 years ago. The title Buddha means enlightened one or awakened one because we believe that he discovered the truth about the world, how to live a happier and better life. We follow the Buddhist teachings, what we call the dhamma, and we give offerings of flowers, candles, incense, fruit and rice to a statue to show our respect for him. During puja, everyone sits on the floor as a sign of humility and equality. There might be clean sheets spread out on the floor or mats or cushions for people to sit on, so we are comfortable and ready to begin. We often chant words or phrases called sutras, which come from our holy books. This helps us to get into the right frame of mind for meditation, which is a very important part of Buddhism.

 

Meditation is concentrating or thinking deeply, and there are lots of different ways to do it. Meditation helps us to learn how our minds work so we can be like the Buddha and see the world for what it is and how to be happier. I can't control what goes on out there, but I can learn to control what goes on in here. We use bells to start or end a meditation and they can come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Like this bowl shaped one here. These are used because if I hit it. The sound goes on for ages, getting quieter and quieter, and I love it. It really helps me calm down and concentrate on my meditation. Buddhism has a lot of symbols to help us remember the dhamma, the Buddhist teachings, and to help us meditate. The eight spoked wheel is probably the most important and the best known. It's called the Dhamma Wheel, and it represents the noble Eightfold Path; eight principles that the Buddha taught us to live by: Right Understanding; Right Thought; Right Speech; Right Action; Right Livelihood; Right Effort; Right Mindfulness; and Right Concentration. This is a stupa. Really big ones are put up in places that are special to Buddhists, like where the Buddha was born or died or visited. Sometimes there are holy books or holy objects inside. For instance, things that used to belong to the Buddha, like clippings of his hair. Little stupas like this may also have something inside, but the shape itself has lots of different meanings. The eight rings around the top are another reminder of the Eightfold Path, which points towards the sky to symbolise the journey towards enlightenment. Which is when you know the truth about the world like the Buddha did. Some

 

Buddhists use a prayer wheel. It has sutras, words from a holy books, written around the outside and you hold the handle and spin it around. As it turns, the words are spread out into the air to bless everyone around. You sometimes get big ones to touch the walls or even turned by windmills or water wheels. Sutras are also written or printed onto flags which are hung up outside so that the wind can carry the blessings away to everyone. And we also have the stripey flag. The colours all have a meaning. Blue stands for peace and compassion. Yellow for the dhamma. Red for blessing. White for purity. Orange for wisdom. And all five together stand for unity. Mandala means circle or centre. Some Buddhists use these patterns to help them meditate. They are full of symbols with lots of different meanings. You see lotus flowers a lot in Buddhist art. Lotus flowers symbolise purity because they grow out of the mud at the bottom of lakes and rivers and float above it all, looking beautiful. It reminds us to be pure in an impure world. Welcome to our library. We have lots of holy books and books about the holy books. The most important are called the Tripitaka because that's where we find the teachings of the Buddha. My favourite is called the Dhammapada. These books were originally written in Pali, which was a language that used to be spoken during Buddha's time. And traditionally they were written on palm leaves. So we get these old odd shaped books with long, thin pages. And this is our meeting hall. We have lots of events here, like festivals and fundraisers for charity. Everything we do in the vihara is to help the Sangha, the community, and to support the bhikkhus who teach us and help us to become better Buddhists. Thanks for coming. You're welcome anytime. Bye.

 

Holy Cribs: The Vihara

Video length - 06.38
Published date - May 2023
Keystage(s) - 2, 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Holy Cribs: The Gurdwara

Arvinda Singh, a young Sikh, gives TrueTube a tour of his Gurdwara, the Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Southall. He shows us the prayer hall, the dining hall and even the Guru Granth Sahib’s bedroom!

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices - Sikhism - The nature of God linked with the worship of God in Sikhism. The Mool Mantra and how Sikhs pray and meditate mainly at home. Worship in the gurdwara The features of the gurdwara and its role in the Sikh community. To study the building’s design and function and identify the main features, external and internal. Worship in the Gurdwara - This covers how Sikhs show their respect when they are in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib. The Langar -This covers the practice of eating together. It links the topics about equality, sewa and the gurdwara together.
Area of study 2 - Section 3: Living the Sikh Life - Sikhism - Features of the gurdwara: the nature, history and purpose of the design of the Gurdwara as the ‘Door/Gate of the Guru’, including Rahit Maryada Chapters 4–6; how and why objects of devotion are used within the gurdwara: Guru Granth Sahib, Takht, Chanani, Chaur, the langar hall, four doors, and the Nishan Sahib; divergent understandings of the importance of these features in Sikh life today. The gurdwara: the role and importance of the gurdwara within the Sikh community including reference to Guru Granth Sahib 1391; activities that take place within the gurdwara and why; the nature and importance of visiting Sikh historical gurdwaras: the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar (the Golden Temple); divergent understandings of the importance of making such visits including reference to Guru Granth Sahib 4. Langar: the history of langar including Guru Granth Sahib 967; the nature and purposes of langar; the significance of langar for Sikhs today, especially as an expression of sewa.
2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Sikhism - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Practices Worship  Features of the gurdwara  Role of Guru Granth Sahib in worship  Features of service; role of granthi and epilogue  Distribution of karah prashad  Role of langar in the gurdwara – concept of equality and selfless service (Guru Granth Sahib 349).
Component 3 (Route A) -Option 5: Sikhism - Practices: The gurdwara: practices in Britain and elsewhere ➢ The importance and the role of Bhatra and Ramgarhia gurdwaras in Britain as places of worship, social and community functions ➢ Religious features: artefacts, Guru Granth Sahib, langar (as an expression of sewa - selfless service to others) and associated practices Worship ➢ The role and importance of prayer in the home ➢ Significance of the practice of meditating on the name of God
Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices - Sikhism - The nature of God linked with the worship of God in Sikhism. The Mool Mantra and how Sikhs pray and meditate mainly at home. Worship in the gurdwara The features of the gurdwara and its role in the Sikh community. To study the building’s design and function and identify the main features, external and internal. Worship in the Gurdwara - This covers how Sikhs show their respect when they are in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib. The Langar -This covers the practice of eating together. It links the topics about equality, sewa and the gurdwara together.
Area of study 2 - Section 3: Living the Sikh Life - Sikhism - Features of the gurdwara: the nature, history and purpose of the design of the Gurdwara as the ‘Door/Gate of the Guru’, including Rahit Maryada Chapters 4–6; how and why objects of devotion are used within the gurdwara: Guru Granth Sahib, Takht, Chanani, Chaur, the langar hall, four doors, and the Nishan Sahib; divergent understandings of the importance of these features in Sikh life today. The gurdwara: the role and importance of the gurdwara within the Sikh community including reference to Guru Granth Sahib 1391; activities that take place within the gurdwara and why; the nature and importance of visiting Sikh historical gurdwaras: the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar (the Golden Temple); divergent understandings of the importance of making such visits including reference to Guru Granth Sahib 4. Langar: the history of langar including Guru Granth Sahib 967; the nature and purposes of langar; the significance of langar for Sikhs today, especially as an expression of sewa.
2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Sikhism - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Practices Worship  Features of the gurdwara  Role of Guru Granth Sahib in worship  Features of service; role of granthi and epilogue  Distribution of karah prashad  Role of langar in the gurdwara – concept of equality and selfless service (Guru Granth Sahib 349).
Component 3 (Route A) -Option 5: Sikhism - Practices: The gurdwara: practices in Britain and elsewhere ➢ The importance and the role of Bhatra and Ramgarhia gurdwaras in Britain as places of worship, social and community functions ➢ Religious features: artefacts, Guru Granth Sahib, langar (as an expression of sewa - selfless service to others) and associated practices Worship ➢ The role and importance of prayer in the home ➢ Significance of the practice of meditating on the name of God

Holy Cribs: Gurdwara

Arvinda: Sat sri akal ji! Welcome to Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall! My name is Arvinda Singh and I'm a Sikh. Our religion is often called Sikhism, but we like to call it Sikhi. This is the Gurdwara. This is our holy building where we come to worship Waheguru, which is the name of God. I'm going to give you a tour now. Just before we go inside, I want to show you the Nishan Sahib. This is a special flag in front of every Gurdwara. This is usually yellow or orange in colour and has a blue symbol on it called the Khanda.

 

Right then. Come on in.

 

The first thing we do is cover our heads. A lot of Sikhs, especially men, wear a dastar or a turban, but everyone else wears a headscarf such as these. We also take our shoes off and put them in the shoe rack. The last thing we do is wash our hands. This is a sign of respect, but we will need clean hands later because there will be food. The word Gurdwara means door to the Guru in Punjabi, it is where we come to pay our respects to Waheguru and our holy book the Guru Granth Sahib ji. We cover our hair, take our shoes off and wash our hands as a sign of respect. The main part of the Gurdwara where we listen to the Guru Granth Sahib ji is called the diwan hall or the prayer hall. But we'll need to be very quiet. The Guru Granth Sahib ji is treated like royalty, it sits at the front on a raised platform called the takht, which means throne. The canopy above it is called a palki. And the cushion it rests on is called a manji sahib. When we come here, we always pay our respects to the Guru Granth Sahib ji. We walk down to the front, bow and maybe give an offering. It's usually money, but it can be food or a new cloth to wrap the Guru Granth Sahib ji in when it isn't being read. Some people like to walk clockwise around the takht as a symbol that the Guru Granth Sahib ji, is a centre part of their lives. Then being careful not to turn our backs to the Guru until we are a little distance away, we go and sit down. Everyone sits on the floor as a sign of equality. Men sit on one side, usually the right, women on the other side. This is so that we are concentrating on Waheguru and the words of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji and not on each other. Services can go on for hours, so people often come and go as they like. There's no particular day for worship. The Gurdwara is open every day, but it gets crowded on a Sunday when most people are off work. Mostly we sit and listen to the words of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The person reading it is called a granthi. The granthi isn't a priest and can be any man or woman who can read Gurmukhi. That's the Punjabi alphabet and it was used to write the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, because Sikhi began in Punjab in the north of India.

 

As the granthi reads, he or she waves a fan made of hair or feathers called a chauri. In India, important people will be fanned to keep them cool and to keep flies off them. It became a symbol of respect even when it isn't hot. So now it's done for the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Every day the granthi gives a special reading called a hukam. He or she opens the Guru to whichever page it falls open and reads the words. The idea is that this isn't random. Waheguru chooses which words are most suitable for people to hear. Sometimes we have musicians called ragis who sing hymns called bhajans. And often these words come from the Guru Granth Sahib ji. Singing hymns like this is called kirtan. The drums are called tabla, and the keyboard is called a vaja or harmonium in English and works by pumping air through it by hand.

Arvinda  At the end of the service, everyone stands to say a special prayer together called the Ardas. There's always a big bowl of karah parshad. This is a sweet porridge made with lots of sugar and butter. It is a symbol of Waheguru ji's blessings as everybody shares from the same bowl. And it's very delicious.

 

Gurdwaras are often very beautifully decorated. This symbol the Khanda, was the one on the Nishan Sahib outside. And this is Gurmukhi writing. It says Ik Onkar, which means there is only one God. And those are the very first words of the Guru Granth Sahib ji. Those words were written by Guru Nanak dev ji. He was the very first leader of the Sikhs beginning in the year 1500, and he was given the title Guru, which means teacher, Sikh means pupil. There were ten Gurus in all who led the Sikhs, one after the other for about 200 years. Then the last Guru, Guru Gobind Singh ji, said that after his death, the writings of the first five Gurus and the ninth Guru would become the 11th and final Guru, the Guru Granth Sahib ji, which is why we give it so much respect. The Guru Granth Sahib even has its own room with a bed where it's kept overnight when it isn't being read. Gurdwaras have other rooms that could be used for community activities like this library. And every Gurdwara has one of these: a Langar or a dining hall. Anyone and everyone can share a free meal here. This is another symbol of equality. Back in the day in India, upper class people wouldn't mix with working class people and definitely wouldn't eat with them. So Guru Nanak dev ji started the Langar to encourage equality. The food here is always vegetarian so that everyone, no matter what their religion or if they just don't eat meat, can share the same meal. The people cooking food, serving it and washing up the plates are all volunteers. We call it seva, doing work to help other people. So next time you're passing by a Gurdwara, make sure to put a headscarf on and come and enjoy a free meal. Thank you for coming to the Gurdwara. Goodbye.

Holy Cribs: The Gurdwara

Video length - 07.18
Published date - Apr 2023
Keystage(s) - 2, 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Zack welcomes TrueTube to a North London Reform Synagogue for a tour of all its main features. Taking us from the door to the Ark, he talks about his beliefs and what happens during a service at the synagogue. 

Holy Cribs: The Synagogue

Zack:      Welcome to Alias Reformed Synagogue. My name is Zack. I'm Jewish, and my religion is called Judaism. This is where I come to worship. And it's often called a synagogue, which is a Greek word, meaning assembly, because this is where we all get together on the Shabbat, our holy day, which is on a Saturday. But Jewish people are more likely to call it a shul, which is a Yiddish word for school, or a Beit Knesset, which is Hebrew for House of gathering or Beit to Phila, which means House of Prayer or Beit Midrash, which means House of Learning. We have lots of different names for this building because it's used for lots of different things by the local community. In most schools, men are asked to cover their heads as a sign of respect for God. They usually wear a skullcap like this called a yarmuk or. Some shawls ask women to cover their heads as well. And in synagogues that would call themselves orthodox or conservative, married women cover their heads whenever they are outside the house with a hat, scarf or wig. Unmarried women often choose to cover their heads as well. This is the main room called the Sanctuary, where we have our services on the Shabbat. All synagogues are built to face the city of Jerusalem, where there used to be a huge temple. It was the center of Jewish life and people used to travel hundreds of miles to worship and celebrate festivals there. It was destroyed by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago, and only the Western Wall remains. So our synagogues are full of symbols and reminders of the temple we've lost. Orthodox and conservative Jews will separate men and women during services so that they are concentrating on worship rather than on each other. Women often sit upstairs in a gallery or balcony or downstairs in an area separated from the men by a barrier or screen called America. In a reformed synagogue like this, men and women sit together. Some Jews like to wear a special shawl called a tallit to pray. It can be quite difficult to get on because I've got to get this bit at the back has these fringes called Sits It, which represent the 613 Commandments in our holy book, which is called the Torah. And the Torah is kept in here. This is the Ark or our on Kadesh. It's the most important part of any synagogue because the Torah scrolls are kept in here when they're not being used in this jewel on the wall above the ark. We have some words from the Book of Psalms in Hebrew. Other schools will often have two plaques. These symbolize the original Ten Commandments, which were carved onto two stone tablets. According to the Torah. Moses brought them down from the top of Mount Sinai, where he was given the commandments by God. Here we have the first ten letters of the Hebrew alphabet to represent the Ten Commandments. There's also a lamp called the Tam ed, which means eternal light. And it's always lit to symbolize God's presence. Back in the day, it would have been an oil lamp. But these days it's usually electric. And the lamp in the temple would have looked like this, only much bigger. An oil lamp would seven branches called a menorah, and many shawls will have one. It's often used as a symbol for Judaism, but the star of David is probably the most common Jewish symbol. It's named after King David, the most famous Jewish king who killed a giant called Goliath when he was just a boy. We use these symbols to decorate our shores, and we might also use pictures or patterns of plants or trees. But you won't often find any pictures of people or animals. This is because we worship one God who cannot be seen, and so we won't usually have any pictures of God or anything that could be mistaken for God. During a service, the doors of the ark will be opened so that everyone can see the scrolls inside. In some shawls, there might be a curtain called a prophet over the doors. So that will be drawn back as well. The scrolls are treated with maximum respect like they're important people and are dressed when they're not being used. They're wrapped in a cloth cover called a mantle. A metal breastplate might be hung on the front to represent the breastplate that was worn by the temple priests in Jerusalem. And the walls are topped with decorations called nym, which means pomegranates because they're often made to look like pomegranates. People used to believe that there were 613 seeds in each pomegranate, one for each of the commandments in the Torah. During the service, one of the scrolls is chosen, undressed and carried over to a big reading desk on a raised area called a Bimmer. It's always at the front or the middle of the room so that everyone can hear the words of the Torah when they're being read out loud. Two scrolls are in Hebrew. They are written out by hand and made of natural materials. The scroll itself is made of animal skins, the ink from oil and charcoal and the rollers from wood. When we read the Torah, we follow the words with a pointer like this called a yard that so we don't damage the scroll with sweaty or greasy fingers. The word Yad means hand because the tip is often shaped to look like a hand with a pointy finger. Hebrew is read from right to left, the opposite direction to English. The rabbi will then give a sermon or talk about the reading. The word rabbi means teacher because that's their job to teach us about the Torah and how to live as Jews. The rabbi will often run midweek classes at the show and also spends a lot of time giving help and advice to the community. In Orthodox synagogues, the rabbi doesn't usually organize the service that's done by someone called a Hazan, which means singer because they lead the prayers and hymns in orthodox and conservative schools. The Rabbi and Hazan will always be men in reform schools. Both the Rabbi and Hazan can lead and organize the service in these synagogues. They can be men or women. At the end of the service, the scroll is wrapped up again and put back in the ark. There are lots of other rooms in the show that are used for all kinds of things during the week. Many people come here to ask for the rabbi's advice on things. There's a nursery of youth club and I come here to learn how to read Hebrew. Thanks for coming by.

 

Holy Cribs: The Synagogue

Zack:      Welcome to Alias Reformed Synagogue. My name is Zack. I'm Jewish, and my religion is called Judaism. This is where I come to worship. And it's often called a synagogue, which is a Greek word, meaning assembly, because this is where we all get together on the Shabbat, our holy day, which is on a Saturday. But Jewish people are more likely to call it a shul, which is a Yiddish word for school, or a Beit Knesset, which is Hebrew for House of gathering or Beit to Phila, which means House of Prayer or Beit Midrash, which means House of Learning. We have lots of different names for this building because it's used for lots of different things by the local community. In most schools, men are asked to cover their heads as a sign of respect for God. They usually wear a skullcap like this called a yarmuk or. Some shawls ask women to cover their heads as well. And in synagogues that would call themselves orthodox or conservative, married women cover their heads whenever they are outside the house with a hat, scarf or wig. Unmarried women often choose to cover their heads as well. This is the main room called the Sanctuary, where we have our services on the Shabbat. All synagogues are built to face the city of Jerusalem, where there used to be a huge temple. It was the center of Jewish life and people used to travel hundreds of miles to worship and celebrate festivals there. It was destroyed by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago, and only the Western Wall remains.

So our synagogues are full of symbols and reminders of the temple we've lost. Orthodox and conservative Jews will separate men and women during services so that they are concentrating on worship rather than on each other. Women often sit upstairs in a gallery or balcony or downstairs in an area separated from the men by a barrier or screen called America. In a reformed synagogue like this, men and women sit together. Some Jews like to wear a special shawl called a tallit to pray. It can be quite difficult to get on because I've got to get this bit at the back has these fringes called Sits It, which represent the 613 Commandments in our holy book, which is called the Torah. And the Torah is kept in here. This is the Ark or our on Kadesh. It's the most important part of any synagogue because the Torah scrolls are kept in here when they're not being used in this jewel on the wall above the ark. We have some words from the Book of Psalms in Hebrew. Other schools will often have two plaques. These symbolize the original Ten Commandments, which were carved onto two stone tablets. According to the Torah. Moses brought them down from the top of Mount Sinai, where he was given the commandments by God.

Here we have the first ten letters of the Hebrew alphabet to represent the Ten Commandments. There's also a lamp called the Tam ed, which means eternal light. And it's always lit to symbolize God's presence. Back in the day, it would have been an oil lamp. But these days it's usually electric. And the lamp in the temple would have looked like this, only much bigger. An oil lamp would seven branches called a menorah, and many shawls will have one. It's often used as a symbol for Judaism, but the star of David is probably the most common Jewish symbol. It's named after King David, the most famous Jewish king who killed a giant called Goliath when he was just a boy. We use these symbols to decorate our shores, and we might also use pictures or patterns of plants or trees. But you won't often find any pictures of people or animals. This is because we worship one God who cannot be seen, and so we won't usually have any pictures of God or anything that could be mistaken for God. During a service, the doors of the ark will be opened so that everyone can see the scrolls inside. In some shawls, there might be a curtain called a prophet over the doors. So that will be drawn back as well. The scrolls are treated with maximum respect like they're important people and are dressed when they're not being used.

They're wrapped in a cloth cover called a mantle. A metal breastplate might be hung on the front to represent the breastplate that was worn by the temple priests in Jerusalem. And the walls are topped with decorations called nym, which means pomegranates because they're often made to look like pomegranates. People used to believe that there were 613 seeds in each pomegranate, one for each of the commandments in the Torah. During the service, one of the scrolls is chosen, undressed and carried over to a big reading desk on a raised area called a Bimmer. It's always at the front or the middle of the room so that everyone can hear the words of the Torah when they're being read out loud. Two scrolls are in Hebrew. They are written out by hand and made of natural materials. The scroll itself is made of animal skins, the ink from oil and charcoal and the rollers from wood. When we read the Torah, we follow the words with a pointer like this called a yard that so we don't damage the scroll with sweaty or greasy fingers. The word Yad means hand because the tip is often shaped to look like a hand with a pointy finger. Hebrew is read from right to left, the opposite direction to English. The rabbi will then give a sermon or talk about the reading. The word rabbi means teacher because that's their job to teach us about the Torah and how to live as Jews. The rabbi will often run midweek classes at the show and also spends a lot of time giving help and advice to the community.

In Orthodox synagogues, the rabbi doesn't usually organize the service that's done by someone called a Hazan, which means singer because they lead the prayers and hymns in orthodox and conservative schools. The Rabbi and Hazan will always be men in reform schools. Both the Rabbi and Hazan can lead and organize the service in these synagogues. They can be men or women. At the end of the service, the scroll is wrapped up again and put back in the ark. There are lots of other rooms in the show that are used for all kinds of things during the week. Many people come here to ask for the rabbi's advice on things. There's a nursery of youth club and I come here to learn how to read Hebrew. Thanks for coming by.

 

Holy Cribs: The Synagogue

Video length - 06.55
Published date - Apr 2023
Keystage(s) - 2, 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

The Torah is the Jewish holy scripture, and the scrolls play a central role in services at the synagogue. Zack and his rabbi demonstrate how the Torah is read, and the way a scroll is “dressed” afterwards to show its importance.

Component 1 - The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices - Judaism - Introduction to Judaism - Introduction to the idea of common and divergent views within Judaism. The synagogue and worship. Shabbat in the home and synagogue and its significance. Worship in the home and private prayer. The synagogue and worship - The written law (Tenakh) and the oral law (Talmud) and their study, use and significance in daily life.

Area of study 2 - Section 3 -Living the Jewish Life - Judaism - The nature and purpose of Jewish public acts of worship: the nature, features and purpose of Jewish public worship, including interpretations of Psalm 116:1219; the nature, features and importance of synagogue services for the Jewish community and the individual. Features of the synagogue: the nature, history and purpose of the different design of the synagogues in Liberal, Reform and Orthodox Judaism, including facing Jerusalem, layout of seating the Ark and the bimah and with reference to Proverbs 14:28; how and why the synagogue is used by the different communities, including reference to Exodus 27:20–21; how and why objects of devotion are used within the synagogues, including a yad, Torah Scroll, ner tamid and menorah. Section 3: Living the Jewish Life -The nature and purpose of Jewish public acts of worship: the nature, features and purpose of Jewish public worship, including interpretations of Psalms 116:12–19; the nature, features and importance of synagogue services for the Jewish community and the individual.

Component Group 1 - Judaism - Practices -Worship• The structure of the synagogue service •The importance of the synagogue, in relation to the following religious features: •• Design •• Artefacts •• Synagogue services •• The role of the synagogue within the Jewish community •• Worship in the home •• The place of worship in the home •The significance of the Ark, the Bimah, the lack of representation of G-d, the Ner Tamid and the Mikveh • The nature and importance of the Torah readings, other readings, prayers and sermons •The connection between the synagogue and the Temple • Issues related to worship and the synagogue, including the length and structure of synagogue services and different uses of Hebrew in the service • Common and divergent emphases placed on the features of a synagogue by different Jewish groups, including separating women and men in an Orthodox synagogue •Different interpretations and emphases given to sources of wisdom and authority by different Jewish groups Prayer• The role and importance of prayer in Jewish worship, including the Amidah (the standing prayer) • The role and importance of private prayer for Jews • The importance of: •• The three daily periods of prayer •• The concept of spontaneous prayer •• Recitation of the Shema •• Recitation of Grace after meals •• Teaching children to pray •• The direction faced when praying •• Prayer and the observance of the Mitzvot in the home • The importance of prayer for praise, confession, thanks giving and supplication.

2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Judaism - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Worship in the home and synagogue  The importance of the synagogue: internal features- aron hakodesh (ark), ner tamid, bimah, Torah, Ten Commandments, seating  Reading of the Torah during synagogue worship  Diverse practices within Orthodox and Reform synagogues – worship and the role and gender of the Rabbi  The importance of the home for worship in Judaism: challenges and benefits of observing Shabbat (Exodus 20:8-10)

Component 3 (Route A) - Option 4: Judaism - Practices - The Synagogue ➢ Features of different synagogues in Britain: significance of bimah, aron hakodesh, Torah scrolls, ner tamid, seating, minyan; Exodus 20:4-5

Judaism: The Torah Scroll

Zack:      The reading of the Torah is the most important part of a service in a synagogue because we believe that it contains God's words. So a Torah scroll is treated with great respect, almost like a king. And before it's put away, it will be dressed in a robe and a crown. This is to protect it, but also to remind us of how important it is. Dressing or undressing. The Torah is called Galilee in Hebrew, and it usually takes two people to do it. One person rolls up the scroll and carefully lifts it up by the bottom handles of the rollers. Then another person can start the dressing by tying a sash or belt around the middle to keep the two rollers together.

This belt is called a Haggadah or a garter. Then the scrolls are covered with a mantle which is usually made from a rich material like velvet and often beautifully embroidered. There were two holes in the top for the handles of the rollers to poke through. In some shawls, a brass plate or hosen in Hebrew is added over the mantle. This is like a silver apron or bib on a chain and represents the breastplate that the priests used to wear in the temple in Jerusalem before it was destroyed nearly 2000 years ago. Sometimes the Yad the pointer will be hung over the top. Finally, the top of the tallest bar will be adorned with a crown. This might be an actual crown called a kettle that fits over the top of both roller handles or two finials or decorated caps that go on each handle. These are called Raman, which means pomegranates in Hebrew because they are often made to look like fruit called pomegranates. People used to believe that there were 613 seeds in each pomegranate, one for each of the commandments in the Torah. Now the scroll is carried very carefully to the Ark or the A1, which is a special cupboard at the front of the show where all the scrolls are kept and then the doors of the ark are closed.

Judaism: The Torah Scroll

Video length - 02.28
Published date - Apr 2023
Keystage(s) - 2, 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Some Jews wear little leather boxes called tefillin on the head and arm when they pray. Zack demonstrates how he ties his tefillin, and explains why he wears them.

Component 1 - The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices - Judaism - The synagogue and worship. Public acts of worship including: Synagogue services in both Orthodox and Reform synagogues; The significance of prayer, including the Amidah, the standing prayer.

Area of study 2 - Section 3: Living the Jewish Life -The nature and purpose of Jewish public acts of worship: the nature, features and purpose of Jewish public worship, including interpretations of Psalms 116:12–19; the nature, features and importance of synagogue services for the Jewish community and the individual.

Component Group 1 - Judaism - Practices -Worship• The structure of the synagogue service •The importance of the synagogue, in relation to the following religious features: •• Design •• Artefacts •• Synagogue services •• The role of the synagogue within the Jewish community •• Worship in the home •• The place of worship in the home •The significance of the Ark, the Bimah, the lack of representation of G-d, the Ner Tamid and the Mikveh • The nature and importance of the Torah readings, other readings, prayers and sermons •The connection between the synagogue and the Temple • Issues related to worship and the synagogue, including the length and structure of synagogue services and different uses of Hebrew in the service • Common and divergent emphases placed on the features of a synagogue by different Jewish groups, including separating women and men in an Orthodox synagogue •Different interpretations and emphases given to sources of wisdom and authority by different Jewish groups

2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Judaism - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Worship in the home and synagogue  The importance of the synagogue: internal features- aron hakodesh (ark), ner tamid, bimah, Torah, Ten Commandments, seating  Reading of the Torah during synagogue worship  Diverse practices within Orthodox and Reform synagogues – worship and the role and gender of the Rabbi  The importance of the home for worship in Judaism: challenges and benefits of observing Shabbat (Exodus 20:8-10)

Component 3 (Route A) - Option 4: Judaism - Practices - The Synagogue ➢ Features of different synagogues in Britain: significance of bimah, aron hakodesh, Torah scrolls, ner tamid, seating, minyan; Exodus 20:4-5

Judaism: Tefellin

Zack:      These are Teffillin in sometimes called fill actuaries, which are small black leather boxes on leather straps. Kosher leather, of course. Inside these boxes, there were little scrolls containing words from the books of Deuteronomy and Exodus, written in Hebrew. Some Jews wear these on their arm and head when they pray at home in the morning. There are different ways to put them on, but this is how I do it. The first Teffillin was just one strap. Traditionally goes on my left arm, so it's close to my heart. Some Jews say that you can use your weaker arm. So it's the left if your right handed or the right if your left handed. I roll up my sleeve so I can wear that to fill in against my skin and place the box on my bicep. So it's about halfway down my upper arm and level with my heart. Then I say a blessing and wrap the strap three times around my upper arm. And then seven times around my forearm, then a few more times around my hand so I can hold it.

The head Teffillin. The one with two straps is placed just above my hairline, front and center. And the straps go behind my head. So the knot is just above the base of my skull. Now I can finish off tying the strap on my arm by wrapping it three times around my middle finger. The rest I can just wrap around my hand so it doesn't flap all over the place. The strap should be just tight enough that I can feel my pulse, but not too tight. This all goes back to a verse in the book of Deuteronomy, in which God says that his words are to be on your heart. Tie them on your hand as a sign. Put them at the front of a headband around your forehead. So many Jews do just that, while they pray to remind themselves of the importance of God's words in the Torah. In more orthodox communities. This is only done by men and boys. But in Reform Judaism, women can use them too. Although actually reform, Jews are less likely to use them when they pray. This is to symbolize that I worship God with my head and my heart, with all of me, my brains, my feelings and my actions.

Judaism: Tefillin

Video length - 3.19
Published date - Apr 2023
Keystage(s) - 2, 3 and 4
Downloadable resources
An Anglican vicar often wears special robes called “vestments” during services, so we arranged a short fashion show to explain what each one is called!

Holy Cribs – The Vicar’s Vestments

Shanice:  Church of England vicars often wear a white collar to let people know who they are and what they do. This is called a clerical collar or a Roman collar, but most people just call it a dog collar because that's what it looks like. For church services, a vicar often wears special clothes called vestments, which make every service and occasion. Over her everyday clothes, the vicar wears a long black gown or coats called a cassock. This is a sort of uniform that vicars and priests have worn for centuries. Over that, she wears a white gown called a surplice, and that's a symbol of purity. Around her neck, she wears a long scarf called a stole, and that's to show that she is an ordained priest. In other words, she's done all the training, had some experience, and is blessed by God to serve his people. The vicar wears different colour stoles at different times of the year. Most of the time it's green. But she wears a purple one during Lent, which is the time leading up to Easter. And Advent, which is the time leading up to Christmas. On Easter Day and Christmas Day, she wears a white stole and she'll wear that for weddings and funerals as well. There's also a red or brightly coloured one to wear on a festival called Pentecost and at other special occasions. But she's most comfortable like this.

 

Christianity: The Vicar’s Vestments

Video length - 02.08
Published date - Mar 2023
Keystage(s) - 2, 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Shanice demonstrates what happens during Holy Communion and explains why sharing bread and wine in this special ceremony is so important to Christians.

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices - Christianity - The sacrament of Holy Communion/ Eucharist and its significance for Christians, including different ways it’s celebrated and different interpretations of its meaning

Area of Study 3 – Christianity - Section 3: Living the Christian Life - The role of the sacraments in Christian life and their practice in two denominations: the role of the sacraments/ordinance as a whole; the Eucharist in at least two denominations.

Component Group 1 - Christianity - Practices - Sacraments• The meaning of the word sacrament • The role and meaning of the sacraments •The role of Baptism and Eucharist in the life of a Christian •Common and divergent attitudes towards the practice and meaning of Baptism by different Christian denominations •Common and divergent attitudes towards the practice and meaning of the Eucharist by different Christian denominations •Common and divergent attitudes towards the Sacraments,including which practices are considered by different Christian denominations to be a sacrament •Different interpretations and emphases given to sources of wisdom and authority by different Christian denominations

2.2 Unit 2 PART A : Christianity - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Practices Life’s Journey: Sacraments and key acts of worship:  Baptisms (Mark 1:9-11); Infant and Believers' Baptism; reasons and rituals  Eucharist/Communion (1 Corinthians 11:23-26): diverse Christian interpretations and associated practices

2.2 Unit 2 - PART A - Christianity - Core beliefs, teachings and practices -- Practices Life’s Journey: Sacraments and key acts of worship:  Baptisms (Mark 1:9-11); Infant and Believers' Baptism; reasons and rituals  Eucharist/Communion (1 Corinthians 11:23-26): diverse Christian interpretations and associated practices  Confirmation - preparation and ceremony (Acts 2: 1-13)  Significance of a religious wedding (Mark 10:7-9): matrimonial symbols and vows 2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Christianity - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Practices - Church - Importance of prayer, communal and private - Matthew 6:5-13, Matthew 18:20

Holy Cribs: Holy Communion

Shanice:  The Christian church is divided up into different groups called denominations. There's the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, and the Presbyterian Church, just to name a few. I'm from the Church of England, also called the Anglican Church. All Christians follow the Bible's teachings. But one church might have slightly different understandings of it to another or worship in a different way. But all churches have a regular service when Christians will gather together to share bread and wine. In the Church of England, this is usually known as Holy Communion. But it can also be called the breaking of the bread, The Lord's Supper, Mass or Eucharist. We do this because Jesus told us to. It all goes back to the Last Supper, the last meal that Jesus ate with his disciples before he was crucified. He asked them to share the bread and wine as a way to remember him when he was gone. The bread represented his broken body and the deep red colour of the wine represented the blood he was to shed on the cross. In the Church of England, we use real wine, but other churches might use red grape juice instead. And we use wafers which are small round disks of white rice paper. But some churches use real bread or crackers. The priest will say special prayers over the bread and wine, asking God to bless them. In the Church of England, people usually go up to the front of the church where they stand or kneel at a rail in front of the altar. They are given a wafer or a small piece of bread from a special plate called a paten. Then each person is offered a large cup called a chalice, and they take a sip of wine. In other churches, like the Baptist church, everyone stays in their seats and the bread and wine or grape juice are passed along the rows from person to person. However it's done, the reasons for doing it are the same, to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made of himself on the cross. It's a reminder to Christians that they should be doing their best to live as Jesus would want them to.

Christianity: Holy Communion

Video length - 03.07
Published date - Mar 2023
Keystage(s) - 2, 3 and 4
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