Civics Lessons for Students

California Missions, Page 2

Altar at Mission de Alcala in San Diego, California

Mission Altar

  • The Catholic Church built the missions to convert the Native Indians to Christianity.

  • Each mission had a church with a beautiful altar. This is a photo of the altar at Mission de Alcala.


Candles at Mission de Alcala

Mission Candles

  • Candles are an important part of the Catholic religion. Priests taught the Indians how to make candles.

  • Prayer candles are lit before saying a prayer for someone.


Mission Bells at San Juan Capistrano Mission

Mission Bells

  • Bells were used to regulate mission activities like meals, mass, and the start of the workday. They were also used to announce important events like births and funerals.

  • Most of the missions had a bell wall with separate niches for each bell.

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