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Experiences In The Church

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Growing up, I never attended church much. I lived in a household with my mother, grandma, granddad, and two uncles. My granddad grew up a strong southern Baptist, but did not feel the need to force my mom to go to church just because she now had a kid. Of course, we did the "keester" thing--you know, the people who attend church on Christmas and Easter--and when we did it was at the Baptist church closest to our home. If you've never attended a Baptist service, it's a bunch of holy-rollers throwing their arms up singing and worshiping, listening to a man condemning just about everyone who wasn't, well...them. I'd always been interested in the Catholic Church, and of course visited with a couple friends when I'd spend the night on Saturdays. I saw this assignment as an opportunity for me to visit again, see how I liked it. Turns out on! e of my n d attends the Catholic Student Center for mass every Sunday, so this past Sunday I went with her. The first thing I loved was that there was a "casual mass" on Sunday evenings. This way I didn't have to get dressy, AND I got to sleep in Sunday. Anyway, we get there, and people are socializing in the pews, looking casual (I'm glad she wasn't lying) so we take a seat. I noticed that the music was pretty contemporary, although my friend told me that at her parish at home, there is still an organ player and a choir who sings traditional hymns. We then sat down. That's something I forgot about mass, the constant "standup, sit-down" routine they have going on. I asked my friend what that was significant of, and she couldn't answer. I know I got a good leg workout though. There were a few select parts of the mass that I found very interesting. One particular was all the words that are almost chanted by the members of the congreg! ation. It ut then I realized they were just all praying the same prayer at the same time. It was very cool to imagine everyone being taught that certain prayer as they grew up, and coming together to pray it together. Another part I found very interesting was the consecration of the Eucharist. Apparently Catholic faith believes in the transubstantiation, which recognizes the bread and wine as the actual body and blood of Christ, not just a symbol of him. You can see the reverence in their faces when the priest holds up the big wafer and says his spiel. Also, after the bread and wine have transformed, everybody kneels, and continues mass on the kneelers until after communion. This is done as a sign of respect to Jesus, as they believe he is actually up on the altar. We stayed on the kneelers through a song where they talk about Christ will come again someday, but how he is risen



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