I have this feeling of "what am I getting myself into??"
I'm used to Mass, where there's a missalette that has the whole year's schedule in it. I can go to any Catholic Church and it'll be the same in every Church, every week. The Mass itself is laid out the same.
The wiki page for it is pretty damn accurate: Mass (liturgy).
On the right, the wiki lists the structure for the Mass. It's said much better than anything I could have come up with.
There is a conservative in me. It relates back to Catholicism. There is a proper way to behave in a Church. Even more so, the altar is sacred. There are people who should be on the altar and that's it.
Oh god, one year they (whoever they were that made this decision)...they decided it would be a good idea to have three 10-12 year old girls....dancing. On Easter. On the altar.
That happened once. Never again.
I was surprised the older members of the congregation didn't have heart attacks seeing that.
When you enter the Church, you bless yourself with holy water and make the sign of the cross. When you walk across the Church, you make the sign of the cross. Why? Because you're passing Jesus. You show respect. Before entering a pew, you genuflect and make the sign of the cross. You kneel and pray. Then you may sit.
I have not been a practicing Catholic in 9 years. I have been in Churches since. I have even attended Mass since. I follow everything I just wrote above, and more, out of respect for the building I'm in and those who worship there.
This is why I'm a little hesitant and apprehensive about going to His church. I have no idea what to expect. I looked over the website for that church. Looked into their schedule for past services. Lots of singing, which is good. But I can tell it's pretty non-standard. In the course of 9 weeks, I saw one communion service. ONE.
Wait, what?? How?
You can totally get communion once a day with the Catholic Church...because there's daily Mass...except on weekends. Because Saturday evening Mass is a substitution for Sunday. Only once on weekends.
It's also...are there proper responses for His church? If so, what are they? When do you say them?Are there signs of respect that I should be aware of? I may not be practicing, but I'll be in a holy dwelling and I will show it the proper respect it deserves. I would be this way with any religious place of worship.
Church is not something one just attends with no forethought. At least, I wouldn't. Blame Catholicism. He's going to tell me I worry too much. He'll likely say, "No one is going to notice. It's your first time there. You're a visiting guest. You can participate to the levels that you're comfortable with." But I need to know what they are in order to participate!!
To quote an earlier conversation with the boyfriend...he said this would be my reaction when asking Him about all of this: "TELL ME EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR RELIGION!!" while shaking Him by the collar. ROFL!
When I was Catholic, I was really Catholic. So much so that 9 years later there's still a conservative, structured Catholic in me.
Not conservative as in views; I'm a moderate liberal. Conservative as in what Mass or service should look like.
It's a weird thing, but Catholics don't quite see themselves as Christians...not like non-Catholics do. Yes, Catholics believe in Christ and that makes them Christians in that sense. But they're not really Christians, they're Catholics. And the distinction says it all. There is very much a separation there.
I guess because I was raised Catholic, I have this mindset that Christians are missing a few things. They're not quite getting it. Too Christ-focused maybe. Missing the whole Christ is but one aspect/facet of God. Plus, they don't recognize saints or the blessed virgin Mary as being as important as she is.
Which is both strange and funny that I still think this way. Since I actually don't agree with Catholicism. I find it very contradicting to my personal beliefs...being mainly spiritual because frankly I don't think anyone is right or even comes close to the mark of what's actually going on. But when it comes to believing in Christ, I guess I feel like Catholicism is a person's best bet.
I'll end this with a song I sang when I was in choir. It's the Gloria sang at the start of the Easter Season, and used until Ordinary Time begins. It still gives me chills to listen to it and of course I sing along.
Also, I have no idea if non-Catholics have a calendar separating the year into "seasons"...which is really sad if they don't. It's approaching Advent, one of the best seasons of the year. It's Christmas music for like 4 or 5 weeks straight. All Christmas, all the time. I am so sad for everyone if y'all don't have that. Because religious Christmas songs are some of the best. Especially played on organs and with bells, it's just fantastic. You want God in your music? Look towards that. Every time.
Okay, okay...I'll stop rambling and you enjoy this absolutely fantastic version of Gloria: