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Thoughts and Prayers: The Religion Thread

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Slacker, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. DanielSimpsonDay

    DanielSimpsonDay Well-Known Member

    what if you're upside-down on the trapeze
  2. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Went back to church for in-person Mass, for the first time in two and-a-half months. It was weird, but not as weird as watching on a computer. Plus, as a Catholic, it was nice to receive communion.

    Besides being spread out throughout the church and wearing a mask, here's what struck me as weird: Rightly or wrongly, I've always thought of Sunday Mass as a place with reassuring prayers and rituals to take you away from the fearful, hateful, dog-eat-dog regular world, at least for one hour each week. But even though we were all in the same building, there was none of the togetherness, unity or even hopefulness you usually find at church. You recognized fellow parishioners, but were encouraged not to visit with them before or after Mass. Other than the one piano player and one singer, no one really sang the hymns, because singing through a mask makes it sound like you're playing a kazoo.

    It's hard for me to put in words how the coronavirus and our society's response to it has changed things, but something about being at church today was an example of it. I guess the best way I can say it is the pandemic has accelerated the social isolation that already was ramping up in the past 20 years or so. Wish I could express it better.
  3. Mngwa

    Mngwa Active Member

    You took communion? How did that work? Because that seems suspect.
  4. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Obviously, no "cup," just the communion hosts. The priest and deacon used hand sanitizer before distributing it, and donned masks.

    Ushers came to each pew to send people up to the altar for communion (so there was no long line), you received the host in your hand, and as you walked back to the pew, lifted your mask to put it in your mouth. At least that's what I did.
  5. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Well-Known Member

    Church supply outfits sell prepackaged communion elements.
    Mngwa likes this.
  6. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I don't know, I think you expressed it well.

    I was trying to say the same thing today, ironically enough, also after "church," such as it was, both today and as it has been for the past couple of months.

    I attend a non-denominational church of about 3,000 members that has been closed and otherwise social-distancing lately, including watching our pastors deliver sermons and do services over the computer. With restrictions easing lately, and Trump's recent declaration of houses of worship being essential, our church probably could have opened for live, in-person services either this weekend or next. Our lead pastor, however, informed us today that that will not be happening yet for the foreseeable future.

    So, I was talking to my family about the issue, and, while I think our church is doing the right thing by not re-opening just yet, I contended that what we're doing, while not bad, and sometimes (when we're feeling lazy, mostly) even seems better, it is not -- not really -- church as we know it, or as it should ideally be.

    And the reason is that very isolation, even though we may be Zoom-gathering for small groups, live-streaming sermons, and having online worship-Wednesdays music, etc. At some point after a while, all the technological wonders lose their charm and can't cover up all the separation and isolation, or the loneliness and depression that can result, and that I believe is rearing its head in a lot of people right now.

    People -- especially elderly people -- are losing their connections, their sense of time, their joy in life. I know that often happens to older people, anyway, but I think the coronavirus is accelerating and exacerbating such feelings, not only in them, but in others, as well.
    I Should Coco likes this.
  7. Patchen

    Patchen Member

    I went to Catholic mass today for the first time since early March. Nice to be back, but I'm not sure if I will make it a habit. Despite the many precautions taken, I may decide it's more prudent to limit exposure.
  8. Shelbyville Manhattan

    Shelbyville Manhattan Well-Known Member

  9. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Kudos to the Catholics nationwide. I mean that. They're trying to be the church. I pray that works out for them in terms of health.

    Our church remains closed. I think there are some decent reasons for that - and I think we'll open up in the next 2-3 weeks - but it's all seemed a little...comfortable? Detached?
  10. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member


    That said, our church leaders actually did a computerized, photo-shopped visual, that they showed to us online, of what our church would look like if they did re-open, with masks and social distancing of a 6-foot radius imposed around any seat. It was telling and drove home the point of why re-opening wouldn't be a great idea, and certainly wouldn't be what people are probably envisioning when they think of "getting back to church."

    As I posted earlier, the church I attend has about 3,000 members, maybe a little under that. There are three weekend services, so about 800-900 people attend each one, give or take a few because the 11 a.m. Sunday one is the most crowded.

    They put up a visual of what it would look like if people wore masks, and 6 feet of distance were placed between each seat in any direction.

    Well, only about 170 people -- maybe 200 at most if you included people coming as couples and sitting next to each other -- would fit into the building for each service, because every other row of seats would need to be empty/removed.

    So, it's not even practical, numbers-wise, to open the church right now -- not under social-distancing precautions.
  11. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    I’m not disagreeing with you, per se, but the idea of it being impractical.

    First, perhaps only half of the people would even think of coming anyway. Second, for as many people who do come, you hold the extra services.

    That would be in theory inconvenient. For sure that. But it is, in fact, very practical - if in person worship is the goal.
  12. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Well-Known Member

    It should not be. Many passages in the New Testament make clear that the members of the early Church of God did not consider the church to be a building, but in fact the people who believed and worshiped. The Greek word that is the root of the modern word “ecclesiastical” refers to “those who have gathered,” not the place where they gather.

    No building is necessary to find God, if that is what you wish to do. A live stream on YouTube or Zoom can be just as much a church meeting as congregating in a building.
    OscarMadison likes this.
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