Upon requesting the church leader to attend one of the services, he welcomed me to the wedding session that was going to take place the following week. The church is Anglican and it differs in several ways from the Catholic tradition, even though the two share many things. I noticed that Anglican is a religion with established traditions and principles whereby its members are urged to follow them strictly. First, the church respects the existence of the Pope, but not as the father of all churches.
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It considers the Pope as the leader among many other church leaders. To some extent, Anglicanism combines Catholic beliefs with protestant traditions to form a middle-way accommodative tradition. Unlike Catholicism, it permits divorce and the use of contraceptives in family planning. I was surprised to note that even women can be leaders in the Anglican Church since they are ordained as bishops. Its members might be married individuals, unmarried, or single parents.
Just like the Catholic Church, it believes in the major Christian traditions, such as the trinity, divinity of Jesus, and the taking of sacraments. If an individual is against homosexuality and other practices that touch on individual culture, the church does not force him or her to support these cultures meaning that it respects cultural diversity. All the major beliefs of Anglicans are the same as those of Catholics. One of the major beliefs is faith, which was revealed in the scripture. The Holy Spirit interprets the scripture because it is difficult for an individual to understand the word of God without special assistance from spirits. Other religious groups also share this view.
The service of the day was taken to the main branch of the church, which is located in the suburbs of the city mainly to prevent congestion. It was held on December 4th, 2013, at exactly 11.30 am, where the bride and the groom were congratulated for taking the bold move that many young people have failed to do.
The service was a special one because it is always held whenever there is one of the church members who wish to marry. However, services are usually held every Sunday in the same place.
Regarding the building, it is well decorated because it is meant to host important functions, such as weddings international conferences, and burial ceremonies. It is a spacious building with several segments with some sections reserved for visitors while others belong to members. Visitors are usually given preferential treatment since they are given drinks and snacks while the mass is ongoing. This creates a good impression on any visitor since he or she would feel appreciated.
The external decoration shows that this is a special place of worshiping because it has a big sculpture of Jesus with a cross while the parking is ample. Inside the church, the sitting arrangements are set in such a way that the clergy have their special place with several decorations. While the service is on, the rest of the congregation is expected to listen patiently. Based on this, microphones are only available on one side where singers are expected to assemble.
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Apart from the cross and the image of Jesus Christ, there are other symbols showing that this is a religious place. The gate is decorated using some of the most expensive materials with religious words inscribed in them. The main language used in English, but translations are available for those who do not understand the language. Musical instruments are located in strategic places and they are used in passing the message. The televisions are everywhere in the room while loudspeakers are in each corner.
The service lasted for at least an hour, with all the concerned parties being given the chance to offer advice to the newly wedded couple. However, the clergy took thirty minutes to conduct the mass before allowing the parents of the groom and the bride to give their comments. The language used was English, but an interpreter was present in case any person wanted to get the message in a different language. Before moving on to a different stage, the clergy invited singers who came in with their instruments.
The theme of the service touched on human life and the relations among individuals. In particular, it expressed the importance of marriage in an individual’s life because God encourages people to form unions in order to increase their chances of success. The clergy insisted further that living together as a wife and a husband is very important because it increases efficiency among human beings. In case of any problem, the couple is able to help each other. Issues related to stress are eliminated through marriage. The service talked more about the relationship among human beings. Finally, the role of the family was explained because each person was reminded of his or her duty in the community. In this case, the couple was expected to play its role effectively in society.