Class 6 USA Religious Practices

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North American Religious Practices:

Why do we do what we do? Why Do we do it that way? North American Religious Practices

Normal Practice of the Faith:

Normal Practice of the Faith It is very important to go to Mass regularly, Each Sunday. Mass attendance is seen as a duty. One attends Mass as an obligation – to avoid Mortal Sin. Mass is designed with particular People in mind At earlier Masses, typically there is less singing; people want something efficient – to go to breakfast after The “good” choir sings at the mid-morning Mass filled with children and younger families Saturday Evening is a mass of convenience

Normal Practice of the Faith:

Normal Practice of the Faith Consequences: Mass is individualized What time/kind of Mass do I like to attend Participation is efficacious I like to go to a Mass with/without music I like to go to a Mass where everyone... Participation is focused on the individual Children misbehaving embarrasses parents People will complain Because they are focused on their personal experience at Mass

After Mass:

After Mass People normally do not gather Unless there is a special occasion People do recognize the people around them But it would be rare for all people to know the whole community at any given Mass Mass is not seen as a “social event”

Other Celebrations:

Other Celebrations Weddings Are also more private Families will invite their family members and friends But, not the whole community In larger cities The events are even more private The invited guest list is much smaller In smaller communities The experience would be more communal But still private

Mass Schedules:

Mass Schedules Mass Schedules are Very Regular Start Time Stop Time ( parishoners don’t like “long” Masses) Long announcements prolong the Mass and take away individual time Very Convenient Saturday evening and early Sunday morning Masses are for the sake of convenience People prefer to have choice. They might travel a long way to go to Mass at a particular time


Behavior Inside the Church Because Mass is more of a “private” celebration Respectful silence is expected Children are reprimanded for not behaving The people want time for “private” prayer This is equated with needing silence before and after Mass

Contributing to the Parish:

Contributing to the Parish Because it is a precept of the Church, and because the government does not subsidize the parish The income in the collection plate is the only way a parish pays its bills Regular contributions to the Parish are needed, expected and appreciated Regular gifts of time and talent are needed, expected and appreciated Many times, this is the way that a parish is maintained. And, it is the preferred way of discipleship

Other Celebrations:

Other Celebrations Baptisms The North American population would prefer a private baptism Only immediate family is invited Many times there would not be a party after The family might go to dinner or have a small cake, but not a large celebration

Parish Property:

Parish Property Is seen as an extension of personal property or someone’s individual home Remember the parishoners , many times, are the ones who have personally sacrificed to build this building There is a strong sense of ownership There is a strong sense of pride in how the property is maintained “Outsiders” are seen as invaders And the smaller the community, the stronger the sense of individualism/pride

Parish Property:

Parish Property Effects/Consequences of “Private Property” Persons who use the facility are responsible for cleaning it. If things are not cleaned well, there will be friction. If things are damaged, the person who damages must make reparation. It would be akin to someone damaging your personal home. Many time in the US, insurance would cover the charges. Therefore, in effect, the person who damages the property is covered. However, they are always seen as responsible.

Parish Property:

Parish Property We must remember that, many times, especially in smaller communities: 2 or 3 generations of families have given generously to maintain the parish property There is a strong sense of private property that extends to the parish facility When someone rents or uses the facility it is viewed as borrowed Facilities should always be left in better shape than they were received

Parish Property:

Parish Property Celebrations that take place on parish propoerty Are also seen as private celebrations Persons merely “borrow” the facility Persons must RESERVE the facility well in advance There will be a long list of rules and regulations that one must follow to protect the facility If the “rules” are not followed, there will be heavy monetary fines All of this returns us to the idea of private property being respected

Parish Property:

Parish Property Positive notion of stewardship Because people take ownership of the parish property One way to encourage new-comers to become a part of the parish family is to have them volunteer: To clean the facility To do maintenance projects around the facility To participate in outdoor clean up days None of this is seen as menial labor, it is viewed as stewardship It is also one way that one can become an “owner” of the parish so to speak

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