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Author Topic: Prefering indoor or outdoor worship/activities on your path?  (Read 7004 times)
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« Reply #15: December 27, 2008, 10:27:24 am »

I've never heard of a modern Catholic baptism done in a river, is that usual in the US? What I'm very curious about is to know what meaning outdoor practice does have to Catholicism or your take of it. Most things I remember from my Catholic upbringing happened indoors. Is there any theological meaning to indoor or outdoor worship in Catholicism or is it more a matter of practicallity or personal preferences?

Well, this was a Methodist congregation. Most (virtually all, I'd say) Catholic baptisms are indoors, but I've heard of people going outside. That's most usual when the church like literally backs up to a river that's usable. (Being dunked in the creek that ran through my hometown, which was big enough, would have been vile and disgusting, to be honest. So even if people were really into it, I think pollution would suggest against it a lot of the time.)

There are some Catholic practices that are routinely outdoors -- blessings of homes (blessings of cars and other vehicles, for that matter!), St. Francis blessings of animals, some processions, etc. Some things can be indoors or out -- outdoor stations of the cross are popular, as are outdoor labrynths, but you can also do both indoors. And some things are routinely indoors -- Mass, confession. But we've all seen outdoor Masses, like, when the Pope goes places. There's no reason, other than practicality, that various services CAN'T be outdoors, but it *is* frequently impractical. However, I've been to plenty of outdoor services of various types over the years. (I've also been to Masses in airports, in private homes, in classrooms, in stadiums -- whereever there's space when it's time to do it!)

Routine Masses tend to be fairly large, so you often need voice amplification; and of course there's all the stuff you need for communion and whatnot, so you'd have to bring that with. And congregations tend to be diverse in age and needs, so you'd need accommodation for the elderly and handicapped to be able to get through an hour-long service, so you'd probably need chairs and wheelchair access. For something you're doing every. single. day., it's mostly easier to do it in a purpose-built space where you don't have to set all that up and break it down constantly.

The one area where it gets touchy is with weddings; you have to get special permission from the bishop (in the US) to get married outdoors, because a lot of people were wanting outdoor weddings with a rent-a-priest who wears the collar but doesn't inflict "any of that Jesus stuff" on the couple. They didn't really want a Catholic Mass; they wanted something that LOOKED like it so it could fit their mental version of a fairy-tale wedding. (Which, incidentally, is a little silly, because there are PLENTY of actual rent-a-clergyman who'll dress the part and give you your fairy tale wedding with all the "Jesus stuff" removed. It's a little offensive to go looking for a religious minister so it "looks right" for your stage-set wedding!)


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Cauldron Council
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« Reply #16: December 27, 2008, 10:29:33 am »

Or, at the very least, it was baptism by dunking, not by sprinkling, and you just can't do that with a baby--they don't know to hold their breath.

Oh yes you can! And it's getting more usual.

Father does a one-hand squeeze of baby's nostrils and chin and dunks fast.

Also, apparently if you blow in an infant's face right before dunking, they hold their breath, and then blow out -- long enough to dump a pitcher of water over their head if you're giving them a bath, or long enough to dunk the baby for baptism. I've seen that, too.

I've never seen a baby inhale or choke on water when dunked for baptism. I'm sure it happens, but apparently not that often.
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« Reply #17: December 27, 2008, 09:56:32 pm »

    I wonder what reasons there are for you to worship and do other spiritual/religious activities inside or outside?

    • Is there any spiritual/religious meaning for your path to indoor or outdoor activity? Does your path require or favor indoor or outdoor activities for some reasons?
    My path doesn't have any specific requirements for indoor or outdoor practices.

      • Do different forms of your spiritual/religious activities favor different places? How about ritual, offerings, invoking deities/spirits, devotional shrines, meditation work for example?
      Since my spiritual path is a strange mixture of my own creation, I do what I feel necessary, but also within the boundaries of both of the religions that I follow. Personally I do prefer to work outside as much as possible, whether it be meditation, offerings, blessings, or whatnot. As I live in the south and the weather is never the same long, it can be difficult to do anything outside depending on the time of year.

      I do keep two altars in my home; one is the main altar where I do my devotions, prayers, offerings (which are usually food offerings that put outside after a couple of days). In that room I also do my meditations. The other is just a small kitchen altar that is dedicated do the Fae mostly that I place flowers, plants, and herbs to dry or as offerings.

      When the weather is nice I do love to meditate outside and I like to pour offerings into the ground for the Earth and the plants in which I work with. I currently don't have an outside shire or altar, but we are planning to move soon, so hopefully we will get a house with a nice size backyard for me to have a special place there.

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