My goal for this assignment was to collect and analyze ritual practices within the American society. I began my research by attending a religious service in the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) at the University of Georgia. The religious service was held in their chapel, located on the intersection of Lumpkin and Baldwin Street. Their religious services are every week on Tuesdays at 7pm. On the Tuesday of November 12, I attended one their ritual services to record my observations for my anthropological work. The service lasted about two hours, with me actively taking part of the ritual in the second hour. I came into the religious service thinking I would only observe and record my experiences; however, I found it more convenient for me to participate so that I could understand their rituals to a greater extent.
As I approached the BCM, I noticed that it was a two-story building made out of brick material and graphite. It had a courtyard and parking lot with two different entrances from the front and backside of the building; I went into the backside of the building where I saw the majority of the people entering. As I entered, I had two greeters approach me to shake my hand and welcome me. One of their names was Jonathon. He was nice enough to give me a tour of the building. The first floor was a massive and hard-floor room filled with chairs, alters, musical instruments, and several groups of people spatially dispersed throughout the room. This is where the sermon is usually held on Tuesdays. The second floor seemed to be more of a sacred and quiet space for individual meditation. It had a sanctuary with a large cross engraved into the main window above the alter and a small prayer room. I made sure I was allowed to go into th...
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...ir dark times. The interaction between the audiences is very cohesive because they believe that they are one body through Christ. They do not discriminate against non-believers or anthropologists because they believe everyone has the right to know about their rituals and beliefs. They show this by hosting open-door rituals every week and by helping people around their community. This is why Christianity is the fastest growing religion today, because Christian ritual organizations like the Baptist Collegiate Ministry encourages people to be part of their family through their faith and good works (Kottak 481).
Kottak, Conrad P. Introduction to Anthropology: University of Georgia Departmen of Anthropology. 15th ed. N.p.: McGraw-Hill Education, 2013. Print.
Jonathon. "Baptist Collegiate Ministry Observations." Personal interview. 12 Nov. 2013.