Okay, here's the background. I grew up a Methodist. My mother was choir director, and I sang. Really, that's the only reason I went, besides being forced.
Fast forward 50 years and my two (twin) sisters are involved at the same church--one plays organ and piano, the other directs the choir. Being that my parents anniversary was on Sunday, Dec. 22, I asked my father if he wanted to go to church to: a) honor mother (who died in '01), b) listen to and support his daughters doing music, and c) see old friends and be seen. He declined with a plethora of excuses (bottom line: he didn't want to go through the effort).
However, I had already commited to going. We were still honoring the memory of our mother. I haven't been to my old church in umpteen years. I was greeted like the "second coming"! Mercy.
Nothing has changed. Time stands still in church (almost literally!). It was pretty agonizing. I felt totally out of place. Announcements, prayer requests, dedications (my mother). We sang the same old Christmas songs. We (they) recited in unison the same old Lord's Prayer, and "We believe in the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost...", blah, blah, blah, etc. There was the usual Scripture reading (Mathew's version of the virgin birth), a childrens "sermon", and a regular sermon (which really wasn't half bad!). And "special" music from the choir and a flute ensemble.
I had to suffer through a lot just to honor my mother and listen to my sisters perform, but, I survived. Let me say, I hope to die before I attend another church service. Gee I hate the doxology: "Praise God from whom all blessings flow....". (Stay tuned for part 2)
(If anybody here does happen to celebrate Christmas, well, Merry. I've done celebrated--the Solstice.)