Observations at Church

I had to go to church on Saturday for my wife's friend's wedding.  A Roman Catholic church to be exact.  Here are a few observations:

1) For a Roman Catholic church, it was quite modest.  It is surrounded by trees and large sections of the walls are glass.  You seem almost to be in the forest yourself.

2) It is fucking scary listening to people recite prayers or saying things in unison.  It's like they've all been brainwashed into some sort of crazy cult...oh, wait...nevermind.

3) The one part of mass that I actually really like is the "peace."  If you are not familiar with Catholic mass (I'm not sure if other sects do this) at some point during the service everyone turns to the people around them, shakes hands, and says, "Peace be with you."  I think this is great.  Strangers turning to strangers and wishing each other peace in their lives.  People really do seem sincere when they do this, and it is not necessarily a religious act.  I would like to experience that more.

4) Church etiquette for an atheist or non-Christian:  When everyone rises for some reason, I rise.  I don't do any of the praying or the crossing or anything, but I stand to be polite.  When everyone kneels to pray, I just stay seated.  There's no way I'm getting down on my knees for anyone. (insert gay joke here)

What do you think?


Andrew Hall said...

I was brought up (unfortunately) in a Baptist home and the cross in church was just a cross.
My first time in a Catholic Church was disturbing. There was J.C. up there on the cross looking very uncomfortable...

very icky!

Chris said...

I do the same thing when I have to go to church for some reason or another. When everyone rises, I rise and stand quietly. When everyone kneels, I stay seated, and when everyone goes to eat a stale cracker and drink wine from the same cup, I also stay seated.

jdk said...

At this church Jesus was on the cross, but he was kind of hovering in front of it, instead of being nailed to it by his hands and feet. I'll post a pic when I get around to it.

vjack said...

Nothing quite like a Catholic church to make non-believers feel out of place. I've been to a few non-Catholic churches that do the "peace" thing or some variation of it.

Anonymous said...

I remember going to a Catholic church when I was younger. I was raised a Baptist in Ohio, until I broke free around 13 years old. The only thing I couldn't understand was what the fuckin' tree branch in a bowl of water was for!?

Scott said...

Also a physics teacher (retired). The 'peace be with you thing' always makes me a little uncomfortable. Probably just me.

Anonymous said...

I was raised catholic. The peace be with you part wasn't part of my church when growing up. The first time I remember this is as an adult for some wedding or funeral, not sure which. This is the only time I go to a church also. Not because I want to either. But sometimes, you just have to go.

I usually sit in the back and stand when everyone else stands, sit when they sit. I don't kneel and I don't participate in communion either.

Oh and I roll my eyes constantly or just mentally shake my head throughout the entire ordeal.

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