Field Observation Report Sample

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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 …show more content…
Paul’s to be intentional in conveying what it finds to be theologically significant. Ruth Duck writes that church architecture is a place of encounter between humans and God. Space can set the tone for worship long before an key on the organ is played. The design of the interior St. Paul’s sanctuary puts the altar as the focus of the worship liturgy. Similar to a Gothic Cathedral, St. Paul’s interior seems to express what Duck calls “a sense of transcendence and light.” High ceilings added to the drama of the distance of God. The altar was a considerable distance away from the first pew. I imagine that this distance makes approaching the altar during communion feel like approaching somewhere that is Holy and heavenly. Moreover, The statues of Joseph and Mary on either side of the altar seemed larger than life. Any individual must look up to glance at their faces, which seem to be tilted slightly downward towards it’s admirer. The ceiling at the altar is slightly domed, bringing attention to single statue of a crucified Christ hanging at the center. The bareness of the walls around the crucified Jesus forces those who glance towards the front of church to fix their eyes directly on this suffering figure. The seating is unpadded and upright, making it more uncomfortable to face anywhere but forward towards the altar. All of these elements contribute to focusing on the magestic value of the altar being the focal point of worship at St.

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