i was raised catholic and methodist. my mother believed in covering her bases. knowingthe parochial system was probably the way for me to get the best education, she had me baptised catholic, although she herself was methodist. this double dipping required regular attendance to both denominations every weekend until i was about 15 or 16. so i consider myself a bit of an expert on the subject.
methodism in the caribbean was of the weslyean school; the sing a joyful noise unto the lord. there was a rich hymnal and every church we visited had a choir or an organ or both. one of my memories growing up was the fundraising efforts that seemed to go on forever to restore the organ of our home church that had been damaged in a fire. i was also attending mass in the catholic church post vatican ii and in the caribbean that also entailed a rich and diverse hymnal that moved you figuratively and literally and made a rhythm section almost mandatory at most churches. but it’s not just the music, i’ve gone to multiple catholic and methodist services in the trinidad and the rest of the caribbean using the same hymnal and i haven’t been moved in the same way. but this isn’t just about the music, it’s about the interaction.
there’s a comfort level you get when you find a place to worship and you can laugh and cry and be angry together or at each other and know that you are still loved unconditionally. there are in fact an extention of your family, your community. when you have that, it makes the worship special. the physical location doesn’t actually matter, it is in fact incidental. you feel a connection that makes you happier or even less sad or restores, even for a moment your faith in humanity. that’s a kind of intimacy that i think comes from true worship and i’ve found it.