Hi, I haven’t posted before. I’m a college student, I was raised in an agnostic household but came to believe in God in high school. I’ve explored different streams of Christianity but am not baptized yet, and feel strongly drawn to the theology and liturgy of the Catholic Church. God is the center of my life, and it is painful to still be seeking a community where I can worship Him fully.
Anyway, for a couple of months I’ve been going to Mass at a small local parish. It’s small, but it’s packed every week and the people there are very reverent. However, they don’t have a RCIA program or daily masses, or confession or anything else. So today I went to the larger parish where all the religious education and activities are. I was surprised when I walked in and instead of the period of silent prayer that precedes Mass at the other parish, the priest was walking around with a microphone asking people where they were from, and making jokes. It had the atmosphere of an entertainment show, or something, did not feel very reverent. Then the Mass started and they began to sing hymn after hymn after hymn - which would have been fine, even wonderful, except that it sounded like pop music. Again, the other parish I’ve been going to does Gregorian chant. I have negative associations with today’s popular music and was very uncomfortable with the whole style of the Mass. I know people are different and I’m sure I overreacted, but … it was a shock, after attending the other parish.
So I guess I’m wondering now, because I’ve been to Mass at two totally different parishes, which one represents the typical Catholic worship? Maybe the parish where I attended my first Mass and where I have been going and which I thought was normal is really unconventional, and I’d be hard pressed to find another like it? What happens if I believe Catholic theology but can’t tolerate the style of mainstream worship? Should I go back to the larger parish and try to not take things so seriously? But I want a church where God comes first and people take Him seriously.
I feel so confused. I wish I knew where God wants me to be.