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Saints – In the wider use of the word, Saints are all the believers. But in a narrower sense they are people who have shown great holiness, and who are a great example for others to follow.

Santiago de Compostela – Compostela is a city in the North-West of Spain. The word ‘Santiago’ means St James, and it’s believed that it is the burial place of St James the Apostle. It is a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world.

Sacraments – a sacrament is the use of material things as signs and pledges of God’s grace, and thorough which we receive his gifts. Christ appointed two sacraments for his Church: Baptism and Eucharist, and there are five other Sacramental rites: Confirmation, Ordination, Holy Matrimony, Ministry of Absolution, and the Ministry of Healing.

Salvation – being saved. Christians believe that Jesus gives us Salvation through his death and resurrection.

Sanctuary – the part of a church building that contains the altar

Scripture – a word to describe an important Religious Text. The Christian Scriptures are found in the Bible.

Seminary – the word used to describe a college where people prepare and are trained to be priest – usually only used in Roman Catholic Church.

Sermon – in public worship the priest or other minister explains the Scriptures to us and how they relate to our everyday experience

Sermon on the Mount – this refers to Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 –7 that give the basis of how to live as Christian. In it there are 8 Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer. A similar teaching is given in Luke 6:20-49 but known as the Sermon on the Plain.

Shrine – refers to a special or holy place, especially connected with pilgrimages

Sign of the Cross – the cross is an important symbol for Christians and many Christians often make the sign of the cross. This means that they will trace a cross over themselves. The cross can also be traced on our forehead, lips, etc

Simeon – In the Gospel according to Luke he is the man who has been promised by God that he will not die until he sees the One who is to save the world, Jesus. When Mary and Joseph present Jesus in the Temple, Simeon greets them and Jesus and declares that ‘At last now he can go in peace for he has seen the Salvation promised.’ See also Candlemas and Nunc Dimittis

Sin – although the universe is good because God has created it, we often spoil things by doing wrong or selfish things, by saying bad things, etc. This is what we mean by sin. It is something that spoils the goodness of God’s Creation.

Social Action – this means taking action for people in Society, no matter what their race, religion or colour. It means working for justice and fairness for all people. It means putting our faith into action.

Sponsors – another phrase for Godparents – especially for older children and young people or adults. They are Christians who support and encourage those preparing for Christian Initiation

Stained Glass Windows – Many churches have coloured windows of stained glass. Many of these depict stories of Jesus and the Saints. As well as being a form of decoration, they tell us important things about the Christian Faith – and so were important in times when few people could read.

Statues – many church buildings have statues of Jesus or the Saints.

Stations of the Cross – a devotion where people make the journey that Jesus made when he carried his cross to Golgotha (See Via Doloroasa). Traditionally, there are fifteen Stations. Christians stop along the way and think about different moments of Jesus suffering and death. Many churches have pictures around the walls representing these stations.

Stipend – the income that a minister receives from the Church to make their ministry available without them having to earn their own wage. See also Non Stipendiary Minister.

Stole – a coloured ‘scarf like’ garment worn by Ordained Ministers. It is the priest’s mark of authority. Priests wear the stole around the neck with the ends falling straight down in front. The Deacons wears a stole in a different way, like a sash over this or her left shoulder and fastened under the right arm. reflecting the towel that Jesus tied around his waist to wash his apostles feet at the Last Supper.

Stoop – See Water Stoop

Sunday – The chief day of public worship as our weekly celebration of Easter Sunday, the day on which Jesus rose from the dead. It is the first day of the week.

Symbols – A symbol is something that represents something greater or points us to something greater. Symbols are used a lot in the Church. For example, some common symbols are a cross, fish.

Synod – this is a formal meeting of bishops and other representatives from the churches for a special purpose.