Aberdeen Bible Baptist Church, Aberdeen, WA
The church is the most holy place in the worship of the Christians. As such, the congregation bounds itself to participate in the worshipping session. Tentatively, the pastor is the mediator between the Lord and His people (congregation).
During the church services, there are short hymnals that are sung before the commencement of the sermon period. As such, the church choir, as well as the lead vocalist, brings the church in the worship songs. With regards to the song genre, the congregation may be clapping in rhythm to the song. The instrumentalist, on the other hand, provides the necessary rhythm for the song. There are two categories of songs during the worshipping session. First kind is the praise song that meant to praise their Creator. The praise songs are in most cases joyful as the congregation expresses their gratitude to their Creator. Second kind of songs is the worship songs, which are meant to be a meditation to the Lord as it forms a connection with the Creator. Nonetheless, there exist hymnal songs that are sung from the hymnal books presented to the congregation.
The prayer sessions may be done in different forms. Upon arrival to the church, each of the church members is responsible with the prayer session that forms personal links to his/her Creator. There is another type of prayer, which is initiated by the pastor and is called a congregational prayer that seeks to address issues that affect the whole congregation as well as the church. Prayer forms the link between their creator and the congregation. Additionally, the prayer forms the basis, through which the sinners ask for forgiveness from the Lord. As such, the prayer forms an essential aspect during the worship sessions.
The congregation bounds itself to conduct their prayer activities as they wish. Some may prefer silent prayer whereas other proffers shouting prayers to their Creator. Nonetheless, in extreme cases, where persons are possessed with the Holy Spirit, they may speak in tongues. Speaking in tongue reveals and presents the highest communication level with the creator.
The pastor of the church preaches the sermon to the congregation as he is the mediator between the people and the Creator. The Bible assumes the name 'the Holy Bible' as it is a holy book that communicates His messages to His people. Nonetheless, the sermon parallels with the scripture that are found in the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible is the book, which the scriptures are obtained from. God's will is in the scriptures as they form the basis for worship. The Bible contains numerous stories that happened centuries back. Scripture interpretation happens through the pastor for the congregational understanding of the message. The interpretation happens in various sections in order to facilitate for better understanding by the congregation in the service. The story, as well as the scriptures, shows how a Christian should conduct himself or herself in the contemporary society. Additionally, the Holy Bible offers advice to many religious entities that include parental advice with retrospect to their children, youth interaction with the rest of the people in the society and other important social codes of conduct.
During worshipping, the congregation stands as it shows respect for the church. Additionally, kneeling may be done in the case of ultimate respect as well as showing a sense of humility. Humility is paramount in communicating with the Creator. During the actual sermon session, the congregation's sits as the sermons may last for up to three hours.
The intangibles include the holy Cross that has Jesus' portrait on the pulpit. The Cross reveals Jesus suffering and is a constant reminder of the sacrifice done, which God's son for saving humanity. In other instances, the pastor may pray for sinners, as well as heal the sick during the sermons.
Chinese New Year in Sheraton Hotel in Seattle, Seattle WA
The Chinese New Year falls on the period of late January or early February with retrospect to the Chinese Lunar calendar that lasts for fifteen days ending in the full moon. On the New Year, the people decorate their houses with colorful pictures of fruits and flowers, and hang red paper scrolls where the gold Chinese characters represent happiness, luck, health and prosperity. The red, color according to the Chinese, represents the luck as well as fire. As such, the fire believes to drive out evil spirits and miserable luck, particularly the legendary monster, 'Nian'. During the festival, the people dress in red, write poems as well as write wishes on red paper, and present red envelopes referred to as 'Liaise'.
Additionally, the occasion has fire crackers that are meant to chase the evil spirits. On the New Year's eve families come together for an exceptional meal that includes Chinese food that represents health, happiness and luck. The final night of celebration into the New Year is called the 'Lantern feast', or 'Yuen Sui'. Yuen Sui has beautiful painting of flowers, birds, animals or legendary scenes.
The Lantern feast includes the dragon dance that is performed by a longed dragon made up of silk, rattan or bamboo. As such, the dragon is carried across the streets as it chases a red sun ball, or a white pearl ball held by a parade participant. At the end of the carried dragon, there is a remarkable Golden Dragon made by the dragon masters on fashion from China. Tentatively, the dragon is resplendent in silver and gold, paper, rainbow colored pompoms and silk.
The dragon stretches over 200 feet long and needs one hundred people to carry it across the streets. As such, the dragon twists and turns jumps and dances amid the sparks and a noise of over 500000 firecrackers. An imperative aspect linked with the celebration is the animal connected with that year. For instance, the New Year may be called 'The Year of the Horse' or 'The Year of the Dog'. The Chinese twelve-year calendar is linked with 12 animals, namely rat, ox, rabbit, tiger, snake, sheep, monkey, pig, dog and rooster
The Chinese teaching believes that Buddha asked all the animals to meet in the New Year, where the twelve animals came, and he named a year for each one. As such, the individuals born in that year embody the characteristics, both evil and good, of the animal. Tentatively, the animal featured and honored on posters and numerous other items during New Year's celebrations. The celebration embodies an important tradition in the Chinese religious practices. The teaching of Buddha assists in the daily lives of the monks, as well as the followers of Buddha.
In the Chinese denomination, the music genre most consistently performed in the New Year Worship day is of Chinese hymnody. As such, the style seems to be related musically to the hymns of the protestant tradition. On the other hand, the Chinese hymnals are written by various authors and composed by the Chinese authors. Interestingly the melodies and tunes originated from the religious texts, as well as traditional Chinese melodies.
During the sessions, the diviners would interpret the patterns in the cracks and write the prognostication upon the piece.
The Chinese opera is a fundamental portion of the Chinese intangible heritage, as it represents a religious symbol. Additionally, it forms the gem of their tradition that incorporates in the religious practices. They reflect upon the real folk life of the Chinese. Thus, the New Year celebration is paramount in the Chinese tradition.
Seattle Buddhist Church, Seattle, WA
In the Buddhist worship tradition, they bow down before the image and honor their respect to what the image represents. They are not to seek anything worldly from the image. In the sessions, they reflect and meditate in order to gain inspiration from the noble qualities. These are the Buddhist attempts to emulate the perfection through the following of his noble teachings. Nonetheless, the Buddhist respects the pleasant virtues, as well as the religious Buddhism teachings. On the other hand, the sanctity of the religious teacher represents the holiness of the image. It would be incorrect to term Buddhism as idol worshipping. The followers of every religion created an image that is a representative of holy teachers that are in visual or mental picture for relationship purposes.
The act of paying homage to Buddha is not fear or act based, or an act to beseech for worldly gain. Nonetheless, Buddhist believes that it is a seditious act and a blessing if the followers honor and respect the immense virtue of their reputable mentor. On the other hand, the Buddhist teaching presents the idea that the followers are responsible for their own salvation; thus, they should not depend on any third party for salvation.
In place of prayers, the followers of Buddhism practice mediation for self-discipline as well as mind training while meditating. As such, the meditation practice necessitates for an object whereby without an object to hold on to, concentration may not be easy. Tentatively, the Buddhist may as well use an image or picture of Buddha as an object they can concentrate on and help in controlling their mind.
There exist many forms of worship in the Buddhism religion, as there are schools of Buddhism that teach this philosophy. There exists the Mahayana tradition that assumes the devotion to Bodhisattvas and to Buddha. The followers of this religion would listen to monks chanting from the religious text, and may be accompanied by instrument and take part in the prayers.
In addition, the worshippers may sit on the floor barefoot facing the image of Buddha and start chanting. In the places of worship, the Buddhists arrange in straight rows with their legs interlocked. These represent a reflection of Buddha, an image that has the legs interlocked with the left hand up. The Buddhist can meditate for long hours in seated position. Moreover, they face the image they are meditating upon, which in this case is the Buddha picture or sculpture.
Amongst the meditation objects the visual objects have a better effect on the mind of the Buddhist. This is due to the fact that amongst the five human senses, the objects that grasp through eye-consciousness have a massive effect on the mind, as compared to the objects that are perceived through the other senses. The visual picture represents the image of the subconscious mind. Thus, the Buddha image has a good impact on the mind: the recollection of achievements of Buddha produces joy, as well as uplifts man from the state of tension, frustration and restlessness.
The Buddhist temples are designed to symbolize the five elements of fire, earth, air, water, and wisdom (pinnacle at the top of the temple). The temples do not have engraving of writings and drawings, but has objects that represent the various meditation elements. Certainly, the monks are responsible for the teachings of the Buddhist religion. The lessons emphasize on holiness as well the immense virtue of respect. The Buddhist attempts to emulate the perfection through the following of his noble teachings. The meditation object forms the mentor of spiritual perfection.