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Jan 28, 1998 - 13:38 -

I have a question:
I am curious as to how the synagogue worship is: Is it basically reading of prayers and liturgy I now know that men and women are separated. How does it compare to the Christian worship service?

About me: Bernard Branch
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How I found this site: Browsing the internet

Wow, Bernard! That's such a broadly worded question, I'm not sure where to begin. Generally, Jewish worship consists of study (a form of listening to God), joyous praise (like a child extolling a parent), petition (like an upright citizen standing before an earthly authority), confession (abject supplication, like dust encountering creator), and thanks.  "Liturgy" is a textual formula that accompanies or facilitates worship; and Jewish liturgy uses a different form of writing for each of the five moods of worship enumerated above. Furthermore, the structure of the service uses all of the above to take the worshipper through a prescribed series of transformational states.  

I am not very familiar with Christian worship, and I imagine different Christian communities must have diverse practices, so I can't help much with the second part of your question. But I think that, relative to Judaism, Catholic congregational liturgy tends to focus more heavily on praise.  This is natural since Christians tend to petition God individually rather than communally, and since Catholic confession is done with only a priest present. That leaves less for Catholic congregational liturgy to do. On ordinary days (i.e., not Sabbaths or Festivals), study and petition and supplication are relatively more prevalent in the Jewish service, although they are  still surrounded by praise and thanks.

--- Jordan