aiseiri47 wrote:I've been to mass for a few occasions - funerals, weddings, a confirmation (most of my relatives just invite me to the at-home event for communions and confirmations - but as they say, there's always one), etc;
They make me feel uncomfortable to an extent - I don't kneel or recite prayers, and when everyone around you is partaking in some kind of weird ritual worship you can't help feel like an odd one out even when you know they're the crazy ones. I do stand, just because I feel like not standing when others are doing so is a little rude and I don't particularly want to look like a spoiled child protesting having to go to mass. And of course the fact that I do stand irritates me. I tend to roll my eyes and sigh quietly during the readings and homilies.
On a related note, I recently attended an ante-natal class that was held in the town's parish centre. (Luckily there was nothing religious about it, it's just a handy spot for hosting classes). I couldn't help but notice that the building, which is only a few years old, is spectacularly beautiful. The structure, workmanship, finishing, etc was very fine indeed, and of course it annoyed the hell out of me because it was further proof that the church would rather spend their money on fine decor than on helping those in need. Whatever anyone wants to say, it's not just the Vatican.
I tend to follow the crowd as I feel that I should at least show some respect to their ceremonies , even if they don't respect me. I also don't want to be the cause of one of the parishioners not getting into heaven, just because they were rubbernecking to see who wasn't standing/kneeling, instead praying to fearful god. However I don't clasp my hands together when they pray, nor bow my head, as I do not fear their god.
I do take their pray time as opportunity to reflect back on my life and ways I could improve it or how I could help others, a sort of 'ME' time. If the pray is particularly long I may even get time to solve a couple of the world's problems and consider the true meaning of the Bible. I also enjoy listening to the fairy-tales read out by the priest and try to understand their true context (ie I believe the Jesus of Nazareth could possibly be a bootlegger... why else would he hide wine in water barrels, except to dodge Roman taxes).
I also have a side bet with my wife to see who can guess how long it will take before one of Paul's letters to the Corinthians gets cranked through.
FACT: In Ireland, if a reading of one of Pauls Letters to the Corinthians is part of the wedding ceremony, it's a legal requirement to have mushroom and chicken volovants as one of the starters.