On August 14th I went to the New Zion Baptist Church which was a church for many African Americans. It was very interesting because the style they held the worship was so different from what I had expected it to be. There were two things I was especially surprised at. The first thing is that they used many musical instruments. The other thing is that most people responded to what the priest said.
First I would like to talk about the musical instrument. I already knew that there were African American churches that people would sing during the worship. However, I didn’t know that they used so many musical instruments. For example, they used pianos, harps, maracas, and even a drum-set. While the people were singing songs, they used those instruments and made the people more lively. I was surprised because in Japanese religious places such as shrines and temples, we don’t have so much sound and it is very quiet. That made me wonder if it was all right to be so loud during the worship.
Next I would like to talk about the people who were responding. While the priest talked, there were many people responding to him by sating “Amen” or “Yes, that is true.” This was very surprising for me because in Japan, it is impolite to talk while another person is talking in many situations. And especially when it comes to religious places, we should be quiet to keep the atmosphere solemn. However, as I learned about the “call and response” idea in the lecture, I realized that responding to the priest was not impolite but actually better to do so in Baptist churches.
The two differences surprised me a lot, but I understood that even if the style is totally different between the New Zion Baptist Church and religious places in Japan, the people in New Zion Baptist Church does not disrespect the god but strongly respect and believe in the god. Also I was glad to be able to see the “call and response” culture with my own eyes. This experience was a good chance for me to think about my own religion which I realized that I don’t know much about. From now on I would like to have more interest on my religion.