I spent this weekend at St. Gregory's Abbey in Three Rivers, MI. Over the course of three days, I attended eight services with the monks. These services were very quiet and beautiful. Tonight, like every Sunday night at 8, I attended the Gathering at Hope. This service is much louder and much more crowded than the services at the abbey. This made me start thinking about all the different worship experiences I've had. I've attended traditional Protestant services and contemporary Protestant services. I've attended Catholic and Episcopalian mass. I've attended extremely charismatic Pentecostal services. I've kneeled to pray in Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, St. Patrick's cathedral in Manhattan, St. Thomas's cathedral in Chennai, India, and in the room that houses Mother Teresa's tomb. I have sung praise songs in Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili and Latin.
But you know what's cool? Even with all the theological differences (which, as a student of theology I do find important)...all of those congregations, in their own language, at their own speed, and at their own volume are all praising the same God.
- ► 2009 (347)