Catholic Service Mystery Worshipper Report
Beliefs and practices in the context of worship vary depending on the denomination and religion. By attending a church service through YouTube led by Rev. Edward J. Curtis on 25th October 2020, I realized the range of practices that are, in turn, valued by the church members as a mark of their faith. Considering the dressing cord, i realized from the service that there is no specific mode of dressing for the ordinary church members. However, the general attire involves clothes that depict respect and honor as the gathering denotes God’s presence. The church visited included St. Michael’s Cathedral, a Roman Catholic Toronto Archdiocese under the denomination of Roman Catholicism. It is among the oldest church within the region of Toronto. The large English Gothic design building can accommodate about 1600 people.
The attended prayer service is called Holy Eucharist, butit is also popularly known as the Holy Communion. Common elements during the service include bells, vestments, and music from an organ. The service began with an introductory prayer and reading of specific scriptures; for example, the involved scriptures included Gospels readings. Then, there were a series of prayers like communal confession and peace sharing. In addition, the peace-sharing process involved greeting the neighbors; however, the activity was guided by the guidelines that have been set to control the spread of COVID-19. The next activity included an offering session and then the service of Holy Communion that includes specific practices and communal sharing of the bread. After the communion, the priest concluded by closing words and prayer of blessings. Thedifferent processes and practices through the service developed various questions that I had to ask for clarification. The following are specific questions that I was able to come up with after attending the service.
What is the system of hierarchy in the catholic church and what authority is held by these various positions?
How informed are the regular church goers of the past events that have shaped up Catholicism to what it is today?
What are some significant differences in the doctrines of the early Roman Catholic Church compared with the church of today?
Your report was too vague, that is, it lacked detail. In the future, in order to improve your mark, you should focus more on describing (in detail) what is going on in a given service (so, for example, you would describe how the priest opened the service, what was said and how, how did the faithful behave, what actually took place during the holy communion, etc. Always remember, the point of the report is to give a sense to somebody who might have never attended such a service–what to expect.
Regarding your questions: they are too theoretical, and thus not good. What I mean by this is: your questions have to proceed from what you observed: so, for example, if the priest had a specific kind of robe (of a certain colour), you might want to research the meaning and symbolism of that. Or, you could research the symbolism behind the holy communion in Roman Catholic Church. The questions that you proposed were more theoretical (i.e. the difference between early and today’s Roman Catholic Church)–so focus on questions that directly proceeded from what you observed.
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