Attending a Protestant church on Easter Sunday


A little background: I converted from Anglicanism last year, but my family is still part of the Church of England parish I used to attend. Since I’m moving away soon, my parents (I’m only 20) are asking me to come with them to my former parish to say goodbye to everyone on Easter Sunday.

Now, I know we can attend the Mass on Saturday night and fulfil our obligation in normal circumstances. Does that apply to Easter too, though? At the moment I’m telling my parents “I can’t come, I need to attend Mass on Sunday”, but they asked me to check whether I can go on Saturday evening for Easter. So, question number 1 is: Does the Vigil on Saturday fulfil the Easter Sunday obligation?

Question no. 2 is: Even if the first question is answered in the affirmative, it still feels a bit odd to be in a Protestant church for the highest feast on the Church’s calendar. Should I go?


Yes, attending Saturday Evening Easter Vigil Mass will fulfill your Easter Sunday obligation. Sorry, I don’t know the answer to your second question. God bless you.


You can fulfill your obligation by going to the Easter Vigil. Just be aware that it is a long service - about 2 hours in our parish, which I think is on the quick side.

To answer your second question, I think you should absolutely go with your family. I also think it will seem less ‘odd’ after you have already gone to the Easter vigil.


Whether you go or not is up to you. I have family that belong to the church of England and I have gone to church with them once before though am not sure I would again. And of course you cannot take their communion.


Of course it does.

But you should be aware that the Easter Vigil is very different from a regular Sunday Mass. If your parish does it right – starting after sundown with all the readings and sacraments of initiation for adults – it will start around 8pm and last about 3 hours.

That may or may not appeal to you. You could also attend an early morning Mass followed by the later morning service with your parents.

Question no. 2 is: Even if the first question is answered in the affirmative, it still feels a bit odd to be in a Protestant church for the highest feast on the Church’s calendar. Should I go?

That’s up to you. There is something to be said for pleasing your parents on this day – not by setting aside your own beliefs and practices, but by fulfilling them and also attending with your parents. As someone else mentioned, you are not in communion with this other community and should not receive communion from them.


You have two questions:

  1. Can you go to the vigil to fulfill your obligation and then go to a Prot. service on Sunday? – Yes, you can. The Church allows this.

  2. Should you go? – That’s up to you. My advice, if you want it, would be no, you shouldn’t go. Ideally, no one would ever go to any Protestant services, the worship is defective and the teaching (while containing much truth) is admixed with error.

IOW, it’s licit to go. Good Catholics can disagree about the prudence of going. I’d be one who’d side with not going on any Sunday, especially Easter.

God bless.


Depending on the size and inclination of parish, they may have gotten permission to have other anticipatory Easter Masses beside just the Vigil itself.

But yes, it’s okay to attend with your parents at their church, to try to keep peace in your family, as long as you don’t shortshrift going to Mass at your Church. :slight_smile:


It starts at 10pm here, though I don’t know if there will be Baptisms or Confirmations. I doubt it, though, since the ones announced were for Easter morning.

Indeed, it’s true the worship is defective and contains error. I would obviously not receive their communion. The reason I’d want to go, though, is that it’s a family tradition to go and have lunch together afterwards. Plus that it’s going to be the last time for a while that I see certain family members, and it’s a goodbye to good friends at my former parish. That’s why it’s kind of hard to decline. :frowning:


Go to the Vigil, the most wonderful celebration of the Liturgical year, then go with your family to their Easter service. Enjoy the day knowing that you’ve fulfilled your obligation to God and are honouring your parents. Enjoy the family gathering afterwards.


I agree completely. This sounds like a wonderful option.


When I have visited my brother and family at this time, I went to the vigil with their neighbors and then to their Presbyterian church on Sunday


You can do both not a problem. I know some Catholics are allowed to have the Anglican communion because the belief is very similar. I know a few who do that.

Even when you return home for a visit, it is always nice to return to the family church because that is where you grew up and where your roots are.


No, no, no, Catholics are not allowed to receive the Anglican Communion! It’s just bread. It’s possible that some do, and I have to admit that I’ve seen a priest do just that, but it’s not allowed.

There may be cases where SOME Anglicans are allowed to receive in the Catholic Church but those cases are few and far between and usually mean that they have no access to their own church and they have a personal belief in what the Catholic Church teaches about Communion.


Yes, go to the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday evening, then attend church with your family at a non-Catholic Church without recieving communion. I do this all the time since I 'm the only Catholic in my family.



If it’s just bread, then I don’t understand what the problem is. It’s Catholics who assign this meaning to communion - that to receive one must be in complete communion with the church. That’s not generally how it is at a Protestant church - all believers in Christ are invited to receive, whether or not they are ‘in communion’ with that particular church.

I’m not saying that the OP should receive, I just find this issue curious. The following article take a more ‘shades of gray’ approach to this issue:


God bless you!

Easter Vigil is an experience all Catholics should experience at least once. I think one we went to was almost 4 hours long, due to the number of people joining the Church, but the other was only 2 1/2 - 3 hours at most.

As for attending with your parents:

I spoke to my priest about this, as I was concerned that I had done something wrong (I may have asked ahead of time; I don’t recall), when I was visiting my cousin who attended a Pentecostal church (they are actually the head of music ministry there). As long as I fulfilled my Catholic obligation (which I of course was going to do), it was fine, of course as I didn’t go to any ‘communion’ or ‘altar call’, etc.

And while this is probably going to cause some people heart problems, I gave the eulogy at my missionary uncle’s funeral in a Presbyterian church, which WAS cleared by my priest ahead of time.


The Easter Vigil doesn’t just fulfill your obligation; it is the highest liturgical celebration of the Church, and imho the most beautiful and moving celebration of the year.

Go to the vigil, and by all means go with your parents the next morning. As noted, reception of their communion would be inappropriate.


Perhaps it was Anglican Use, which is in Communion with Rome?

I shall look forward to the Vigil. :slight_smile:

Thanks everybody. :slight_smile:


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