Religious Site Visit
For my Religious Site Visit I went to a Roman Catholic Mass, at St. Annes church in Hagerstown. I attended the Mass with my Girlfriend as my guide. When we walked in we blessed ourselves with holy water that they had at the entrance to the main chamber of the room. After that we took our seats. The first portion of the service was something my girlfriend said was called “Pray the Rosary”. This was a process were you say a prayer called a Rosary using the aid of a physical Rosary (Cross on a beaded necklace).
The Primary section of the service consisted or an Opening song, Greetings and Announcements, an Opening Prayer, Gospel, another Prayer, and Communion. The whole process took about an hour and a half. During the Opening song the atmosphere felt tense, everyone was very serious and it was easy to see the dedication in the crowd. It made me feel very excluded because my faith is not the same. During the greetings and announcements the tension broke and it felt more inviting while the Priest explained things that were happening in the church over the next week. The greetings were followed by an opening prayer, and then a reading from the Gospel. The same atmosphere of tension and focus returned. It seemed as though everyone other than me was possessed by the words of the priest. At this point two individuals in white robes with lit candles and baskets on polls began Collection for charity and the church. Growing up I went to a very small Baptist church where we just passed around a small basket for collections, so this process seems very overdramatic to me. After collections they started Communion where we had the option of being blessed by the priest, drinking the juice representing Christ’s blood, and eating the wafer representing Christ’s body. I would have guessed from the previous atmosphere that everyone would want to be part of this but only a handful of people participated. Mostly Parents with young children.
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