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Ethnography - Essay Example

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The topic of the Greek Orthodox church was selected for several reasons. First, the author, as a faithful attendant at St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Chruch, a Greek…
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Ethnography
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Download file to see previous pages n which the members of this church maintain a close-knit, family relationship by examining worship practices, family relationships and subgroup relationships within the greater whole.
The data for this analysis was collected over a period of weeks in which the author kept a journal of his observations while attending church. While the author was a participant in these proceedings, effort was made to step back and view the proceedings from the perspective of the outsider without sacrificing the insights available to the insider. Journal entries were made on a weekly basis beginning September 4, 2006 and ending October 23, 2006.
There are approximately 250 listed members of this particular church, 230 of which attend on a regular basis. The members of the church range in ages from the very young to the very old, with a majority of the members falling within the middle age category. The congregation is also comprised of a wide variety of ethnicities, primarily Russian, Lebanese and Greek.
The worship service itself functions as a reminder of a call to family togetherness. One of the first actions parishioners observe as they walk into the church is to light a candle in the Narthex in memory of a deceased relative or loved one – the author typically lights one in memory of a deceased uncle. They then kiss the icon and cross themselves on the chest three times before taking their places to ensure they are in proper frame of mind to receive the instruction to follow. The sermon, usually covering a topic that is loving and nonjudgmental, typically lasts approximately one hour. Following the sermon, the congregation files out, kissing the priest and the cross he holds as they pass. From here, most members of the congregation file into a large dining room in which they partake of foods brought in from individual members.
Toward the end of the period of study, a young girl was baptized in a child-size plastic swimming pool that had obviously been purchased at ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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