Not until this past Sunday was it brought to my attention how the same religion can differ in a different language. I was given the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the religion that I was raised by. Growing up in a small town in Iowa, I was not exposed to a variety of languages or religions. I was never challenged to explore how different cultures worship the same religion as I do.
Upon entering the Annunciation Roman Catholic Church in Denver I was eager and excited. Right after stepping into the church I was greeted by a Pastor who asked me if I was aware that this was a Spanish spoken mass, I responded and told him that I was aware of the language that was spoken. For me this stood out that the Pastor was able to tell based off my physical appearance that Spanish was not my first language and that I was part of the minority in the church. Though I was among four of the people at the service who knew little to no Spanish, members of the church were very inviting, giving us missalettes that included English and Spanish versions of the readings and hymns of the day.
As the mass proceeded along I picked up on differences from this mass compared to back home besides the difference in language. The Hispanic mass had more involvement overall. I saw this in their church choir and the amount of pastors who took part. I really enjoyed the different instruments/voices that were in the choir. In Iowa I am used to a piano or organ as the only instrument accompanied by a female-dominated choir group. It is typical for a mass to have one pastor/father who on occasion will be accompanied by a deacon. The Hispanic mass included three pastors who were each very involved and shared parts equally throughout the mass.
Overall, I felt like I was able to follow along with the mass very well with my background. I was able to help answer questions that my friends had about mass. At the end of mass, when returning our books to the cart, a lady asked us what brought us to the mass. As a member of the church for many years, it was very noticeable that we were not regulars. I informed her that we are new to the area and looking to find a church that fit us. She then informed me about the English masses. I thanked her and continued to talk about the beauty of the church and the job that the choir did before leaving. Attending a Hispanic Spanish language church allowed me to gain more knowledge about my own religion.