Writing Prompt: What is the Difference Between Communal and Private Worship?

"I Know I Can" WNFIN Prompt 033Group Prayer Friday

The act of worshipping the creator of the universe takes many forms, as we have already seen. Two distinct ways people may choose to worship is in private or as part of a community. These two forms of prayer are uniquely tied to a person’s choice of affiliation or nonaffiliation to a specific religion or place or worship. In other words, depending on how you choose to define yourself in terms of religious ties or prayer methodologies, your definitions will vary. Your job is to explain the difference between communal and private worship, preferably within the context of your religious choices.

Creative Idea Gal’s Thoughts

My faith has grown in leaps and bounds. I’m closer now to the Catholic Church than I’ve been in years. I’ve gotten really, really good at saying silent prayers as my form of private worship. However, the most exciting stuff I’ve seen has been in communal worship. I’m so lucky that I’ve had such colorful life experiences with so many people from such different religions.

I remember going to an exuberant singing mass with French natives at a church service in Normandie, France, and being completely bewildered when someone handed me a basket of small rolls. Was I supposed to eat the bread right then and there? Such confusion! I also remember one distinct day at Six Flags Great Adventure. We had just left the exit gate and stopped to have lunch outside the gates of the park, when all of a sudden a crowd of Hasidic Jewish men gathered, backs to us, looking toward the bathroom, bowing at the waist repeatedly. It was an odd sight to see, but it also intrigued me as I knew there was some sort of religious ritual involved.

Helpful Resources

For today’s prompt, I offer:

A description of the Islamic congregational prayer, as compared to individual prayer.

Jewish communal worship.

Writing Prompt 033
  • Step 1: Research private worship and communal worship. Be able to provide well-rounded definitions of both.
  • Step 2: Think about the ways people might perform each type of worship and the significance of their actions.
  • Step 3: Reflect on your own worship habits. Write! Add definitions and personal perspectives. Suggestion: create your writing in the form of an opinion, essay, blog post, or social media blurb (status update, post, tweet).
  • Bonus Step: If you own a blog and wish to share a link to the blog post that contains your response to today’s writing prompt, we welcome your permalink and encourage you to post it as a comment below!

Note: You get major brownie points for fleshing out your writing into rich subparts or adding historical perspectives to your writing.

Please be sure to leave comments about this writing prompt. We want to hear from you!

About the Author

Amanda M. Socci, J.D., is a freelance writer with 14 years of experience writing professionally. Socci currently cuts her blogging chops on her personal portfolio blog, the Creative Idea Gal blog, and on an online news site, Mount Vernon Patch. Inspired by Nina Amir’s Write Nonfiction in November writing challenge, she created a unique 10-month training program for Writenonfictionnow.com and Writenonfictioninnovember.com blog visitors.

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