Ritual Observation Essay

1892 words - 8 pages

I arrived at the destination of where the ritual observation was to take place at 9:45 a.m. on February 23, 2014. The ritual takes place in Brockville, Ontario in a building called the New Hope Brockville Tabernacle. The tabernacle is a large building that has a tower, also known as a steeple, erected on the roof. On the steeple is the symbol of the cross. The front doors opened up to a large foyer where the majority of the people inside were gathered in various small groups. These groups were composed of members similar in age. Everyone who entered through the doors was greeted with lots of hugs and welcomes.

At 9:55 a man referred to as an usher greeted me and handed me a program. The ...view middle of the document...

On the platform people took their place on their instruments and they began to play two songs. As they played the lyrics were projected onto two large projection screens at the front of the room. While the music played the majority of the people were standing, singing along, clapping and lifting their hands. As the second song ended a man stepped onto the platform and stood behind the podium. The song faded out and the people took their seats. Jason Roach was the man that stood behind the podium and he is referred to as Pastor Roach. He explained that the prayer focus for that day was going to be on family. The pastor gave a lengthy, passionate speech, referred to as a sermon, commenting on the value of family. As the pastor talked, the people paid close attention with the occasional “amen”, “we thank you Lord” and “praise the Lord.” Many people brought their own personal bibles and throughout the service some of the people took notes directly into them.

After Pastor Roach delivered his final message he announced that Katie made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and be baptized in the Holy Spirit. The musicians took their positions again and played until Katie emerged onto the platform in a long robe. Pastor Roach explained to her what she should expect from the baptism saying: “You might hear a different kind of language start to come out of your mouth, you let that flow. That is the Holy Spirit flowing inside of you. You are going to submit to the Lord. He is going to fill you full of good spirits. All of your sins are going to be washed away and you will be a new creature in Jesus’s name.” Katie climbed into the baptism tank and Pastor Roach placed one hand over Katie’s, which was plugging her nose, and the other on her back. It appeared he muttered something to her and then immersed her under the water. When Katie emerged from the water she had her arms lifted and pastor Roach placed a hand on her forehead and prayed for her. He encouraged her to let the Holy Spirit fill her.

The musicians started to play again and most of those who were physically capable to, rushed to the altar. The majority at the altar broke out into loud praise with his or her hands raised or clapping. Others were dancing and swaying back and forth, many with their eyes closed. Some people began to shout in unknown languages, an act referred to as speaking in tongues. Still standing in the baptism tank, Katie began to shake like she was experiencing a seizure and almost fell over but Pastor roach and brother Romano caught her. The two men stabilized her as she continued to shake, arms still lifted, and she too began to speak in this unknown language. At the altar people began to pray together. One person would go up to another and place their hand on the others back and pray with them. The pastor descended from the stage and began to place his hand on others foreheads and pray for them. Many of the children were e

Slowly people began to...

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