From soaring cathedrals to intimate chapels, sanctuaries of all faiths provide a beacon for seekers and a stage for astonishing mysteries. From divine intervention to unholy terror, we uncover the mysteries of the world's greatest houses of worship in "Mysteries at the Church".
Runtime: 60 minutes
Mysteries at the Church - Sacred mysteries - Netflix
Sacred mysteries are the areas of supernatural phenomena associated with a divinity or a religious ideology. Sacred mysteries may be either: Religious beliefs, rituals or practices which are kept secret from non-believers, or lower levels of believers, who have not had an initiation into the higher levels of belief (the concealed knowledge may be called esoteric). Beliefs of the religion which are public knowledge but cannot be easily explained by normal rational or scientific means. Although the term “mystery” is not often used in anthropology, access by initiation or rite of passage to otherwise secret beliefs is an extremely common feature of indigenous religions all over the world. A mystagogue or hierophant is a holder and teacher of secret knowledge in the former sense above. Whereas, mysticism may be defined as an area of philosophical or religious thought which focuses on mysteries in the latter sense above.
Mysteries at the Church - Christian mysteries - Netflix
Although the term is not used equally by all Christian traditions, many if not most basic aspects of Christian theology require a supernatural explanation. To name but a few key examples, these include the nature of the Trinity, the Virgin birth of Jesus, and the Resurrection of Jesus. These are mysteries in the sense that they cannot be explained or apprehended by reason alone. The word mysterion (μυστήριον) is used 27 times in the New Testament. It denotes not so much the meaning of the modern English term mystery, but rather something that is mystical. In the biblical Greek, the term refers to “that which awaits disclosure or interpretation”. In the Catholic church the Latin term is mysterium fidei, “mystery of faith”, defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1997) to mean a mystery hidden in God, which can never be known unless revealed by God. In the Roman Catholic Church the First Vatican Council re-affirmed the existence of mysteries as a doctrine of Catholic faith as follows: “If any one say that in Divine Revelation there are contained no mysteries properly so called (vera et proprie dicta mysteria), but that through reason rightly developed (per rationem rite excultam) all the dogmas of faith can be understood and demonstrated from natural principles: let him be anathema” (Sess. III, De fide et ratione, can. i). The position, if not the terminology, of other Christian churches is essentially the same. In parts of the Early Christian Church, many aspects of Christian theology, including some sacraments and sacramentals, were kept hidden from the pagans—the so-called Disciplina arcani—lest they become objects of ridicule, and were also introduced gradually to catechumens or new converts. As the Age of Persecution ended, the secrecy was gradually relaxed. But the term continued to be used, and the same word is used in the Eastern Orthodox churches to describe “mysteries” and “sacraments”. This is not usually so in the West, though theologically many aspects of sacraments are recognized as mysteries in the main sense described above, especially (for those churches accepting it) the doctrine of transubstantiation in the Eucharist. Hence Pope Paul VI's papal encyclical of 3 September 1965 on the Eucharist was titled, from its opening words, Mysterium fidei. In the Roman Rite Catholic Mass within or immediately after the formula of consecration of the wine, the celebrant says “The mystery of faith”. Originally the term “Mystery” was used for the sacraments generally in both the East and the West, as shown from the “Mystagogical Homilies” of St. Cyril of Jerusalem and the work, On the Mysteries by St. Ambrose of Milan. Although all the official doctrines of Christian churches have long been fully public, the loosely defined area of Christian thought called Christian mysticism often concerns the contemplation of sacred mysteries and may include the development of personal theories about them, undertaken in the knowledge that they can never be fully apprehended by man.