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    Monday, December 24, 2007

    Christmas church-goers


    I am always happy to see the churchs generally swell the pews for Christmas and Easter. The Priests always throw in a welcome to 'visitors', and hope to see them again soon.
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    Some of this swelled population effect comes from regular parishioners bringing in their extended families and friends.
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    Some of this is Catholics drawn be the season's nostalgia and extra church decorations... the manger scene, and all the lilies at Easter.
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    The religious headlines today are that in England more Catholics now go to church on Sunday than the landed Anglicans.
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    Anglican pastor Lynda explains that...
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    ...She added that, as Anglicans were not under the same obligation as Catholics to go to church every Sunday.
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    She said that while the Church of England encouraged adherents to go to worship weekly, many who only went once or twice a year could consider themselves full members of the Church.
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    Well now, that's interesting. I was discussing mortal and venial sins one day with a Franciscan Priest, and he said "Come on, do you really believe that God will condem you to hell for missing Mass?"
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    Well, that's what the Church still maintains, so I said Yes.
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    After all, what makes it right to go along with popular culture's general loss of the sense of sin? It's just too new to be automatically accepted as recently wise.
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    There's also the element that if we do not wish to enter God's presence at least weekly, what makes us think we would tolerate heaven, where God's presence is even more pevasive.
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    Missing weekly Mass is a big and clear marker of our relationship. Friends we do not care to see too often, are a particular type of friend... usually a weak type.
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    So there's another thing about Anglicans I was not aware of. Namely that regular church participation is optional. Encouraged but optional. Weak.
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    Anyway, Merry Christmas and good luck to them. And for those like Blair that work to come home, welcome.

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