Archive for the 'church' Category

Friday night services

November 26, 2011

Jonas called last night while I was out at Friday night services, and when he called back today and I tried to explain to him where it was, he says, “Oh, I think that’s near where the mosque Salman and Nayef used to go to was, we used to go pick them up there sometimes.”  I remembered he used to be friends with these two Saudi princes, a pair of twins (their dad was getting medical treatment at Mass. General Hospital, I think), but I didn’t know where they worshiped or that Jonas even knew.  But I thought it was a great point of reference for locating a synagogue.  What I noticed as I walked to it from the MBTA stop were the Korean churches, but Jonas was unaware of those.  Could have been different neighborhoods we were talking about, too, and there have been about ten years inbetween.

Anyway, the last time I had been to Friday night services was years ago (and elsewhere), and I was less in a frame of mind then to notice how much of the experience was a group prayer experience and how much of it was something else (intellectual, social, musical, poetic).  These were very warm and authentic and friendly.  I probably need to learn the prayers and tunes better so as not to be distracted by trying to follow and remember the words and melodies.  But I was disappointed that the only time I really felt “the flow” was during the individual and silent recitation of the Amidah.  I am looking for that minyan, group prayer experience, not a group human interactive experience.  I am looking for the flow that can be gotten by a group, that kind of amplification of our voices, and the good stuff that comes in as a result.  I am willing to believe it might be had with this group, and I’m not going to give up after a first try, but I am harboring doubts.  It actually reminds me of the realization I had that when I take a walk with someone, doing so has more in common for me with having someone over for tea than it does with taking a walk by myself.  There, walking by myself has been, so far, the resolution to that issue, but a group prayer experience can’t be accomplished by oneself, I would think.