Visiting Each Other

One of the ways that we learn about each other and build interreligious understanding is to visit each other’s places of worship. For the person who would like to do so, but is unsure about what to expect or what might be expected of them, there are a couple of useful resources.

How to Be a Perfect Stranger: The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook, edited by Stuart M. Matlins and Arthur J. Magida is now in its fourth edition. It offers brief introductions to 29 different religious traditions and Christian denominations, and guidance for visitors to regular services, holy days, and special events like weddings and funerals.

Online, you can find “Guidelines for arranging group visits to Houses of Worship,” developed by JW Windland out of forty years of visiting places of worship and assisting groups to do so. Sponsored by Scarboro Missions in Toronto, the Guidelines include hints on making contacts with the religious community, arranging a visit, preparing the group, etiquette during the visit, and follow-up.

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