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How Often Do You Go to A House of Worship?

 
 
ossobuco
 
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Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2004 05:06 pm
After I left religion decades ago I had some trouble going into churches as a tourist, because of accumulated anger - specifically I remember having trouble looking into the church of Guadalupe in Mexico. As the years wore away, I got over that and do go into churches for the architecture, art, history, and occasionally a memory of an old me. I like the churches in Italy a lot. I think it was Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome that I walked into with mass going on and a fantastic organ playing... I listened for a little bit and came back later to look at the church itself.

I too checked only for weddings and funerals.
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2004 05:52 pm
dauer - you've got to try an A2K get-together. They're great fun!

ossoB - you shoulda heard piffka trying to talk me into going to some mission near Tucson. i am verra verra resistant to some religious edifices.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2004 05:55 pm
Quote:
Does visiting a church to admire its architecture, frescoes, stained glass windows, etc. (especially hen traveling) count?


Merry Andrew- I was thinking in terms of going to a house of worship, because of either the religion, or because of the collegiality of like minded individuals.

I love religious architecture. When I am in New York, I usually make a point to visit St. Pat's. I really like The Cloisters. Ditto for religious music and paintings. To me, religious artifacts are a wonderful expression of man attempting to discover his place in the rest of the universe.

I have been a part of a secular chorus (not a choir) that just happened to practice and perform in a church. I have been to many houses of worship of various denominations for both happy and sad occasions, as a guest. There was a cathedral with a superb organ when I lived on Long Island. I used to go there for the concerts.

Years ago, I took an adult education course on religions in a college. Each week we went to a different house of worship....Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu. Absolutely fascinating!
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2004 06:43 pm
Understand ya, ehBeth.
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2004 11:25 pm
I recall one night as I entered the Cathedral in the Zocalo of Mexico City (the one made by the Conquistadores from the stones of the Aztec Teocalli), I heard gregorian chanting somewhere in the recesses of the church. While appreciating the architecture, music and art, I remember asking myself why they have to spoil it all with theology.
I go to meditate (incidently at a Unitarian Universalist Church) with a small but long-standing group of Buddhist friends every Saturday morning. Then we enjoy a two hour breakfast at one of a number of restaurants without any discussion of religion or meditation.
As such, I didn't know where to cast my vote.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 09:24 am
I remember that church by the Zoccolo...

I still listen to Gregorian chant tapes every once in a blue moon...
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jespah
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 10:17 am
dauer wrote:
Sure, that sounds cool. An a2k gathering?


Yep, check the Gallery, we don't have photos of the most recent one up yet, but there are photos of past gatherings.

And now back to the topic - that might be an interesting subject, e. g. have you ever gone to a house of worship for a religion that was not your own?
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 10:32 am
As a Catholic, I've been in Protestant/Evangelical worships and there as well to funerals and weddings.


"God, Guns and Gays: Religion and Politics in the US and Western Europe" is the title of a website, which provides access to the text of a paper by Pippa Norris and Ronald Ingelehart which was delivered at the Political Communication section of the American Political Science Association conference 'Fun, Faith and Futurama' on September 1, 2004 University of Chicago Illinois.

It uses data taken from the World Values Survey 1981-2001 to consider the continuing power of religious faith in American politics and to compare it with a comparative decline in European nations.

This very interesting (and in pdf format :wink: ) paper with even more interesting figures is to be found HERE
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 11:00 am
Since I've only ever been in Lutheran churches as a tourist, and go to other churches, temples and synagogues for weddings and funerals - yup, I've been to other 'facilities' (for other people's religious purposes).



(just off the phone from confirming that I'm going to temple for a wedding in just over 2 weeks)





hmmm, does anyone else say 'going to temple' when they're talking about a synagogue, or is that an eastern ontario thing?
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dauer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 11:14 am
I went to a Lutheran church a few months ago for a wedding, and I've been a tourist, visiting very old churches to examine the architecture and artwork before. I don't go there to pray though.


EhBeth, to me it seems there are a number of things that can be said in that situation and that is one of them. I know people who use that phrase and I do so occasionally.
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Seed
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 11:16 am
I go all time... one of my good friends is the youth pastor at my church and so i go up there to hang out with him and play ping pong and video games and what have you.. the pastor is also a good friend of mine and i go up there to have converstations an just hang out with him.... then i go for services...
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 05:52 pm
On my recent sojourn in the Southwest (which some of you know about) one Sunday in Texas I actually went to Protestant services in two separate churches on the same Sunday. Had to go to the Methodist church in Avoca as Seaglass's nephew is the pastor thereof. Immediately following the service, we raced off to the Eriksdale Lutheran Church in Stamford, just in time to catch the end of the sermon and the concluding liturgy. We had gone to the Lutheran church two days earlier because Seaglass wanted to show me the church for aesthetic reasons. It's a stone structure, in the middle of West Texas. that makes you think you've just been teleported to the Scandinavian peninsula. Small wonder as it was built by Swedish immigrants to that part of Texas. While there, we had been shown around by the sexton and his wife who happened to be on the premises and they had entreated us to return on Sunday in such warm, welcoming tones that we thought it might be rude not to show up.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2004 07:33 am
ehBeth wrote:
hmmm, does anyone else say 'going to temple' when they're talking about a synagogue, or is that an eastern ontario thing?


When I was a kid, there were two Jewish houses of worship in my area. The orthodox was the "synagogue", while the conservative was the "temple".

I have no idea whether this was a designation peculiar to my area, or whether there is a difference in the way one describes the differences in liturgy.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2004 07:45 am
(I'd thought, orthodox Jews were the conservatives.)

As far as I remember, in history, the temple has been the place, where God is present, while a synagogue was a 'meeting place'. (That's, may Jesus had lots of his 'meetings' there.)
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2004 07:52 am
Walter- Check this out:

http://www.jewfaq.org/movement.htm

Quote:
Approximately 5 million of the world's 13 million Jews live in the United States. There are basically three major movements in the U.S. today: Reform, Conservative and Orthodox. Some people also include a fourth movement, the Reconstructionist movement, although that movement is substantially smaller than the other three. Orthodox and sometimes Conservative are described as "traditional" movements. Reform, Reconstructionist, and sometimes Conservative are described as "liberal" or "modern" movements.


Good descriptions of all the various movements, in the article!
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2004 08:20 am
Conservative and orthodox are verra verra different here. One of the questions I'll be asking tomorrow is whether my friend's daughter's wedding will be in a conservative or orthodox congregation. I might wear a hat for one, I'd have to wear a hat for the other.
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BoGoWo
 
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Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2004 08:28 am
i would respectfully suggest this to be a meaningless question;
surely if one believes in a god, and all the 'meaning' inherent in a religious existence, then one is always in the "house of god"!

[While i have no 'gods', i am always in the 'presence' of my beliefs!]
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2004 09:00 am
Looking through the same website, and found this:

Quote:
Synagogues, Shuls and Temples
Level: Basic


The synagogue is the Jewish equivalent of a church, more or less. It is the center of the Jewish religious community: a place of prayer, study and education, social and charitable work, as well as a social center.

What's in a Name?
Throughout this site, I have used the word "synagogue," but there are actually several different terms for a Jewish "church," and you can tell a lot about people by the terms they use.

The Hebrew term is beit k'nesset (literally, House of Assembly), although you will rarely hear this term used in conversation in English.

The Orthodox and Chasidim typically use the word "shul," which is Yiddish. The word is derived from a German word meaning "school," and emphasizes the synagogue's role as a place of study.

Conservative Jews usually use the word "synagogue," which is actually a Greek translation of Beit K'nesset and means "place of assembly" (it's related to the word "synod").

Reform Jews use the word "temple," because they consider every one of their meeting places to be equivalent to, or a replacement for, The Temple.

The use of the word "temple" to describe modern houses of prayer offends some traditional Jews, because it trivializes the importance of The Temple. The word "shul," on the other hand, is unfamiliar to many modern Jews. When in doubt, the word "synagogue" is the best bet, because everyone knows what it means, and I've never known anyone to be offended by it.

Functions of a Synagogue
At a minimum, a synagogue is a beit tefilah, a house of prayer. It is the place where Jews come together for community prayer services. Jews can satisfy the obligations of daily prayer by praying anywhere; however, there are certain prayers that can only be said in the presence of a minyan (a quorum of 10 adult men), and tradition teaches that there is more merit to praying with a group than there is in praying alone. The sanctity of the synagogue for this purpose is second only to The Temple. In fact, in rabbinical literature, the synagogue is sometimes referred to as the "little Temple."

A synagogue is usually also a beit midrash, a house of study. Contrary to popular belief, Jewish education does not end at the age of bar mitzvah. For the observant Jew, the study of sacred texts is a life-long task. Thus, a synagogue normally has a well-stocked library of sacred Jewish texts for members of the community to study. It is also the place where children receive their basic religious education.

Most synagogues also have a social hall for religious and non-religious activities. The synagogue often functions as a sort of town hall where matters of importance to the community can be discussed.

In addition, the synagogue functions as a social welfare agency, collecting and dispensing money and other items for the aid of the poor and needy within the community.


http://www.jewfaq.org/shul.htm
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2004 09:02 am
Thanks Phoenix...a lot of stuff I didn't know.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2004 09:28 am
When I was a kid, we just called it "the 'gogue", but I am actually familiar with all the terms Pheonix posted. It is still a bit nebulous though. I know Conservative Jews who use 'shul' and Reform Jews who use 'synagogue'. I don't know any Orthodox Jews who use 'temple' though.
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