Music Religion Essay

One Sunday, I told my parents that I needed a sweater from the car.I walked across the echoing atrium with the keys jangling in my hand and the pastor’s voice ringing through the empty space.

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At the middle of everything was an eight-sided, six-story corporate cathedral called the Worship Center, which sat six thousand people.

Inside were two huge balconies, a jumbotron, an organ with nearly two hundred stops and more than ten thousand pipes, and a glowing baptismal font.

You could spend your whole life inside the Repentagon, starting in nursery school, continuing through twelfth grade, getting married in the chapel, attending adult Bible study every weekend, baptizing your children in the Worship Center, and meeting your fellow-retirees for racquetball and a chicken-salad sandwich, secure in the knowledge that your loved ones would gather in the sanctuary to honor you after your death.

The church was founded in 1927, and the school was established two decades later.

When I was in high school, the church built a fifth floor with a train for children to play in, and a teen-youth-group space called the Hangar, which featured the nose of a plane half crashed through a wall.

My parents hadn’t always been evangelical, nor had they favored this tendency toward excess.

My mom sometimes worked as a cameraperson for church services, filming every backward dip into the water as though it were a major-league pitch.

There was tiered seating for a baby-boomer choir that sang at the nine-thirty service, a performance area for the Gen X house band at eleven, and sky-high stained-glass windows depicting the beginning and end of the world.

I would regret this situation when I was in high school at the age of twelve. I pointed my toes in dance class and did all my homework.

In daily Bible classes, I made salvation bracelets on tiny leather cords—a black bead for my sin, a red bead for the blood of Jesus, a white bead for purity, a blue bead for baptism, a green bead for spiritual growth, a gold bead for the streets of Heaven that awaited me.

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