Visiting Churches

Revisiting Roman Catholicism

Discussing Church 18

Today we visit our second Roman Catholic Church. I’m excited—and nervous. We are revisiting Roman Catholicism.

The 52 Churches Workbook, by Peter DeHaan

Consider these four discussion questions about Church #18:

1. The large sanctuary is grand without being ostentatious. Contemporary and airy, it seats several hundred. It’s the largest we’ve seen so far. 

Does your building facilitate worship or limit it? What needs to change?

2. This Catholic Church seems even more steeped in ritual than Church #5. While they announce hymns, the rest of the liturgy proceeds without direction. We think we’re prepared, but we aren’t. 

How can you help people better engage in your worship service?

3. After the Eucharist is a ritual where we exchange the greeting “Peace be with you” to those around us. This is the only interaction we have with anyone the entire morning. The priest dismisses us, and the people scatter. 

What can you do to interact with people at your church and foster community?

4. I leave feeling empty. Though their traditions have meaning to those who understand them, it’s a roadblock to visitors. 

What can you do to help outsiders better follow your church’s practices and not walk away empty?

Overall, I’m glad we spent Sunday morning revisiting Roman Catholicism.

[See the prior set of questions, the next set, or start at the beginning.]

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Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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2 replies on “Revisiting Roman Catholicism”

Hi Peter, Doesn’t the fact that the service is impenetrable, and the people scatter at the end, suggest that this service is not actually much good? You say the faithful understand, but do they? Is it possible the faithful you saw are just getting through the service as best they can, ready to get on with other things as soon as it is finished?
Protestants linger, protestants fellowship at length (the churches I have been part of do) and are largely very friendly, certainly in England and Wales.
I put it to you, Peter, that Church 18 is an empty vessel!

Thanks for your insights.

Though I won’t judge them as an empty vessel, it does feel as if they’re falling short of what could be.

Sadly I’ve seen this same behavior in too many Protestant churches too.

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