Importance Of A Catholic Church

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Visiting St. Paul’s Parish Princeton For this field observation project, I chose to attend the 5pm Sunday service at St. Paul’s Parish in Princeton. Growing up in the Pentecostal tradition, I have become at home in free worship and contemporary liturgy. Most of the church’s I’ve attended in the past had many informal elements in their liturgy, designed to make new-comers feel a little less awkward and part of the church family. As a new Methodist, I have found many Methodist churches (particularly contemporary ones) to be a good mix of the familial atmosphere that i loved about Pentecostal church and the church tradition that I 'm seeking at this point in my faith walk. For this reason, I wanted to visit a Catholic church. I reasoned that my new found love for tradition would naturally lead me towards the church where western Christian tradition began. Furthermore, I wanted to dispel the stereotypes I was taught about the Catholic Church as a child. I walked into St. Paul’s hoping that the rumors of Catholic churches being “dead”, “cold”, or “sterile” would be erased once I smelled the incense at the altar or saw the …show more content…
Although the outside of St. Paul’s isn’t particularly striking, the inside narthex and the sanctuary looked like a picture out of a Taize Community pamphlet. I stood in the the narthex all but 10 seconds before confusion set it. Luckily, I attended this service with Liz from class who shared much of my confusion throughout the evening. There was a bowl of (what I assumed was) Holy Water that attendees dipped their fingers in and proceeded to cross themselves as they walked into the sanctuary. I learned that crossing oneself was done to invoking the presence of the Trinitarian Godhead. Wanting to be a good guest, I figured i’d sprinkle and cross myself too. Of course, I managed to cross myself incorrectly for the entire service, which was a source of comedic relief for Liz and

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