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Description of Catholic Church Service

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On April 3, I visited the 9:00 AM mass at Holy Family Catholic Church in Kirkland with my grandma who has been a practicing Catholic her entire life. The church had a very welcoming atmosphere. The church building is somewhat simple, without many of the top decorations. The architecture is simple, and resembles that of many other small churches. There is a steep area of the roof that is a common characteristic of a church’s architecture. On the inside there were many rows of pews from the front near the altar to the back. On the altar there was an organ, a large cross, and a hanging, medium-sized stained glass.

The service involved a variety of people, ranging in age. Those who preside over mass wore white robes. The pastor had, along with his white robe, had a yellow sash. As you enter the church, ushers hand out bulletins and help you find an empty row of seats for your group. As the service beginnings, a group of young boys walked candles and incense up to the altar, and were also a part of the choir. There was also communion, where the people went up to the pastor and were given a wafer and sip of wine. Throughout mass, the pastor led the audience in songs, which were accompanied by the choir, consisting of both young adults and adults. I noticed that most of the audience did not need to use the song sheets, but knew the words by heart. Along with singing, the pastor read sections from the Bible and led prayers. Also, he brought attention to some of the events and articles in the bulletin. There was series of baptisms, in which the parents carried their child up to the pastor as he said a prayer and dipped their faces into water. There was also an altar server who helped the pastor in the baptism and the overall service. Near the end of mass, a donation basket was sent around for people to place donations to the church.

Overall, the service lasted about an hour and a half, and was interesting to observe. Because I was with a family member who knew the procedure of the service and participated in it, I did not feel too much as an outsider, even though I did not actively participate in service procedures such as the prayers and sing.

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