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Kenny同志

If I attend a church, what would I be expected to do?

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edelweis

That depends on several things including the country, specific religious organisation, and perhaps the personality of the priest.

I think I read on this board that religious buildings and services in China have specific rules, like being open only to registered members and/or only for foreigners etc. I suggest you get info about that... it is possible that attending a church will require you to show your ID and get registered.

My experience in France is that Catholic churches have opening hours during which people can come and pray individually. At those times you can also visit the main room of the church as just another touristic building. Other areas will be off-limits and/or have specific visiting rules. You are generally expected to lower your voice in churches, and in some cases dress conservatively.

During services, walking about and taking photos is frowned upon. You can just attend a service without becoming a Christian, my rule of thumb is I stand and sit down at the same time as everyone does, I don't sing or speak the ritual answers (which I don't know anyway), I don't take part in rituals such as eating bread or drinking wine. However when the priest asks for goodwill gestures I shake hands with or kiss my neighbours (just go with what they do, I guess in others places people may hug or something) and I donate a small amount of money when asked.

I hope this helps. Perhaps youtube has some Mass or other religious services that you could watch to get an idea about what to expect.

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WestTexas

I agree with edelweis. I think he covered it well. I can tell you that churches in Texas are the same as he described, so I think those rules might hold in all mainstream Christian churches. The churches where I am from (Texas, and I think much of the US) have mass on Sunday morning, Saturday night, and sometimes on Wednesday night. So if you just want to look around don't go during one of those times, although if you are interested in going to a church just to check it out you might be curious to go to attend mass as well. If you do go to mass wear nice clothing, I would say a collared shirt and decent jeans are the bare minimum. DO NOT wear flip flops, shorts, or a T-shirt. DO NOT use profanity in the church at any time.

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roddy

Don't forget some spare change for any collections / donation boxes.

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