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Comparison of Catholic and Evangelical Church Services in Omaha

Julissa Chaidez, Alwarith Alharthy, Mohammed Al-Maqbali, Salim Almandhari

Religion is a debatable topic throughout the world, Christianity has multiple branches we choose Catholic and Evangelic. In the textbook Introduction to Sociology 2e “stated people have a religion for wanting to find the meaning of life”. Fredelyi emphasizes in his article, Varieties of Moral Beliefs in the Sociology of Religion of how our faith reflects on how we live our life since it reflects our ethical behavior and beliefs. Fredelyi also mentions how this can be a good or bad thing. This can be the cause of violence to arise between religions because religion is a powerful source in our society. Each religion that has denominations can also create denominations to collide with one another, because each denomination have different interpretations of the bible. This can result in some people viewing their religion of being the correct answer to how to live life, and usually results in criticizing of how other folks live because their faith taught them a different way.

This study will compare and contrast the services of two different denominations, Catholic and Evangelic. To compare and contrast both religions videos were observed as a secondary qualitative analysis.

According to the statistics of Archidiocese of Omaha, the biggest religion in Omaha, Nebraska is Christianity. This source also reveals Christianity’s biggest denominations in Omaha, which are Catholic churches. Catholic Churches dominate across most of the Omaha metropolitan area by having fifty-nine churches. Evangelical is one of the lowest Christianity denominations in the Omaha metropolitan area with only nine worship services.

For this study videos of Church mass services were used as secondary analysis. The two mass service videos used were from St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church and the Hope Evangelical Free Church website. We compare and contrast both religions by setting up categories of what you will be able to observe and hear. The categories we use are: symbolism, gender, beliefs, rituals and created a category for new ideas. The research was based on symbolism on any objects that can be seen, gender was based on who are the people who can have authority in a religion, and rituals were looked for to see and hear about what these two religions do on every mass service basis.

Symbolism

Symbolism is an important source of religion, because there are symbols that define a religion by order. On this study sacred objects, clothing and singing is under the idea of symbolism. The Catholic service video showed so many symbolisms such as statues of an angel, a saint, and a cross. The building architecture had rows of wood banquets for the members to sit on and the most appealing about the architecture is the stained glass to allow a lot of light in the house of God. As you can see the image below shows symbolism of the cross and its architecture. Another symbolism that many people don’t take into account is the priest and his helpers’ attire. The Priest is wearing a white mantle just like his helpers except the Priest has another green mantle with symbols of gold crosses.

Evangelical service is their symbol they sing once they gathered together, they had a stage and some people who plays music with guitars and someone start singing that one of their symbol. Also they using new technology to explain about their religion such as videos and lectures from the Internet, they explain about their religion in a big screen where everyone can watch it and learn from it.

According to our group data, under the new ideas category the only significant differences on Catholicism and Evangelism is some of their symbolism, rituals and beliefs. The building’s architecture is part of symbolism; a Catholic Church has more light and statues. Evangelism is not bright and is simpler of the terms of not having statues, decorative sacred items. Attire is something different as well; priests in a Catholic Church wear a mantel and symbols on it versus a leader of an Evangelical church wear business casual attire. A huge difference is how both leaders present their message, Catholic has members of the audience go up and read a part of a script from the Bible and gives the message and an Evangelical leader relies more on technology to present their message through a screen and elaborate to give the message. The similarities found between these two groups were music being a big part of a mass service, both have a chorus playing in the beginning and end of the service and say a prayer at the start and end of the service. church

(St. Robert Bellarmine) (2016)

Gender

Sex is important in religion, because it shows who are the individuals who have the power in the higher hierarchy. Gender seen in the Catholic video is only men who are in charge and being the leaders of the church. The individual who is in charge is whom the audience listens to. In the St. Robert Bellarmine mass service video it reveal the Priest who is a male only is in charge in the church. It is revealed when as the Priest walks in the church to make an entrance the chorus starts singing and the members of the church stand up as He walks in. Another sign of the male Priest having control is the audience sit and stands whenever the Priest says.

The Evangelist sings together girls and boys at the beginning. In evangelism they put male leaders who has a great knowledge about the religion so he could be the “priest” but in this religion they are viewed as leaders of the church. In the Evangelical Free Hope church shows the chorus being mixed, man and women singing together. After everyone starts to do his part of update news of events occurring in the church, the Priest start talking and the others sit down and listen to him.

 A new idea that was observed was males are dominant in the hierarchy of religions. Marie Augusta (2016) stresses the role of a woman in Christianity religion specifically in Church is important, even though females do not have leadership status. A female role is important in the Catholic religion, because women are seen as ‘holy’ and have to save themselves for a male once both have gone through holy matrimony and are responsible to take the whole family to mass every Sunday.

Rituals

Rituals show what each religion does traditionally which is what a religion does in worshiping practices. A ritual done during the Catholic service starts the father welcomes the audience and prays in the beginning and once mass is over. Throughout mass there is always music singing in between a section of the bible being read and after the priest gives his message to the people. The Eucharist is another Catholic ritual presented, every member who has confessed to the priest their sins can go up to the altar and eat the Eucharist “the body of Christ.”

The opening of every service of Evangelism is by playing music from the gospel to make sure people start off with good energy. The same happens at the end of each service, they end with music from the gospel while Catholics end with a prayer and music. Evangelist tend to talk about God creations and reflect on life more than anything else as well as thanking God for the things they have everyday.

Another ritual the Evangelism service does is perform communions right after every service they give versus a Catholic does not but does it at a certain time of the year and groups the different age groups within their own. Although both have similarities they perform First Communions in different ways.

Beliefs

            Beliefs are revealed in this study, because every religion has different interpretations of the Bible and every religion follows different values that they consider important. The Catholic religion bases their religion on believing in one God and believes in saints, this religion also prays the rosary and uses the bible. In Evangelism, God and Jesus are considered the most important the holiest so people should follow them to succeed in life. Also, Evangelism believers have different style of praying than Catholics where Catholics follow their saints during church and confess to the priest but it is totally different in this belief.

The Catholics mentions saints in their prayers versus the Evangelic does not and only focuses in God. Bock (2016) discusses on his study of “Transformations of Religious Symbols”, about some Christianity objects are sacred, although other religions do not take it into consideration. Such as St. Nicholas which outside of the Christianity religion society rename to Santa Claus. Although both religions are different when it comes to the way they show their love to God, the most important thing of both Catholics and Evangelists is they believe in the same God and believe that doing good deeds and living a good lifestyle could lead you to heaven.

Conclusion

This study referred to two religions Catholic and Evangelic and the five themes that were being compared symbolism, gender, rituals and beliefs. Most religions are known by peace religions, the religions highly affect the society by the rules they make and the sources they have. The five themes reveal both religions have more in common although they have different interpretations in the Bible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citations

Textbook: Introduction to Sociology 2e. Openstax College. Rice University.                                                http://openstaxollege.org. 2015

Website: www.archomaha.org

 

Bock, E. W. “The Transformation of Religious Symbols: A Case Study of St. Nicholas.” Social Compass 19.4 (1972): 537-48. ProQuest. 20 Feb. 2016.

 

Erdelyi, Aacutegnes. “Varieties of Moral Beliefs in the Sociology of Religion.” Max Weber Studies 7.2 (2008): 163-84. ProQuest. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.

 

Neal, Marie Augusta. “Women in Religious Symbolism and Organization. “Sociological Inquiry 49.2-3 (1979): 218-50. ProQuest. 27 Feb. 2016.

 

Stromberg, Peter G. “Symbols into Experience: A Case Study in the Generation of Commitment.” Ethos 19.1 (1991): 102-26. ProQuest. 27 Feb. 2016

 

Yamane, David. “Beyond Beliefs: Religion and the Sociology of Religion in America.” Social Compass 54.1 (2007): 33-48. ProQuest. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

 

 

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