Though Catholicism is the largest Christian religion in the United States today, many people who have never been to a Catholic mass seem to think it is a world of its own, which is true in some ways. Truthfully, however, there are many similar events that occur during Catholic Church services, as well as one that is not as common in other Christian churches. These include the singing of hymns, a sermon, and the communion. It is important to know these things before you decide to attend a Catholic church.
Like with other churches, hymns are an integral part of Catholic Church services. Hymns are usually sung by a large formal choir during the time people are walking in and at the beginning of the ceremony. Another hymn is sung as the church members shake hands with each other at the end of the service as well. Hymns are sometimes sung in Latin, sometimes in English, and even in some areas in Spanish.
It really would not be a church service at all if it did not include a sermon. The sermon at Catholic Church services is where it usually is – in the middle. Sermons in more traditional churches can sometimes use small passages of Latin scripture as part of the sermon, but the father usually translates in order to make his point. Unlike some few other Christian religions, there are no women allowed to preach in the Catholic Church, only men.
Communion, or partaking of the bread and wine as a symbol for the blood and flesh of Jesus, is an activity that does not usually happen as often in other Christian churches. As a part of Catholic Church services communion happens every mass with wine and crackers. The practice of communion can come at different times during the service, and really the entire order of the service is up to the particular church. Communion is only available to confirmed and regular Catholics, and even children can partake with grape juice or kool-aid as a substitute for the wine that the adults partake of.