Religions That Have VERY Long Services: Do People Like Them?

I always wondered why people would choose religions that require very long services. I understand that the Amish have Sunday services that are quite long-something like 4-6 hours?
Do those of you who attend very long religious services like them?
As a Catholic, I’m happy with 1 hour/week.
I don’t think I’d care for very long services…seems like there would be a point of diminishing returs, after 2 hours or so.

No, That was the first step to my never goning for services. Very long for me being over an hour not 4 to 6. Would that even ever happen?

Having been to a Russian Orthodox Sunday service a couple of times as a non-believer, I can’t say that it adds more per se to the religious experience, but there’s a lot more ceremonial stuff that happens that draws out the basics of a church service to two hours for a regular Sunday, and longer if it’s a special holiday or observance. After standing for nearly two hours straight, I can’t imagine going to a 4 to 6 hour church service, even if I were devout.

My church has three meetings in a row on Sunday, totaling three hours. It has only seemed long a few times when I haven’t been feeling well – otherwise, it’s one of the best parts of my week, because I’m feeling the Spirit and am with and being taught by people who share my beliefs and who I like being around.

A 6 hour service might get a little irritating though, just because I would start getting hungry and thirsty, and it seems like it would be hard to keep it interesting for that long, week after week.

I cannot imagine attending a church service lasting more than two hours. The non-denom churches I grew up in had services (not counting Sunday school) that were around an hour and a half. The sermon lasted a good 45 mins to an hour. It felt more like a classroom lecture than a sermon.

I really appreciated the length of Mass when I became Catholic. I can totally pay attention and enjoy the service for an hour. The homily lasts about 20-25 minutes and gets straight to the point and I usually remember the gist of it. This works for me.

Same here. Went to a church when I was little that started about 9. You’d have about 45min to an hour of singing and basic stuff. Then Sunday school would start and that would last between an hour and an hour and a half. I was amazed when I went to my grandmother’s and even the Christmas service was over in a little over an hour.

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a major turn off.

I attended a Greek Orthodox service in Cyprus, where the service was 3-4 hours long. However, there were no seats, and the doors were open the whole time, so the worshippers seemed to turn up, do their thing (including kissing the skull of a saint) then leave - about 20-30 minutes in total.

Jewish services are often very long. The service for Yom Kippur lasts pretty much the whole day, for example. But for Jews, it’s not a matter of whether you like to go. If you’re religious, you believe that you HAVE to go.

I remember once I was telling my Mom about someone who had converted, and she said, “why would anyone become Jewish if he didn’t have to?”

Did the saint voice any objections?

For the record, Amish church services are only every other week. Their weddings are super-long all-day affairs too. My grandparents go to Amish weddings from time to time, and my grandparents really love going to church, and even they can barely stand the length.

I might still be mormon if it didn’t involve 3 hour services starting at 2 pm.

Those long services never bothered me. I was a kid, but I kind of enjoyed them, especially after a few years when I knew what was happening. OTOH, it was just once a year. Friday night services were short and sweet, and there was food after.

To second Voyager - Yom Kippur is the exception rather than the rule. And since it’s a day of total rest, and a 24-hour fast, I’ve always figured (and some of my religious acquaintances confirm) that Yom Kippur services are drawn out in order to “fill up” the whole day (and get your mind off your empty stomach.)

As evidenced by the fact that after “Ne’ila,” you’re supposed to do everyday “Ma’ariv” for the following day – which gets blown through in, like, about 7 minutes… :slight_smile:

In many traditionally Black American Catholic Churches, the Mass does go for 3 hours or so, if my experience is any guide.

It’s really easy to enjoy longer services in charismatic churches, at least, for those who are “high in the Spirit.” I mean, it’s not like they’re forced to stay, and, in fact, many people leave.

Or, since the first part is often 45-60 minutes of singing & preliminaries, many people arrive a half-hour late.

Our morning service usually goes 2 hours (after an hour of Sunday school). Sun night can go a couple hours, longer if it’s a service focused more of the Gifts. Wed night- Hour & a half. Any more, I usually only attend Sun morn.

“Eeeuw no tongues!”

I don’t know how people can stand the Catholic weddings - I’ve had readings to do in two family ones up in Pittsburgh and people just do not believe me when I tell them a Southern Protestant wedding service is knocked out in, what, fifteen minutes once everybody’s sitting down? Do you? Yes! Do you? Yes! Let’s get the hell out of here and have some cheese sticks!

Lord. I once went to a wedding service that lasted two hours, but that was because the bride was older and SO PROUD of herself for snagging a husband that there were two power point presentations, two preachers, speeches by eight bridesmaids, and a very long music video.

Our service lasted five minutes. Literally.

I really like Yom Kippur services, and so does my convert husband. :slight_smile: I agree that they are mostly so long to fill up the day and take your mind off the fact that you’re HUNGRY, but there is usually some fun stuff in there – our shul does parallel study sessions, for example, and I always like hearing the book of Jonah read out loud because it’s very funny.

I don’t really think you’re supposed to pay total, intense attention to everything that’s going on in the service, though. It’s usual for people to be reading through the study/meditation passages in the back of the machzor, or even another book they brought along, or flipping through to see when Avinu Malkeinu is coming up, or reading the glosses on the readings, etc.

I like long services that are about getting everyone into the same mindset, but with the freedom to read, think and talk to their neighbor about whatever they’re thinking of. I like our three-hour Saturday morning services for the same reasons.