Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday's Best

So I went to an Easter service two years running now. Not bad for someone that was largely absent for a good 6 years.

It was weird going to a non-Catholic service. I don't know if I'll ever get used to it. I'm used to going through the stations of the cross, kneeling and standing for the entire hour and a half service. I'm used to the church going from 50-75 spectators with elbow space to 150-200 people standing all along the perimeter of the church. (Which turns communion from a ten minute ordeal to a good twenty-five minute)

Its weird because I'd really like to go to a Catholic service when I'm at another religions service, but I know I also don't like the Catholic services much. I just really like the familiarity to it. For instance, today we were at a service where six or seven helpers held loaves of bread and grape juice for communion and you walked up to them to tear off a piece of bread and dip it. I didn't feel compelled to get up to get communion. Something about not saying the prayers, or the priest not handing out the bread just didn't feel right. There's something about the whole Catholic process that is ingrained in me, almost like the one we were at today was just some strangers handing out food and I didn't want to touch food that people I don't know have. That probably shouldn't be thought process going through my mind but it was.

Another thing that I miss, but I know I don't is the Catholic music. A capella, out of tune, church goers sing the straight and to the point Hymns, whereas all the places I've visited in the past year try to be hip and cool by singing cover songs or just trying to God rock I guess. Either way, my mind wanders and I start staring at the stained glass and various religious iconography.

The sermon was good. I do like that about the non-Catholic services. Instead of sticking with the strict format of the Catholic church, other religious leaders get to speak for as long as they allow. Although most the time they overstep their welcome by 5-10 minutes, they get more of a message in there.

I don't know really what I'm getting at. I guess something is just ingrained into me from my Catholic upbringing that just doesn't allow me to accept other services as easily. I miss coming to church on Easter Sunday and the priest giving the members hell because obviously most the people there on Easter haven't been coming the rest of the weeks. You leave the service feeling at peace but guilty and that's a great combination to live with the rest of Sunday.