The word sanctification, especially in the context of the church, means something sacred and the term “sanctified church” could mean any church in general but this term is specifically used to denote Pentecostal Christianity. This is a movement that was brought by slaves in American soil and hence, this church movement has certain religious and cultural traditions that are unique. At the time when Christianity in the New World was introduced to the slave community, this particular movement came into being. The churches that belong to this movement have a large congregation of blacks, though people of different ethnic origins are also found to be part of such churches.
There are certain traditions and beliefs of a sanctified church that are cornerstones of such religious places. It is believed that grace with God is achieved through good works and through prayer. Certain individuals are sanctified or blessed by God and become vessels of the Holy Spirit. They are chosen to spread His words on earth and that can be said or spread through different ways such as glossolalia or through dancing.
The services that are held in such churches are exuberant and noisy. It is said that individuals who are chosen to be vessels or hear messages from God are moved to express as the Holy Spirit wishes them to do. This involves dancing, singing, speaking, clapping hands, going into trance, engaging in different kinds of behavior through which they express their feelings or relationship with God.
Sanctified churches have ministers who preach sermons which focus on helping individuals in distress and spread belief in the Lord and his son through good works done in human society. There are revival sessions as well as mass baptism that are held in churches. Such churches are non-denominational where different people from diverse creeds come and worship and are encouraged to visit for services that are held here. The exuberant services in such churches set them apart from conventional modes of services and prayers in other churches. However, certain ideas of sanctified churches stay true to the main ideals of Christianity, such as everyone participating in spreading the word of God and expressing themselves in the way they wish to.
In general, these churches welcome people to attend the services but expect people to be dressed nicely and be respectful to others. Those who are considered to be vessels of the Holy Spirit and might be losing physical control are given support and assistance. Everyone is encouraged to join in singing hymns and shouting amen along with the group that has congregated.