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Should there be a predetermined structure in worship or not?

The Burgundy Nun

New Member
I am Catholic and have grown up my whole life attending Mass. When I was young, I was very bored, and found the set prayers of the priest and the congregation to be monotonous. I also didn't know why we were doing what we were doing. Now, as I understand a lot more, I have grown to appreciate it. However, I understand from conversations with others, that for some, praying to God in nature is enough for them. My question is: should there be a set structure in worship at all (predetermined by someone else)?
 
Opinions will differ. My view is that in any type of worship, essentially we are merging our heart in the heart of God. So, if we visualise God as Jesus, we merge into His heart. That is the aim, because by melding, we as a separate entity disappear. The same holds good for any other representation of God, in any religion.

For abstract religions, say Buddhism, Sikhism etc., where the teaching and not the form is relied upon, God is said to be formless, again we merge with the all-that-is, in our contemplation or meditation.

The scripture, as in a hymn or mantra, it helps us to remain centred, focused, otherwise attention may oscillate.
 

IndigoChild5559

Loving God and my neighbor as myself.
I am Catholic and have grown up my whole life attending Mass. When I was young, I was very bored, and found the set prayers of the priest and the congregation to be monotonous. I also didn't know why we were doing what we were doing. Now, as I understand a lot more, I have grown to appreciate it. However, I understand from conversations with others, that for some, praying to God in nature is enough for them. My question is: should there be a set structure in worship at all (predetermined by someone else)?
I don't think there is one "right way" to worship God. Having liturgy assists worship to be communal rather than individual, which is a nice thing. But it is not uncommon for people to feel very close to God while out in nature.
 

Balthazzar

Christian Evolutionist
I am Catholic and have grown up my whole life attending Mass. When I was young, I was very bored, and found the set prayers of the priest and the congregation to be monotonous. I also didn't know why we were doing what we were doing. Now, as I understand a lot more, I have grown to appreciate it. However, I understand from conversations with others, that for some, praying to God in nature is enough for them. My question is: should there be a set structure in worship at all (predetermined by someone else)?

If that type of structure suits your preferences, then I'd suggest yes. If not, there's plenty of other ways to honor your faith and God or gods. I think worship is more about about honor anyway. Staying mindful and keeping your mind in tune to your faith-based precepts, whatever they may be.

Me, I simply attempt to be honest about life, myself, and my situations...even if in that honesty, I find myself falling short of what's expected of me. I guess it's an open admission of where I may need more work...if any. I can't say i know the mind of God, what I myself expect from myself...due to my personal convictions and value system. That's my type of personal relationship with the divine ... Truth and honesty. I really don't need a set structured routine to worship this way.
 

PureX

Veteran Member
I am Catholic and have grown up my whole life attending Mass. When I was young, I was very bored, and found the set prayers of the priest and the congregation to be monotonous. I also didn't know why we were doing what we were doing. Now, as I understand a lot more, I have grown to appreciate it. However, I understand from conversations with others, that for some, praying to God in nature is enough for them. My question is: should there be a set structure in worship at all (predetermined by someone else)?
Probably there should be simply because ritual is an important aspect of worship. The regularity and repetition are part of the act of worship, and serve to help the participant find and re-inhabit the spiritual state associated with worship, for them.
 

Kenny

Face to face with my Father
Premium Member
I am Catholic and have grown up my whole life attending Mass. When I was young, I was very bored, and found the set prayers of the priest and the congregation to be monotonous. I also didn't know why we were doing what we were doing. Now, as I understand a lot more, I have grown to appreciate it. However, I understand from conversations with others, that for some, praying to God in nature is enough for them. My question is: should there be a set structure in worship at all (predetermined by someone else)?
As I view it, it isn’t one way or the other but rather all and everything in between.

In a corporate setting, a structured worship helps because everyone is in unison. Yes, if it personal, you can sing and worship as you are led to do. Ultimately God is looking at the heart of worship and not the structured or non-structured method.

Some people worship with hymns and others by a modern chorus style. Some people love a cappella and others a full band and even a concert. No matter which method, God will receive the heart of worship. Likewise, you can sing all the same songs and methods and your heart isn’t in it and it won’t move the heart of God..
 
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metis

aged ecumenical anthropologist
I am Catholic and have grown up my whole life attending Mass. When I was young, I was very bored, and found the set prayers of the priest and the congregation to be monotonous. I also didn't know why we were doing what we were doing. Now, as I understand a lot more, I have grown to appreciate it. However, I understand from conversations with others, that for some, praying to God in nature is enough for them. My question is: should there be a set structure in worship at all (predetermined by someone else)?

To me, structure isn't that important, and that includes communal prayers. Thus, my approach is to use contemplative prayer, focusing less on the specifics of the words and more on the "big picture".
 

Ella S.

Dispassionate Goth
I think it depends a lot on why you're worshiping and the place it has in your life. For some people, worship is a part of a broader traditional context, so formalized ceremonies are an important way to take part in that religious community.

Different religions have a different understanding of the purpose of worship, too. Is your praise being used as an offering? Are you trying to attain a higher state of consciousness by practicing love for God? Are you simply looking to give thanks to a being that you believe has been assisting you?

Your "spiritual needs" might be very different from someone else's. In my opinion, what's most important is that, however you decide to worship, it coheres with the rest of your worldview and naturally follows from your beliefs about its function and context.
 

Bharat Jhunjhunwala

TruthPrevails
I am Catholic and have grown up my whole life attending Mass. When I was young, I was very bored, and found the set prayers of the priest and the congregation to be monotonous. I also didn't know why we were doing what we were doing. Now, as I understand a lot more, I have grown to appreciate it. However, I understand from conversations with others, that for some, praying to God in nature is enough for them. My question is: should there be a set structure in worship at all (predetermined by someone else)?
Not at all. God is infinite. Like an infinite cloud. One can reach Him in infinite ways.
 

Truthseeker

Non-debating member when I can help myself
I am Catholic and have grown up my whole life attending Mass. When I was young, I was very bored, and found the set prayers of the priest and the congregation to be monotonous. I also didn't know why we were doing what we were doing. Now, as I understand a lot more, I have grown to appreciate it. However, I understand from conversations with others, that for some, praying to God in nature is enough for them. My question is: should there be a set structure in worship at all (predetermined by someone else)?
There is not really a worship service exactly in the Baha'i Faith. Someone is the host of the meeting which takes place every 19 days called the Feast and chooses selections from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, the Bab, or Abdu'l-Baha. After that we have a discussion of community affairs, then a social portion to round it out. Also we have what we call devotionals which these days are mostly via Zoom in which an individual selects passages from different faiths as well as Baha'i others just from Baha'i.

So no, for us there is no set structure in who presents the Writings, or any requirement of what to present other than what I have outlined.
 

LuisDantas

Aura of atheification
Premium Member
There is indeed value in ritual. There are also drawbacks.

The way I see it, in all except the most superficial forms of religious practice there is a very clear and urgent need to perceive and understand those drawbacks and accept and deal with the responsibility that comes with it.

That is why religion is a living activity. Its very expression has consequences that require attention.

Among those consequences that require attention are false agreements and the often intentional confusion that comes with them; language (terminology) barriers; insufficiently questioned statements; attachment to creed over discernment; and the ever-present dilemma between the search for personal authenticity and integration to a larger group.
 
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Regiomontanus

Retired astronomer, Russian Orthodox Christian
I am Catholic and have grown up my whole life attending Mass. When I was young, I was very bored, and found the set prayers of the priest and the congregation to be monotonous. I also didn't know why we were doing what we were doing. Now, as I understand a lot more, I have grown to appreciate it. However, I understand from conversations with others, that for some, praying to God in nature is enough for them. My question is: should there be a set structure in worship at all (predetermined by someone else)?


Hello. You are a (Roman?) Catholic. What does the Catechism of the Catholic Church say about your obligations?


The opinions of people on a forum are irrelevant, or should be, to a Catholic.
 
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