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World religions religious site visit assignment

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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. The end of the Service was very simple and brief. It concluded with one ending song, and then one ending Prayer. Just like that all the tension broke again and everyone was back to normal. During this site visit I found a number of facts very interesting. The first being how very serious and regal everything was. Everyone attending was not ecessarily in their Sunday finest, but everyone participating in the prayer readings and sermons was either in a suit and tie, or had on illustrious white robes. I also found out that they had times for mass at least once every day. I would have found this to be conflicting considering their level of dress. The other thing that threw me off was the intensity of the service for regular church goers. I felt more like a third party observer to the connection between priest and the other church goers. This was a very interesting experience, and now I feel like I have a better understanding of why people have such faith in God.

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