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Churches, Additional Subthemes

Subthemes: Sociology, Funerals and Cemeteries, Tithing Expressions

The other sections cover multiple aspects of Churches elicited from four works of art: Pierre-August Renoir’s The Church at Essoyes, Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach”", a despondent interlude in a warm church, and sanctuary and inspiration from a church’s priest during a movie. Here are additional thoughts about the theme of Churches that don’t associate closely with any of those works.

Sociology: Religion is a recurrent focus of sociologists, those who study and theorize about how people in a community lead their lives, determine what is good and bad behavior, and explain the trials and triumphs of life. As part of that focus, the places where people learn about their religion, be it the strict interpretation of Sharia law espoused by the Taliban or the Te Hahi Mihinare of the Māori, occupy the efforts of many sociologists. The mores of a society revolve around a place of worship, a church.

Funerals and Cemeteries: All cultures mark a person’s death, most commonly by burial or cremation, but with an astonishingly wide variety of practices. Most end-of-a-life ceremonies of them begin or end at a religious site. Often, the final resting place of a church member lies in a cemetery near the church, perhaps with a headstone, a sarcophagus, a pile of stone, a plaque or other memorial.

Tithing: Support for the church building, grounds and employees comes from contributions by the attendees of the church. In one form or another, to continue their calling, the leader of the congregation must pass the plate. Whether or not the plate receives a tithe, originally one-tenth of a family’s earnings as a church tax, most of the money that enables churches to function comes from donations.

Expressions: The 56 idiomatic sayings presented alphabetically below refer to Churches in a figurative sense. I exclude direct uses of the theme word and proverbs. The idiomatic expressions come from my own knowledge of English and various online sources:

7esl, ABCEnglish, befluentnyc, Cambridge, Free Dictionary, Grammar, Learn English Today, Literacy at Work MacMillan Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, My English Pages, Owlcation, Phrases, Phrase-Thesaurus, PowerThesaurus, Reverse Dictionary, Twining English Centres, Using English, and Your Dictionary.

a Mecca for someone (a place which is often visited by people with common interests)
bear or carry one’s cross (to carry on with life despite going through much difficulty)
broad church (referring to a wide scope of philosophies and ideas)
church ain’t out till they quit singing (refers to something which is not over yet)
darken a church door (to attend church or a service therein)
go over like a fart in church (elicit a displeased or disgusted response)
more catholic than the Pope (adhering more stringently to practices and doctrine than is normal)
pillars to the temple (refers to the legs of a woman)
poor as church mice (to be very poor or having little or no money)
preaching to the choir (trying to convince someone who is already of the same opinion)
see you in church (see you again soon or at the normal place or time)
separation of church and state (keeping government and religion separate from each other)
sweating like a whore in church (someone is very nervous)
the temple of immensity (the universe; the heavens or the sky)

adam’s ale (old fashioned word used to refer to water)
amen to that (strongly agree)
baptism by fire (a difficult experience one has to go through)
bidding prayer (the prayer for the souls of benefactors)
bless my soul (old-fashioned exclaimation)
chapter and verse (when a particular topic is well known)
count your blessings (being grateful)
cross the aisle (to vote, unite or co-operate with members of a political party)
crossed the Jordan (denoting a person’s death)
devil may care attitude (a way of taking everything at ease)
doubting thomas (one who believes what they see themselves)
dry as a wooden god (very thirsty)
face one’s demons (confront one’s fears)
fall from grace (going from popular to unpopular because of wrong actions)
from one’s lips to god’s ears (what one says is believed to be true)
glory be to god (God deserves the praise and honor)
good samaritan (one who unselfishly and compassionately helps others in need)
gospel truth (absolutely real and right)
hero worship (an excessive admiration to someone)
hold a chapel (hold a meeting)
holier than thou (a self-righteous person)
house of prayer (any building where congregations gather for prayer)
in one’s Sunday best (wearing clothes that are apt for going to church)
in seventh heaven (in a blissful state)
island of saints (poetic name given to Ireland in 19th century)
lap of the gods (not yet decided)
lead someone to the alter (marry someone)
nine tailors make a man (spoken after ringing church bells for a deceased male)
no saint (someone with a sordid past who claims to be good)
one’s sins will find him/her out (one’s sins will become known)
passing bell (a bell tolled at the moment of the death of a person)
poisoned chalice (an attractive , but a doomed task)
pray at the porcelain altar (vomit into a toilet due to excessive drinking)
pray tell (old-fashioned way of emphasis to demand an answer)
prayer bones (kneeling down)
sacred cow (a very special person)
sing from the same hymn sheet (voice out same opinions in public)
the holy of holies (the most private room in the house)
thoughts and prayers (phrase used to comfort someone)
through hell and high water (suffer from many kinds of trouble)
to hell and gone (completely lost)
vale of tears (sufferings of life)

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