Ecclesiastical History and
IN THE CHURCH AND THEIR MEANING
The CHURCH. The Church is the temple of God, a holy place,
a house of prayer, the assembly of the people, the body of Christ. The
Church is the earthly heaven wherein God dwells. It was prefigured in the
patriarchs, foretold by the prophets, founded in the apostles, adorned by
the hierarchs, and fulfilled in the martyrs.
The SIMANDRON is a long, wooden-sounding board, which
is struck to call the faithful to prayer. It is used in most Greek
monasteries. The Latins use bells instead. This represents the angels and
calls the contestants to battle against the invisible enemies.
The APSE corresponds to the cave in Bethlehem where
Christ was born as well as the cave in which he was buried.
The ALTAR TABLE corresponds to the spot in the tomb
where Christ was placed. Herein lies the body and blood of Christ which is offered
to the faithful as food for eternal life. The Altar Table is also the
throne of God on which Christ, borne by the Cherubim, rested in a human
The CIBORIUM represents the place where Christ was
crucified. It similarly corresponds to the Ark of the Covenant. We usually
call this the Baldichine, the roof over the altar supported by the four