Christian Stories by a Minister's Daughter
The Eucharist, Women Servers & Pocketing the Bread
Although raised in the Baptist faith, I have attended numerous dominations in my lifetime. This particular article focuses on the differences in the Baptist faith & the Catholic faith.
The Catholic services are almost-always quite beautiful. One of my favorite places of worship is the magnificent cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas. It is truly a masterpiece. It's such a shame that all houses of worship aren't magnificent because we should give God the very best. So many cold, empty metal buildings.
As someone who was born in the early 1950's and who attended Catholic services after the year 2010, they are much-like the protestant services during the 1960's. There are only a few differences; women are quite active, serving the Eucharist, and leading the song service. Only men led the Baptist services [song leader, deacons] with women singing 'specials' at times.
Of course, in the Catholic church there is the holy water, the sign of the cross and kneeling before being seated. I enjoy the prayer benches and everyone kneeling to pray during the service. This is something that I wish all churches had for the worshipers. Praying show humility to God & honor.
I also wish that the pastors of all churches would wear robes - and different colors for different times of the year. God outlined the dress for priests in the Old Testament - for honor and beauty.
Some women cover their heads - but most do not. Even in the New Testament, women were told to cover their heads while men were told not to do such.
The choir is generally located to the side of the altar - or in larger churches, in the balcony. This allows the focus and the praise to be placed on God rather than on the singers.
On the other hand, I have personally witnessed some very troubling things during Catholic worship services - young girls in attendance with shorts so short that some of their private areas were visible; Eucharist servers placing the wafers inside their jeans - which they would take to the sick and house-bound, and perhaps most troubling, servers trampling around the Altar of God like wildebeest. Keep in mind that Catholics believe that the bread & wine transform into the actual body & blood of Christ.
Also troubling is that Christians of other faiths are denied access to what our Lord commanded of them - partaking of the Eucharist [Communion]. There is only one Judge of mankind - God. Therefore, let God judge one's righteousness before Him, not man. Of course, staunch Catholics would disagree - but personally, I feel that one day - those who have denied Christians access to what is theirs will be held accountable.
Another thing that differs in the Catholic church is that there is much repetition. Some but not all of the songs change each week. The homily is always new and the two readings are new - read by both women and men.
Everything that one needs for the service is included in either the hymnal or a booklet which rests beside the hymnal. A missal can also be purchased - which outlines all of the services for the year.
The big difference based on the flow of the service only and not in beliefs - the Baptist faith that I was raised in, we carry our Bibles with us for worship services. We also like the fact that most pastors base their sermons on what God lays on their hearts each week - not planned up to a year in advance. And the services are always totally new, not repetitious.
The Catholic Latin services are quite beautiful. The Priest has the option of giving the homily in Latin or English - but the rest of the service is in Latin. It is very reverent to God.
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