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Guest inoubliable

I'm curious.

 

It was mentioned in another thread that some people take notes in church.

 

Can I ask what people are taking notes on? I grew up as a Catholic and I never saw this. In the parishes I belonged to you sat, kneeled, and stood at the prescribed times and listened at all times. Coffee and donut time after church was when you discussed the homily with other parishioners. Which denominations have their congregants take notes?

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We take notes on the content of the sermon, just as we would any school lecture.

 

Not everyone does it, and it is not required, though some churches will offer a special binder for purchase and special notes pages in the bulletin. You write your notes on the special page provided and then put them in the bulletin.

 

I don't usually refer back to the notes, but I do find the exercise of writing them down both helps me learn/remember what is being taught, and also helps me stay awake, lol. Taking notes has been really great for my ds in particular. He likes to feel grown-up taking notes, and takes pride in good notes. What he learns from the sermon has increased tons because of it.

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Margins of the printed bulletin. A notebook. A random piece of paper. A couple of my friends attended a Baptist church where the pastor had a fill-in-the-blank outline of his sermon inserted with the bulletin. They were encouraged to fill it in as he preached.

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I grew up Baptist, and it was very common that people would take notes -- perhaps highlighting the verses used during the sermon (especially in cases when a pastor preaches on a topic, using verses from many different sections of Scripture), or noting the points made during the sermon. Baptist services are not as interactive as a Catholic mass; once the sermon begins (what would be the homily), the congregation just sits and listens; the sermon can last ~30 minutes, so to stay engaged & follow along, it's common to take notes much like one would during a lecture.

 

Sermons in Baptist churches are often set up as a speech format, or lecture format -- 3 key points, intro, conclusion, etc. Or, perhaps the pastor is giving information on a particular single passage; he might share interesting & pertinent bits of historical information that help one understand that passage better.

 

Many of the Baptist churches I've been in have an outline of sorts in the bulletin, where congregants can follow along & take additional notes. Or even where the key points are shown up on a screen, just as the lyrics to the praise hymns/songs are. It's a very different culture than a Catholic mass, and perfectly acceptable in those style churches to take notes, be they on paper or on smart phones or whatever.

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I belong to a Non-Denominational church. Our Pastor has an overhead projector that he puts his sermon topics, bullet points, Scripture references, maps, etc. on. In High School and College I always wrote down what the teacher wrote on the board because I was taught if it was important enough for the teacher to write down, it was something we should know. In church I just make a little outline and jot down the Scripture references so I can browse them later in the week and meditate on the message. Writing things down also helps me keep my mind from wandering, which I am VERY prone to do!

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It's never been required in any church I've attended. A lot of people take notes for their own benefit. Sometimes I take notes so I can stay focused. Then I read them later during my own personal time. I've attended Brethren, Baptist, and non-denominational churches and I've always seen people taking notes. It's pretty normal. Never required. Ever.

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I grew up Catholic too, and the weekly bulletin would have the readings all printed out with annotations of which Bible chapter/verse they came from. Perhaps note taking would be more useful in a denomination that does not provide that info? I agree with you that culturally Catholics do not take notes during Mass.

 

My current church is UU, we do not have a single textual source (Bible, Koran, etc), and note taking is not part of the culture.

 

ETA I think "bulletin" is the wrong word, it's been too many years lol. I'm sure Catholics know which pamphlet I am referring to!

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You take notes during a sermon just like you would take notes during a class lecture. I grew up in a Lutheran church, and we were required to take notes during sermons during the confirmation years. I think it was mostly a discipline in paying attention to the sermon! Some people take notes at the church I'm at now. Things like jotting down Bible verses the pastor brings up, things they might want to take more time to think about later, questions that pop up, main points that they just want to remember.

 

Personally, I don't like taking notes during sermons. When I have to think about listening and writing at the same time, I can't concentrate as easily. If I do jot down anything, it usually has to do with disagreeing with something the pastor says, or some thought that hadn't occurred to me before that I want to research further.

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My pastor actually prefers we don't take notes because he feels like we aren't as engaged if we are looking down at our notes instead of at him. Plus through the ages the Church has "heard" the Word, and thus it is appropriate for us to hear it now, too, without "interference" of writing and such.

 

That being said, he is patient with those of us who really need notes to help up follow. I take notes, but even more than notes, I actually write out the entire passage on which he is preaching while he is preaching it. It helps me focus much more on the Scripture, and I can add his commentary along the way if I want. But just doing my "copywork" as I listen is a huge benefit to me in terms of understanding and remembering.

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In our church, a small minority of people take notes during the sermon. It's the best way they listen and remember what they want to remember . I don't take notes in church, but when I was in school, the act of writing itself helped me attend and recall better.

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I take notes to aid in concentration. Our pastor provides a brief outline of the main sermon points with space for additional notes provided. This is particularly helpful for DH as he has hearing loss and having a visual tool helps him concentrate and gives him a context for points that may have been fuzzy in hearing.

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I go to a non-denominational church. A lot of people take notes, but not everyone does. I take notes, because it helps me stay focused. My mind is prone to wander.

 

Recently I've begun taking notes on my iPad in the Evernote app. That way my notes are always available and searchable. I love the concept, but I can't say I've searched for my notes yet. :)

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I sometimes take notes as a way of helping myself focus on what is being said, and to help me remember any personal impressions or thoughts that come to mind during the service. Encouraging children to take notes--or even draw relevant pictures for younger ones--is also a good way to help them pay attention to what is being said during church.

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I'm curious.

 

It was mentioned in another thread that some people take notes in church.

 

Can I ask what people are taking notes on? I grew up as a Catholic and I never saw this. In the parishes I belonged to you sat, kneeled, and stood at the prescribed times and listened at all times. Coffee and donut time after church was when you discussed the homily with other parishioners. Which denominations have their congregants take notes?

 

I have friends who take notes during the Homily. :-)

 

I don't know of any non-Catholic Christian churches which *require* people to take notes. Many of the seeker-friendly churches do PowerPoint-type presentations of the pastors' sermons and hand out printed outlines, and people fill them in as the pastor preaches, but otherwise, some people take notes on their own, writing scripture references, AHA moments, and so on. And as has been mentioned here, some people do it to keep their minds from wandering. :-)

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I like to write down the scripture references.

 

Also, writing things down is one way I remember. I can (usually) write my grocery list, and remember MOST items on the list even if I leave it at home. I can visualize what I wrote. Taking notes during church is similar for me.

 

Our small group also discusses the sermon, and I like to be able to reference some specifics.

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I grew up Baptist, and it was very common that people would take notes -- perhaps highlighting the verses used during the sermon (especially in cases when a pastor preaches on a topic, using verses from many different sections of Scripture), or noting the points made during the sermon. Baptist services are not as interactive as a Catholic mass; once the sermon begins (what would be the homily), the congregation just sits and listens; the sermon can last ~30 minutes, so to stay engaged & follow along, it's common to take notes much like one would during a lecture.

 

Sermons in Baptist churches are often set up as a speech format, or lecture format -- 3 key points, intro, conclusion, etc. Or, perhaps the pastor is giving information on a particular single passage; he might share interesting & pertinent bits of historical information that help one understand that passage better.

 

Many of the Baptist churches I've been in have an outline of sorts in the bulletin, where congregants can follow along & take additional notes. Or even where the key points are shown up on a screen, just as the lyrics to the praise hymns/songs are. It's a very different culture than a Catholic mass, and perfectly acceptable in those style churches to take notes, be they on paper or on smart phones or whatever.

 

yup. This is pretty much my experience. Our church does not hand out fill in the blank notes, but there are many who bring notebooks to keep up with the service and help stay focused on the sermon.

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KK, I'm Catholic now but I had an interlude through various Protestant churches for awhile. I took notes some places. In Catholic churches the homily is not supposed to be the focus of the Mass. Most places I've been they are fairly brief--maybe ten minutes, tops. (There are exceptions, of course.)

 

Many of the Protestant churches I attended, the sermon is the main part of the service. And some places they would be thirty-minutes--or even more--of fairly academic preaching. It was much more like going to a weekly lecture series. So I was always took notes. Part of it was to keep my focus and part of it was to be able to remember stuff and reflect on it all week. I had a notebook for the purpose that I brought to church.

 

But I never take notes at Mass. The homilies are short and, much as I love the Church, my parish, and our priests . . . not often worth remembering.

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KK, I'm Catholic now but I had an interlude through various Protestant churches for awhile. I took notes some places. In Catholic churches the homily is not supposed to be the focus of the Mass. Most places I've been they are fairly brief--maybe ten minutes, tops...

 

But I never take notes at Mass. The homilies are short and, much as I love the Church, my parish, and our priests . . . not often worth remembering.

 

 

I agree, although our priest gives some wonderful homilies. They're still only 10 minutes long and he also has a letter to parishioners in each bulletin that goes over the same theme.

 

The last time I took notes on church grounds was when the parish had a monastic beer lecture and tasting for a parents' night out. :laugh:

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When we take notes it's not usually just jotting down verses to look up later. In our church, the pastor *teaches* the Bible passage, he does not simply read it as part of a liturgy or ritual. We are studying Scripture together and that's why we take notes. Of course, it's not required and not everyone does it. Sometimes I don't, but I appreciate having a bulletin insert handy with plenty of space if the pastor says something I'd like to think on, pray about, or study further later. :)

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Guest inoubliable

Hmmm.

 

Okay. So for those of you who are writing down the scripture being quoted and discussed... what do you do with that information later? Do you read it later that day/week and then do... ? I'm honestly curious. I'm thinking that if I were in a church and serious about my faith and paying attention (and I do see how taking notes could aid in paying attention/staying awake), then you'd have it in your head by the end of the meeting. Right? I mean, having a curious look-see at the scripture later in the day to see it in context, I could understand someone wanting to do that. I don't understand what else you'd do with that, though.

 

So you write it down, you take it home, and then do.... what?

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It's never *required*. I've attended Baptist and non-denom churches and visited plenty others. (Though I have never been to a Catholic Mass) They usually include a paper to take notes on in the bulletin. Usually, it's a fill in the blank outline. There is also usually a point in the beginning where the pastor says "take out your bible and turn to....."

 

I do take notes most of the time and then I stick them in my bible. I do look over them occasionally, to keep any insights fresh and to remind myself of lessons that I need to apply to my life. Once in a great while, there will be something very personally challenging and I stick the notes on my mirror to remind me every day of where my focus should be.

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Hmmm.

 

Okay. So for those of you who are writing down the scripture being quoted and discussed... what do you do with that information later? Do you read it later that day/week and then do... ? I'm honestly curious. I'm thinking that if I were in a church and serious about my faith and paying attention (and I do see how taking notes could aid in paying attention/staying awake), then you'd have it in your head by the end of the meeting. Right? I mean, having a curious look-see at the scripture later in the day to see it in context, I could understand someone wanting to do that. I don't understand what else you'd do with that, though.

 

So you write it down, you take it home, and then do.... what?

 

 

Sometimes I highlight it in my Bible. Sometimes I pray on it. Sometimes it is used as a jumping point for small group discussion, so I like to have it later for that.

 

Just because you can hear a verse in church and then have it in your head to ponder later doesn't mean everyone can do that. Often there are multiple scriptures noted, and my recall just isn't made for that. Sure, if we spent the whole sermon on one verse, I *might be able to recall that, but I might not.

 

I'm not sure I understand why it's such a hard concept to grasp. ?

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I do take notes most of the time and then I stick them in my bible. I do look over them occasionally, to keep any insights fresh and to remind myself of lessons that I need to apply to my life. Once in a great while, there will be something very personally challenging and I stick the notes on my mirror to remind me every day of where my focus should be.

 

 

Often, I've found that I've written something down from a sermon that might not have been so applicable for my life at the time, but later I remembered it. I love that I have the notes I can refer back to.

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So you write it down, you take it home, and then do.... what?

 

 

In my case, when I was in a church where I took notes, I'd file them or just put them together somewhere. Then once a year or so, I'd gather them up and throw them all out with a twinge of guilt that I'd never done anything with them. ;)

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Hmmm.

 

Okay. So for those of you who are writing down the scripture being quoted and discussed... what do you do with that information later? Do you read it later that day/week and then do... ? I'm honestly curious. I'm thinking that if I were in a church and serious about my faith and paying attention (and I do see how taking notes could aid in paying attention/staying awake), then you'd have it in your head by the end of the meeting. Right?

 

If you can remember it just by hearing it, you have a wonderful gift. Do not discount that!

 

For me, I can not learn just by hearing. I have to participate. To write it down. To look over it later (if what I write is intelligble enough) and ponder. I don't remember shopping list stuff unless I write it down. I don't learn how to do stuff on the computer unless I write the steps down and do it myself. I don't learn in school unless I take notes and look over them later. Even particulalry meaty books I will take notes on to cement in my mind what I am learning.

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Hmmm.

 

Okay. So for those of you who are writing down the scripture being quoted and discussed... what do you do with that information later? Do you read it later that day/week and then do... ? I'm honestly curious. I'm thinking that if I were in a church and serious about my faith and paying attention (and I do see how taking notes could aid in paying attention/staying awake), then you'd have it in your head by the end of the meeting. Right? I mean, having a curious look-see at the scripture later in the day to see it in context, I could understand someone wanting to do that. I don't understand what else you'd do with that, though.

 

So you write it down, you take it home, and then do.... what?

 

When I attended a protestant church, I always took notes. I remember better if I'm doodling or writing. I would usually look up the scripture and take some notes besides it. We did have sermon handouts and I did refer back to them. Sometimes it was a quote I wanted to remember, a verse to look up, something to cover with ds, something I wanted to write/ponder/pray about later. I worked in the business world and attended a lot of business seminars over the years, it really was no different than taking notes in a business meeting for me.

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I don't take notes as if it is a school lecture and I will be tested later in it. For me it is more like how Charlotte Mason suggested that people keep a book of inspiring ideas, quotes, etc.. If something really strikes me, I write it down. Our pastor likes to take one book of the Bible and preach through it so week after week the sermons build on what has already been read and preached. It is helpful when I go back and reread that book to look at notes. Some of those passages are particularly difficult to understand.

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I keep all my notes so I have them to refer to later, if needed. I used to use journal-like notebooks. Now I write directly on my pastor's notes and they go in a 3-ring binder. I love that I can look up just about any topic to discuss with my family, friends, etc or just as a reminder for myself. Note taking is never required.

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I have to say, I don't really understand this question. I mean, it's not much different than, say, attending a talk about the political situation in Syria, really. The majority of people will just want to sit and listen. Some may want to jot down notes on books or names of political leaders or other things that were mentioned that they feel is important to know about or that they want to know more about. Some may have a disagreement with something said and want to jot it down so they can research their counter-arguments later. Some may just want to list the points step by step so that they can study it later to allow it to sink in better and hopefully bring about a better understanding. Some may think that what they're hearing is important and helps to explain questions they had about the situation, and they want to be able to refer to it later if the topic comes up again and they can't quite recall all the details.

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Hmmm.

 

Okay. So for those of you who are writing down the scripture being quoted and discussed... what do you do with that information later? Do you read it later that day/week and then do... ? I'm honestly curious. I'm thinking that if I were in a church and serious about my faith and paying attention (and I do see how taking notes could aid in paying attention/staying awake), then you'd have it in your head by the end of the meeting. Right? I mean, having a curious look-see at the scripture later in the day to see it in context, I could understand someone wanting to do that. I don't understand what else you'd do with that, though.

 

So you write it down, you take it home, and then do.... what?

 

 

for me, I would use my notes as a starting point to discuss the sermon topic with my husband later and see what he was thinking, did we both agree with the pastor, how did we each interpret what was said, did anything "click" for us, etc. Sometimes the pastor will say something and I'll think immediately of another verse and go off looking up other things or at least jotting down other things that I want to look up later. And then I will look those up later and discuss it/use it for my personal Bible study time.

 

Also, I sometimes -gasp!- write notes in the margin of my Bible itself (usually just a one or two word notation, often just jotting down the deeper definition of a word as far as what it meant in the original language). Those I love to have, because then later when I"m reading that passage again, there's the little tidbit of extra info, right there. Or, I write on paper and stick it as a permanent bookmark at that spot, and then again, it's there for me to stumble on next time I read that verse, chapter, passage, whatever.

 

So, I don't review my notes the way one might for a test, but I use the notes to remind myself of what I'd like to look at in a deeper context. Once I've done that, I feel free to toss the notes, or tuck them away, or whatever. It's all very personal, and will likely vary with each one of us.

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I grew up Baptist, and it was very common that people would take notes -- perhaps highlighting the verses used during the sermon (especially in cases when a pastor preaches on a topic, using verses from many different sections of Scripture), or noting the points made during the sermon. Baptist services are not as interactive as a Catholic mass; once the sermon begins (what would be the homily), the congregation just sits and listens; the sermon can last ~30 minutes, so to stay engaged & follow along, it's common to take notes much like one would during a lecture.

 

Sermons in Baptist churches are often set up as a speech format, or lecture format -- 3 key points, intro, conclusion, etc. Or, perhaps the pastor is giving information on a particular single passage; he might share interesting & pertinent bits of historical information that help one understand that passage better.

 

Many of the Baptist churches I've been in have an outline of sorts in the bulletin, where congregants can follow along & take additional notes. Or even where the key points are shown up on a screen, just as the lyrics to the praise hymns/songs are. It's a very different culture than a Catholic mass, and perfectly acceptable in those style churches to take notes, be they on paper or on smart phones or whatever.

 

 

Ours is very much like this, the sermons are 45 minutes long and there is often an outline to follow and fill in and when there isn't we are often told to hightlight a verse. My old Bible is filled with notes and highlights and I treasure it as a record of my growth in the church. I have my Nana's old Bible too and hers is also filled with notes and highlights from sermons. It is not only common for us but it would be strange to listen and NOT take notes for us.

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I'm LDS. I rarely make any notes. Usually it's in relation to a scripture verse and is some insight I hadn't thought of before and want to remember later when I am reading my scriptures. Some members of the congregation regularly take notes. They usually have notebooks they bring with them to write in. I've seen people at Catholic masses take notes :) (My extended family is Catholic so I've gone to church with them on occasion.)

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Hmmm.

 

Okay. So for those of you who are writing down the scripture being quoted and discussed... what do you do with that information later? Do you read it later that day/week and then do... ? I'm honestly curious. I'm thinking that if I were in a church and serious about my faith and paying attention (and I do see how taking notes could aid in paying attention/staying awake), then you'd have it in your head by the end of the meeting. Right? I mean, having a curious look-see at the scripture later in the day to see it in context, I could understand someone wanting to do that. I don't understand what else you'd do with that, though.

 

So you write it down, you take it home, and then do.... what?

 

 

I'm a note-taker and use my notes for later study in the week. Our pastor usually has a sermon series that spans about six weeks so I may refer to the notes throughout the series. It's also easy to refer back to a particular subject sometimes even years later since he has series on a topic. My notes are in smaller spiral notebooks that are kept on a shelf with other bible resources.

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I have a wide margin bible that I write the notes in, and then as I read the Bible on my own, I have the notes there and don't forget. Notes that I write are typically connections to other passages in the Bible, breakdowns and outlines of chapters, definitions of the words in their original Greek/Hebrew, and where else that word is used in Scripture for comparison, historical information, I'll highlight key words in a chapter/book/epistle as it give info on the theme, I'll write down how someone/something was a type of Christ in the OT. And other stuff :) but that should give you an idea! I'm Christadelphian, and this is common among us.

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Guest inoubliable

Thanks, everyone. Truly sorry that some people seemed to think my question was snark and commented accordingly. It was interesting to hear all of the different responses!

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I didn't think it was snark. Of course, I had never seen anyone take notes at Mass, Methodist, Pentecostal, etc. churches I had attended. I just have a really horrible auditory memory, so I tend to write notes down a lot. Usually on my hand, but that's a different discussion. ;)

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"I'm thinking that if I were in a church and serious about my faith and paying attention (and I do see how taking notes could aid in paying attention/staying awake), then you'd have it in your head by the end of the meeting. Right?"

 

*To me* that sounded like you equated someone taking notes to someone who was not serious about their faith or paying attention. I apologize if I took that the wrong way. I was being sincere when I stated that I did not think it was a hard concept to grasp that people might take notes for later review or for cementing the lesson, or for several of the other reasons people had previously stated.

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I might jot something down if something amazingly striking is mentioned during the sermon, or perhaps if there is an announcement of an event I want to be sure I don't forget. But those are the only two times I would rustle around for writing materials during the service. It's not very common in the EO to take notes, but sometimes people do, during the sermon.

When I was going to evangelical churches years ago, I and many others always brought notebooks, and I took copious notes. Nowadays I more let the liturgy flow over me and I figure it's sticking to my soul & brain even if I do not consciously make a note of it.

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I just have a really horrible auditory memory, so I tend to write notes down a lot. Usually on my hand, but that's a different discussion. ;)

 

 

I joke that if I ever get a tattoo, it will be a to-do list template on my inner forearm. I keep a sharpie pen on hand and have been known to jot late night reminders on my wrist so I don't forget. I sometimes go to the grocery with 3 or 4 items written on my wrist.

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The act of actually writing something down helps with retention. Those of you who use The Writing Road to Reading can relate note-taking with saying the sound of the phonograms and writing them. I believe that taking notes while reading or studying a book is more effective than simply highlighting important points. In the same way, taking notes during a sermon helps a person to remember the important points of the teaching. Later, those notes can be used to discuss the sermon topic or to do further research. Sometimes something that is said causes you to wonder about something else, and if you jot the question down you can look it up later.

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I think it's common to take notes in Protestant denominations. Sermons are the focus of the service and can be quite long, 30-60 minutes during which you are sitting the whole time. Taking notes can help you stay awake and focused, help you remember things to discuss or contemplate or further reaserch later, many people cannot learn or remember auditorily, ect. I think it's less common in liturgical churches because there is a lot more activity (standing, kneeling, reciting, crossing) and communion tends to be the focus, with only a short sermon. But I still probably wouldn't blink to see it.

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