Changing Times Affect Spiritual Activity
When I was first introduced to church services as a child, the experience was special. It was a quiet occasion, with the organist playing beautiful spiritual hymns. The priest would speak in either English or Latin, depending on the circumstances, and we performed every church ritual in a timely and respectful manner. I know that many of you belong to different churches and have varying faiths, but it’s safe to say that 45 years ago, this type of atmosphere was common, no matter what church people belonged to.
I will now tell you how church has changed. During last Sunday’s service, a three–piece band played the hymns instead of the organist, people were conversing with one another while they sat in the pews, and the congregation was told to applaud after hearing two important announcements. Three–piece bands? Conversations? Clapping? Is this what we have to expect during a church service now? I wonder if this behavior is allowed by my particular church in order to relax the environment in an attempt to draw more people, or is it just that people do it, and nobody in authority cares that it’s being done?
Allow me to talk about wakes for a moment. When my grandmother passed away in 1978, the family went to four different showings. The funeral home was completely silent unless someone cried over the loss of my grandmother. Nowadays, when I go to wakes, many of them appear to be social gatherings. People catch up on old news by talking in a normal tone of voice, as if we were all at someone’s house party. Yes, there are tears shed, but those occurrences seem to be overshadowed by the social setting. You almost forget why you are really there.
Is today’s society so fast–paced that we need to take advantage of every opportunity to talk, clap, listen to three–piece bands, and laugh no matter where we go, or is it something else?
Readers’ Note: You will find this and many other articles in my selfpublished book, Weighing Things Up; Essays on Trends, Technology and Present-Day Society. For more information about this and my other books, check out www.dldbooks.com/robertbranco/