Church (building)

Evangelical Lutheran church building in Štrba, Slovakia. A typical village church in Europe.

A church building or church house, often simply called a church, is a building used for Christian religious activities, particularly for worship services. The term is often used by Christians to refer to the physical buildings where they worship, but it is sometimes used (by analogy) to refer to buildings of other religions.[1] In traditional Christian architecture, the church is often arranged in the shape of a Christian cross. When viewed from plan view the longest part of a cross is represented by the aisle and the junction of the cross is located at the altar area.

Towers or domes are often added with the intention of directing the eye of the viewer towards the heavens and inspiring visitors. Modern church buildings have a variety of architectural styles and layouts; many buildings that were designed for other purposes have now been converted for church use, and conversely many original church buildings have been put to other uses.

The earliest identified Christian church building was a house church founded between 233 and 256. From the 11th through the 14th centuries, a wave of building of cathedrals and smaller parish churches were erected across Western Europe. A cathedral is a church building, usually Roman Catholic, Protestant (Anglican), Eastern Orthodox, or Oriental Orthodox, housing a cathedra, the formal name for the seat or throne of a presiding bishop.

Etymology

In Greek, the adjective kyriak-ós/-ē/-ón (κυριακόν) means "belonging, or pertaining, to a Kyrios" ("Lord"), and the usage was adopted by early Christians of the Eastern Mediterranean with regard to anything pertaining to the Lord Jesus Christ: hence "Kyriakós oíkos" (Kυριακός οίκος) ("house of the Lord", church), "Kyriakē" (Κυριακή) ("[the day] of the Lord", i.e. Sunday), or "Kyriakē proseukhē" (Greek: Κυριακή προσευχή) (the "Lord's Prayer").[2]

"Cyrican" was an Old English word for churches and church property

In standard Greek usage, the older word "ecclesia" (Greek: ἐκκλησία, ekklesía, literally "assembly", "congregation", or the place where such a gathering occurs) was retained to signify both a specific edifice of Christian worship (a "church"), and the overall community of the faithful (the "Church"). This usage was also retained in Latin and the languages derived from Latin (e.g. French église, Italian chiesa, Spanish iglesia, Portuguese igreja, etc.), as well as in the Celtic languages (Welsh eglwys, Irish eaglais, Breton iliz, etc.) and in Turkish (kilise).[2]

In the Germanic and some Slavic languages, the word kyriak-ós/-ē/-ón was adopted instead and derivatives formed thereof. In Old English the sequence of derivation started as "cirice", then Middle English "churche", and eventually "church" in its current pronunciation. German Kirche, Scots kirk, Russian церковь (tserkov), etc., are all similarly derived.[3]

Other Languages
Acèh: Geurija
Afrikaans: Kerk (gebou)
Alemannisch: Kirche (Bauwerk)
العربية: كنيسة
ܐܪܡܝܐ: ܥܕܬܐ
armãneashti: Bisearicâ
Avañe'ẽ: Tupão
авар: ГьатІан
azərbaycanca: Kilsə
বাংলা: গির্জা
Bahasa Banjar: Geréja
Bân-lâm-gú: Lé-pài-tn̂g
беларуская: Царква
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Царква
български: Църква
bosanski: Crkva
brezhoneg: Iliz (savadur)
Cebuano: Simbahan
čeština: Kostel
chiShona: Kereke
Cymraeg: Eglwys
davvisámegiella: Girku
Deitsch: Kaerich
føroyskt: Kirkja (hús)
Frysk: Tsjerke
Gaelg: Keeill
ГӀалгӀай: Киназ (гIишло)
𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌹𐍃𐌺: 𐌰𐌹𐌺𐌺𐌻𐌴𐍃𐌾𐍉
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: इगर्ज (चर्च)
한국어: 교회당
हिन्दी: गिरजाघर
hrvatski: Crkva
Igbo: Ulo uka
Bahasa Indonesia: Gereja (gedung)
Ирон: Аргъуан
עברית: כנסייה
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಚರ್ಚ್
ქართული: ეკლესია
қазақша: Шіркеу
кырык мары: Кирха
Ladino: Kilisia
Lëtzebuergesch: Kierch
lietuvių: Bažnyčia
Limburgs: Kèrk (geboew)
lingála: Ndáko Nzámbe
Lingua Franca Nova: Eglesa
मैथिली: गिरजाघर
македонски: Црква (објект)
മലയാളം: പള്ളി
मराठी: चर्च
მარგალური: ოხვამე
مصرى: كنيسه
Nāhuatl: Teopantli
Nederlands: Kerkgebouw
Nedersaksies: Kaark (gebouw)
नेपाली: गिर्जाघर
日本語: 教会堂
norsk: Kirke
norsk nynorsk: Kyrkje
Nouormand: Égllise
олык марий: Черке
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Cherkov
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਗਿਰਜਾ
پنجابی: گرجا
Tok Pisin: Sios
Plattdüütsch: Kark (Huus)
português: Igreja (edifício)
Ripoarisch: Kirch
Runa Simi: Iñichiq wasi
русиньскый: Церьков (храм)
Scots: Kirk
Setswana: Kereke (Dikago)
shqip: Kisha
Simple English: Church
سنڌي: گرجا گهر
slovenčina: Kostol
slovenščina: Cerkev (zgradba)
Soomaaliga: Kaniisad
српски / srpski: Црква (грађевина)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Crkva (zgrada)
Basa Sunda: Garéja
svenska: Kyrka
తెలుగు: చర్చి
тоҷикӣ: Калисо
Türkçe: Kilise
українська: Церква (будівля)
اردو: گرجا گھر
Tiếng Việt: Nhà thờ Kitô giáo
West-Vlams: Kerkgebouw
Winaray: Singbahan
吴语: 教堂
ייִדיש: קלויסטער
粵語: 教堂
Zazaki: Kılise
žemaitėška: Bažninčė
中文: 教堂