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Meaning of CHURCH

Pronunciation:  church

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  a service conducted in a church; "don't be late for church"
  2. [n]  a place for public (especially Christian) worship; "the church was empty"
  3. [n]  one of the groups of Christians who have their own beliefs and forms of worship; "the Catholic church is debating the issue of women priests"
  4. [n]  the body of people who attend or belong to a particular local church; "our church is hosting a picnic next week"
  5. [v]  bring someone to church for a special rite, as of a woman after childbirth

CHURCH is a 6 letter word that starts with C.


 Synonyms: Christian church, church building, church service
 See Also: abbey, amen corner, apse, apsis, basilica, bema, body, bring, cathedral, Catholic Church, chancel, Christendom, Christian, Christianity, church tower, convey, Coptic Church, divine service, faith, house of God, house of prayer, house of worship, kirk, lady chapel, narthex, nave, place of worship, presbytery, Protestant, Protestant Church, religion, religious service, rood screen, sacristy, sanctuary, service, side chapel, take, transept, vestry



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Church\, n. [OE. chirche, chireche, cherche, Scot. kirk,
    from AS. circe, cyrice; akin to D. kerk, Icel. kirkja, Sw.
    kyrka, Dan. kirke, G. kirche, OHG. chirihha; all fr. Gr. ?
    the Lord's house, fr. ? concerning a master or lord, fr. ?
    master, lord, fr. ? power, might; akin to Skr. [,c][=u]ra
    hero, Zend. [,c]ura strong, OIr. caur, cur, hero. Cf.
    1. A building set apart for Christian worship.
    2. A Jewish or heathen temple. [Obs.] --Acts xix. 37.
    3. A formally organized body of Christian believers
       worshiping together. ``When they had ordained them elders
       in every church.'' --Acts xiv. 23.
    4. A body of Christian believers, holding the same creed,
       observing the same rites, and acknowledging the same
       ecclesiastical authority; a denomination; as, the Roman
       Catholic church; the Presbyterian church.
    5. The collective body of Christians.
    6. Any body of worshipers; as, the Jewish church; the church
       of Brahm.
    7. The aggregate of religious influences in a community;
       ecclesiastical influence, authority, etc.; as, to array
       the power of the church against some moral evil.
             Remember that both church and state are properly the
             rulers of the people, only because they are their
             benefactors.                          --Bulwer.
    Note: Church is often used in composition to denote something
          belonging or relating to the church; as, church
          authority; church history; church member; church music,
    {Apostolic church}. See under {Apostolic}.
    {Broad church}. See {Broad Church}.
    {Catholic or Universal} {church}, the whole body of believers
       in Christ throughout the world.
    {Church of England}, or {English church}, the Episcopal
       church established and endowed in England by law.
    {Church living}, a benefice in an established church.
    {Church militant}. See under {Militant}.
    {Church owl} (Zo["o]l.), the white owl. See {Barn owl}.
    {Church rate}, a tax levied on parishioners for the
       maintenance of the church and its services.
    {Church session}. See under {Session}.
    {Church triumphant}. See under {Triumphant}.
    {Church work}, work on, or in behalf of, a church; the work
       of a particular church for the spread of religion.
    {Established church}, the church maintained by the civil
       authority; a state church.
  2. \Church\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Churched}; p. pr. & vb. n.
    To bless according to a prescribed form, or to unite with in
    publicly returning thanks in church, as after deliverance
    from the dangers of childbirth; as, the churching of women.
Dream Dictionary
 Definition: Seeing the outside of the church in your dream means sacredness and spiritual nourishment. It is representative of your value system and the things you hold sacred. Dreaming that you are in a church, suggests that you are seeking for some spiritual enlightenment and guidance. You are looking to be uplifted in some way. Perhaps you have made some mistakes in the past which have set you back on your path toward your goals. With proper support, you will get on the right track again. Alternatively, it may also mean that you are questioning and debating your life path and where it is leading. You are reevaluating what you want to do.
Easton Bible Dictionary

Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., "the Lord's house"), which was used by ancient authors for the place of worship.

In the New Testament it is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew _kahal_ of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character of which can only be known from the connection in which the word is found. There is no clear instance of its being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times it early received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same profession, as when we say the "Church of England," the "Church of Scotland," etc.

We find the word ecclesia used in the following senses in the New Testament: (1.) It is translated "assembly" in the ordinary classical sense (Acts 19:32, 39, 41).

(2.) It denotes the whole body of the redeemed, all those whom the Father has given to Christ, the invisible catholic church (Eph. 5:23, 25, 27, 29; Heb. 12:23).

(3.) A few Christians associated together in observing the ordinances of the gospel are an ecclesia (Rom. 16:5; Col. 4:15).

(4.) All the Christians in a particular city, whether they assembled together in one place or in several places for religious worship, were an ecclesia. Thus all the disciples in Antioch, forming several congregations, were one church (Acts 13:1); so also we read of the "church of God at Corinth" (1 Cor. 1:2), "the church at Jerusalem" (Acts 8:1), "the church of Ephesus" (Rev. 2:1), etc.

(5.) The whole body of professing Christians throughout the world (1 Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13; Matt. 16:18) are the church of Christ.

The church visible "consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion, together with their children." It is called "visible" because its members are known and its assemblies are public. Here there is a mixture of "wheat and chaff," of saints and sinners. "God has commanded his people to organize themselves into distinct visible ecclesiastical communities, with constitutions, laws, and officers, badges, ordinances, and discipline, for the great purpose of giving visibility to his kingdom, of making known the gospel of that kingdom, and of gathering in all its elect subjects. Each one of these distinct organized communities which is faithful to the great King is an integral part of the visible church, and all together constitute the catholic or universal visible church." A credible profession of the true religion constitutes a person a member of this church. This is "the kingdom of heaven," whose character and progress are set forth in the parables recorded in Matt. 13.

The children of all who thus profess the true religion are members of the visible church along with their parents. Children are included in every covenant God ever made with man. They go along with their parents (Gen. 9:9-17; 12:1-3; 17:7; Ex. 20:5; Deut. 29:10-13). Peter, on the day of Pentecost, at the beginning of the New Testament dispensation, announces the same great principle. "The promise [just as to Abraham and his seed the promises were made] is unto you, and to your children" (Acts 2:38, 39). The children of believing parents are "holy", i.e., are "saints", a title which designates the members of the Christian church (1 Cor. 7:14). (See BAPTISM.)

The church invisible "consists of the whole number of the elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ, the head thereof." This is a pure society, the church in which Christ dwells. It is the body of Christ. it is called "invisible" because the greater part of those who constitute it are already in heaven or are yet unborn, and also because its members still on earth cannot certainly be distinguished. The qualifications of membership in it are internal and are hidden. It is unseen except by Him who "searches the heart." "The Lord knoweth them that are his" (2 Tim. 2:19).

The church to which the attributes, prerogatives, and promises appertaining to Christ's kingdom belong, is a spiritual body consisting of all true believers, i.e., the church invisible.

(1.) Its unity. God has ever had only one church on earth. We sometimes speak of the Old Testament Church and of the New Testament church, but they are one and the same. The Old Testament church was not to be changed but enlarged (Isa. 49:13-23; 60:1-14). When the Jews are at length restored, they will not enter a new church, but will be grafted again into "their own olive tree" (Rom. 11:18-24; comp. Eph. 2:11-22). The apostles did not set up a new organization. Under their ministry disciples were "added" to the "church" already existing (Acts 2:47).

(2.) Its universality. It is the "catholic" church; not confined to any particular country or outward organization, but comprehending all believers throughout the whole world.

(3.) Its perpetuity. It will continue through all ages to the end of the world. It can never be destroyed. It is an "everlasting kindgdom."

Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: adherents, affiliation, apostleship, bedtime prayer, body, branch, call, camp meeting, care of souls, church service, churchly, class, communion, community, compline, confession, connection, creed, cult, denomination, devotions, disciples, divine service, division, duty, evening devotions, evensong, exercises, faction, faith, fellowship, followers, group, holy orders, house of prayer, ism, lauds, liturgy, Mass, matins, meeting, morning devotions, night song, none, nones, novena, office, offshoot, order, organization, party, pastorage, pastoral care, pastorate, persuasion, praise meeting, prayer, prayer meeting, prayers, priesthood, priestship, prime, prime song, public worship, rabbinate, religious order, revival, revival meeting, sacred calling, schism, school, sect, sectarism, segment, service, sext, society, spiritual, tabernacle, temple, tent meeting, the church, the cloth, the desk, the ministry, the pulpit, tierce, undersong, variety, version, vesper, vespers, vigils, vocation, watch meeting, watch night, watch-night service