I have grown up as a Hindu Indian, and as one who does not go to temple every week either. I have never been to any kind of a Catholic service. I was nervous to go and did not know what to expect from the church or the service or even the people there. Being Hindu, I did not know very much about the Catholic religion at all. From the little that I know about the Catholic religion, Hindu rituals and prayers were very different from Catholic rituals and prayers.
One big thing was that, for church you usually go in the morning, whereas whenever my family and I would go to the temple, we would go later at night; which is what most Hindu’s went to. I went to Cathedral Basilica in Saint Louis with a few friends, one of which goes every Sunday morning. The three of them were all Catholics and I was the only one from a different religion, so it felt really weird. We went to the ten o’clock service. All I had to do was walk out of my building and walk down the street. At least being with friends, it felt a little less weird.
When we walked into the church, I noticed that there were a lot of students there. That made me feel even more comfortable, to be with people who were my age. I was a little surprised that that many students went to church on Sunday mornings. When I’m at home, I don’t attend temple every Sunday but I do know that other Hindu’s who are my age do go every Sunday. But the difference between the students who attend the Journey and the students who attend temples at home, is that the students here actually go to church for the religious service; whereas the kids at home just go for the social life that goes along with going to temple every week.
My first impression of the church was that it was absolutely gorgeous and huge. The building was white with green tops. You can hear the church bells going off every hour. The church was just beautiful on the outside. The inside did not disappoint either. Once I walked in, I noticed the beautiful stained glass windows and high ceilings. Not only are there high ceilings, but the paintings on the ceilings are absolutely beautiful. They are so colored filled, with specks of gold and red all over. I don’t really understand what the paintings on the ceiling exactly mean, but I knew that they had something to do with the Catholic religion.
What was very different from the temple that I occasionally go to, was that instead of sitting on the ground, in this church there benches. I thought that Catholic services were when you wore the veils over your heads and pray to Mary. If they wanted to erase their sins, they would go to the pope and tell them all their sins and the pope would forgive them. But that was not what people at this mass were doing when I first walked in. They greeted me warmly and tried to make me feel at home. We sat down and some people around me were praying and some were just looking up.
Soon before I knew it, the mass had started. They first started off with prayer and said some things that seemed like it was coming from the bible. There was a self-praying time and then the praise started, which was all hymns. I was not used to this because at church, I mostly sang praise songs by praise artists. I was getting a little bored singing four verses of the same melody; however, I was familiar with most of the hymns and singing hymns made the service seem very traditional. After praise, the pope spoke the word which was about sin.
I understood what the pope was talking about and I also agreed with a lot of what he said. The pope said sinning is bad but you will always be forgiven and you can ask for forgiveness during the confession time with him. However, the fact that they go to the pope to ask for forgiveness is what I do not understand or agree on. I believe that only God can forgive your sins and you need to pray to him about it. However, then that was just my view, and I needed to understand their religion and their beliefs. Next, they prayed and had bread and wine.
The pope said some things about eating the bread and wine and what it meant to eat it. I did not eat the bread or wine but I saw everyone around me eating it. However, my friend told me that you were not able to eat the bread and wine if you skipped a mass, unless you did the confession, because it was against the 10 commandments. Afterwards, the mass ended by doing the rosary prayer. For rosary prayer, they believe that the number of rosary prayer they do will pile up and be good for heaven. Therefore, the more rosary prayers, the better it is. When the mass ended everyone stood up and went outside to talk to each other.
It was surprising how the service at the mass was the complete opposite of what I had imagined. The mass was very beautiful. Just what the pope was saying and the quietness of it was just beautiful. After mass, all the college students went out to eat and to hang out. I followed my friend and met some people from different schools. They talked about their school life and different stories about their week. I felt like I was in a social gathering and everyone was warm and welcoming. It was good to see how they all were curious about each other and cared for each other.
I was confused as to what the Catholic religion entailed, but I had ideas of what the Catholic religion was, but either some my ideas were wrong or I had actually learned something about the religion. By going to a mass service, I do have a better understanding of what the religion entails now. I never took the time to realize how similar, yet different religions could be. They all have the same concept of there being a God or someone in control, but there are so many variations. I knew that there were many different religions out there but I only grew up being aware of only mine.
I believe that it is really important to have an open mind about religion. After this experience, I learned that I need to understand that there are different people out there and we all have different thoughts on religion. Overall, I liked taking the time to learn more about a religion by attending this mass. I felt like I learned a lot and it would be different from just learning about it from reading a book. Even though I have strong faith in my religion and did not agree on a lot of aspects of Catholicism, I liked the experience a lot and I hope that I can try out different religions from now on.
A Catholic Church Experience
Christianity today is one of the dominant religions in the world. Christianity has a variety of beliefs, exercises and forms, despite the many denominations all have one common belief, which is faith in Jesus Christ and that He is our Lord and Savior. I am a strong believer in God and Jesus Christ. I am of the Christian religion and the church I attend in The Bahamas is a non-denominational one. My choice for this class site visit was to attend St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church. Father Maximilian Kolbe is honored because his faith gave him the dignity to live and die knowing that, despite whatever horrendous condition he experienced; they believe God is always with them. Though large and…show more content…
This intriguing design was displayed directly in the front and center of the church right above the altar. The presence of Jesus Christ on the cross portrait made me feel like I was in my very own church home and it was an indication that Catholics have the same faith in Jesus Christ and believed that he died on the cross for our sins.
As Mass began, the Priests stood by the door as three young altar servers walked towards the altar holding the cross. The Priests and other ministers, readers and altar servers slowly walked towards the table of the parish family, which is the altar of sacrifice. As they walked upon the Altar the sign of the cross was made and the words “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” and “The Lord be with you” were said. The Priests would also ask for the congregation to take a few minutes to ask for the forgiveness of their sins followed by scriptures read by the Priests and the congregation replying “Lord have mercy”. I found this all interesting as I am not familiar with these traditions in my Church. The reading of the Word was then initiated and ended with the saying “Thanks be to God” followed by a prayer and the hymn “This is my Desire”. Hymns were vigorously sung throughout the sermon making the presence of God heartfelt throughout the Mass. Furthermore, I continued to examine the church and its people and had observed the altar which included a Deacon who wears a