Interfaith Visits

Interfaith Visits

horizontal thin blue lineKeywords: interfaith visits, religious protocol, religious etiquettehorizontal thin blue line

VISITING A HOUSE OF WORSHIP or a religious gathering brings the tradition alive. Hearing special music, participating in ritual, being within the art and architecture of an inner sanctum, sensing candlelight and incense, experiencing the quiet and spaciousness, feeling the community… there is no substitute for being there.

Visiting each other’s “spiritual homes” has long been an important practice within our community interfaith group.  For example we have participated in Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Quaker, Unitarian-Universalist, and Jain services. We have also attended life cycle events such as weddings, funerals and memorials, holiday events such as Iftars , and ceremonies like the ordinations of some of our Board Members.

The purpose of this website section is to encourage Interfaith Visits and to share some of our actual experiences. Here you will find ideas about identifying places of worship in your community, preparing for an interfaith visit, initiating the visit, making it most worthwhile and avoiding pitfalls. 

What is it like to be on an actual interfaith visit? Here you will find a original articles about the MCWRET’s visit to a Jain Temple, and to a Sikh Temple.

Discovering Faith Communities In Your Midst

If  you , alone or with family or friends,  wish to explore the variety of nearby  religious communities  you can investigate:

Telephone Directories

The Internet-  Location and Name of Religion

Newspaper Listings of Religious Events

Calendars for Religious Holidays

Places of Worship of  Your  Friends and Neighbors

Preparations for Making an Interfaith Visit

For the  interfaith visitor, entering the world of another’s faith community is not just an external journey. Your experience may be strongly influenced  by your own beliefs and customs.

Hosts, of course, will want to be sensitive and welcoming guides.

Both interfaith visitors and hosts can consider: 

1. How can I show the appropriate respect and avoid being inadvertently rude?  How can I  respect  others’ practices without compromising my own beliefs?

2. How can I be open to rituals and practices that differ from my beliefs?

3. How can I learn more about rituals and practices from a member of the guest or host faith?

We recommend these sites that have important suggestions for your interfaith visit:

 Interfaith visits made by MCWRET board members and friends

Pilgrimage to Siddhachalam (Jain)  – by Guest Journalist Jennifer Lieberman

Visit to a Sikh Temple – by Guest Journalist Jennifer Lieberman

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NEXT: Pilgrimage to Siddhachalam (Jain)