VISUAL THEOLOGY

A sanctuary lamp, altar lamp, everlasting light, or eternal flame is a light that shines before the altar of sanctuaries in many denominations of Jewish and Christian places of worship. Prescribed in Exodus 27:20-21 of the Torah, this icon has taken on different meanings in each of the religions that have adopted it. The passage, which refers to prescriptions for the tabernacle, states: “And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always”. Christian churches often have at least one lamp continually burning before the tabernacle, not only as an ornament of the altar, but for the purpose of worship. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal in the Catholic Church, for instance, states (in 316): "In accordance with traditional custom, near the tabernacle a special lamp, fueled by oil or wax, should be kept alight to indicate and honor the presence of Christ." The sanctuary lamp is placed before the tabernacle in Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, and Anglican churches as a sign that the Blessed Sacrament is reserved or stored. It is also used in Lutheran churches to represent the presence of God. The sanctuary lamp may also be seen in Eastern Orthodox Churches. Other Christian denominations burn the lamp to show that the light of Christ always burns in a sin-darkened world ■

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

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