So a Catholic goes to a non-denominational Christmas service...

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
#1
This would ordinarily go in my Blue Room thread at the other place, but apparently it shit the bed and this might be a bit too blasphemous (and wordy) for FB.

My Dog's twice daily walk regularly cuts across 2 church properties. Last week she stopped to say "hello" to the pastor of one while he was doing some yard work and he invited me to their midnight Christmas service. Turned out they weren't Baptist, they were non-denominational Christian--and their service keeps to the all-important 1 hour mark. Since it's hard to make it to the Catholic church between my job and The Dog, they are my neighbors, and a few other reasons, I decided to give it a go.

It was a nice service--although as a Catholic, it felt a bit odd, not doing all the standing, sitting, kneeling, and all the other routines of Catholicism. (I gotta wonder what Lutheran services are like. Luther was German and it seems like Catholic Mass is right up the Hun's alley). There were other things that were different. Since the bread wasn't literally the flesh of Jesus Christ, proper dining etiquette entailed waiting until everyone had a piece before eating it (oops) and I couldn't resist sneaking a quick sign of the cross after eating it. Then there were mysterious holes on the book holders on the backs of the pews. I mean, there was the slot for the books--which included an actual Bible (WEIRD!)--and a slot for offertory envelopes and holes for the little golf pencils to write on them with, but there were also a couple bigger holes. I put my candle in it (more on that later). Turned out they were for the wine. It got handed out in little (for lack of a better word) shot glasses. And when you did your Jesus shot, you put the glass in the little cupholder.

At the end everyone formed a circle around the nave with candles and sang "Silent Night." It was kind of neat.

Anyway, it was really interesting to see a different take on a Christian service. As a Catholic, the idea that anyone that wants to can just start up a church is very alien. And it was all a lot less polished than a Catholic Mass (not that that's a bad thing, just different). It reminded me of an observation I once made about God and religion.

When we're little kids, we play "grown-up." We put on Mom & Dad's shoes and clomp around, pretending to be adults--even though we don't really have any understanding what being an adult actually entails (much like being an actual grown-up, but I digress). My point is we, as mortal humans, look at a being we, for lack of a better word, call "God." We don't understand him/her/it. We can't understand. So we play act the best understanding of God that we can. And that's kind of what I think all the different religions are--it's the same God (or incredibly long-lived and near omnipotent space alien) but different cultures try to understand God in the way that works the best for them.

Well that's about it. Christmas morning is fast approaching and I've still got to tie a branch to my Dog's head, put on a Santa suit and steal all the neighbors' food, presents, and decorations. Ho-ho-ho, motherfuckers.
 

Mirah

I love you
#3
I didn't think your post was blasphemous at all. Then again I am not Catholic, so maybe I don't know. I have however been Lutheran, and what you say is correct-there are a lot of traditions from the Catholic church. I don't think tradition is the word I want-but I am sure you understand what I mean. One thing I learned recently is that there are a couple different styles of Lutherans-one is definitely more conservative than the other.
The people I spent time with up in the mountain were the non-conservative more liberal and hippy Lutherans. But they still use a hymnal for worship. I prefer music not from hymals, for the most part.

I have visited churches that are so huge-it is ridiculous. One time a friend took me to her church and she said she never even met the pastor. He wasn't even there-he was live streaming. Wow!

I also learned about non-Catholics going to a Catholic service and they are not supposed to take the sacrement. I would not have even known that.

And I just re-read the last part in your post about the aliens! :D I see the blasphemy! LOL
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
#4
Another culture shock between Christian and Catholic: I walk The Dog through their property every day, past their utility shed. Their trash cans are behind the shed and the damned tree rats gnaw holes in the plastic lids because garbage is much tastier and easier to digest than stupid nuts. The Dog likes to try to catch one coming out of a can and give it crunchy mouth hugs. Well this week, no squirrel, but they had lugged a big nice hunk of rustic bread up to the hole and got it stuck because it was too big to go out the hole. Now The Dog loves her some good bread so I gave it to her.

And just as I did, I realized it was the bread from the Eucharist. Of course to a Catholic, the idea of giving Communion bread to a dog is about on par with a Muslim seeing a dog laying on their prayer rug--worse actually. Then I remembered to non-Catholics, the bread is just symbolic and if it was more they wouldn't have thrown it in the trash can in the first place.
 

Mirah

I love you
#5
Wow. I don't think the Lutherans would do that. They had such good home made bread-everyone used to eat it after and drink the wine or juice. What would Catholics say about that? Or what do they do with the leftover?
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
#6
You may have gathered that one of the crazy Catholic things is that, every Sunday, a miracle happens and a priest turns baked flour and fermented grapes into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. So at the end of the Communion, some of the Host (bread) can be locked into an appropriate tabernacle for later, but the wine, and often the bread, must be consumed by the Priest. Because you can't just have the body and blood of our saviour just laying around.
 

Loktar

Pinata Whacker
#7
You may have gathered that one of the crazy Catholic things is that, every Sunday, a miracle happens and a priest turns baked flour and fermented grapes into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. So at the end of the Communion, some of the Host (bread) can be locked into an appropriate tabernacle for later, but the wine, and often the bread, must be consumed by the Priest. Because you can't just have the body and blood of our saviour just laying around.
I was quite disappointed when I became a Catholic altar boy. I had always thought that the priest was multiplying the bread and wine like Jesus and the fish and bread. Only to find bags and bags of the unconnected wafers in the area behind the altar.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
#8
Wow. I don't think the Lutherans would do that. They had such good home made bread-everyone used to eat it after and drink the wine or juice. What would Catholics say about that? Or what do they do with the leftover?
The Priest will finish off the wine (and bread if there isn't much). The unleavened wafers that have been blessed can go in a special...chalice?--I forget the proper name--and be locked in a tabernacle behind the altar, IIRC.
 
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