Can a Roman Catholic attend 'Anglican Catholic' mass?

On the infrequent occasion that I attend an Episcopalian Eucharistic liturgy, I only ever sit in back, observe and listen. More frequently, however, I attend Vespers services at the local Episcopal cathedral, or Lessons and Carols during Lent and Advent. On those occasions, I do find myself singing, to be honest. I’ve often wondered if that might be going beyond what one ought to do. Anyone know for sure?

Can a Catholic legitimately sing the hymns sung at an Episcopalian Vespers service, or at a celebration of Lessons and Carols? I mean, if the Pope can pray and sing at ecumenical worship services with non-Christians, am I really tempting the wrath of the Almighty by singing “Once in Royal David’s City” at an Anglican church?

That’s the question, and the problem is you really need to sit down with the materials you will be participating with and hash out the theology. To be sure, it doesn’t automatically contradict catholic teaching just because it’s anglican. But then again, Anglican theology is tainted by the 39 Articles and the heavy protistantism they introduce. As such, caution is required when participating with their liturgies of any kind (even Vespers).

There is (or soon will be at least) a vatican approved common book of prayer. Perhaps one good way to hash it out is to obtain the vatican approved version (if possible) and see where the Anglican liturgy your participating in differs from the Vatican approved versions.

If a Catholic attends and participates in a Choral Evensong I see no problems from a theological point of view, that is unless Holy Scripture offends you. The hymns, collects, readings are either taken directly from the bible or are paraphrases thereof. Based on CAF music discussions, it looks like the typical Catholic parish sings hymns, songs and service music composed by protestants all the time.

This is exactly why I went Byzantine when I reverted back. I was so dissolusioned with the abuses of the Novus Ordo, and fell in love with the beauty and reverence of the Divine Liturgy.

Actually Anglican hymns are very Catholic, there might be an exception with the newer hymnal they use, but not the one from 1940. They are the same hymns sung in my parish. Of course I attend a traditional parish and we use an old hymnal, not one of the contemporary ones, which I find some of the hymns protestant in many of them.

As a former Anglo Catholic I would participate in singing the Creed, Gloria etc. but not in taking Holy Communion, nor genuflecting towards their altar. I asked my priest who is very traditional and old fashioned if I could bow at the crucifix as I am attending a meeting, which included Benediction, Mass and talks by an Anglican priest and an Anglican Use Catholic priest to the congregation to inform them as to why they should come into the Ordinariate. It is my old parish and I will show respect as long as my Pastor says it is okay.

Actually to be honest at least in most Anglo Catholic parishes you would find their liturgy to be more in line with the EF than the OF. As long as I acknowledge the fact that Blessed Sacrament is not valid in the church, singing the same words we sing at Mass don’t appear to be going against the Churches teachings. Also I am very excited that my old parish might become Catholic and want to be there to see how people are responding to the offer.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary


It’s a wonderful development, this bringing in to our Catholic culture the Anglican approach to liturgy, which I have always admired and appreciated. The Anglican converts and their liturgy may well serve to set a good example for the rest of the Church in the English-speaking world with respect to how to deliver liturgical worship well.

Take away the female Episcopal ministers, if one were to attend the principal pontifical liturgy at the Roman Catholic cathedral in my diocese on a given high feast day, and then witness on the same feast the principal pontifical liturgy at the Episcopal cathedral a block away, most people, I think, would have to conclude that the Episcopal cathedral delivered a far more impressive and rather more Catholic-seeming ceremony than the Catholic cathedral did.

From the music, to the vestments, to the reverence, to the ceremonial precision, to the six candles on the high altar, to the incense, the Episcopal ceremony reminds one so much of the “old” Catholic Mass, only that it is in English, and devoid of the very severe restrictions of the pre-Vatican II liturgy. And this is a cathedral that describes itself, not even as “High Church” but as “Broad Church” (middle of the road).

At any rate, ceremonially and liturgically speaking, I believe that the embrace of Anglican converts and their customs can only enhance the worship experience of Roman Catholics in our anglophone world.

Yup. Who doesn’t like “Ein’ feste Burg”?

This statement makes me think of Jack Chick.:frowning:

Why would anglicans use one of our most famous Roman Catholic saints??

Which saint are you referring to? Anglicans have recognized almost all the Catholic saints, as really there are no others, except some within the Orthodox Church.

The Anglican Communion doesn’t have the right to decide who are saints and declare
one anyway.

God Bless


and where did you get that from? as far as i know watching a priest the other on EWTN, they themselves said that Catholics may not go to their services. they can come to the CC but Catholics are not pass on to their churches. that is what i heard from Anglicans priests making their way to Rome.

Catholics do not fulfill their obligation by attending a service at an Anglican church, but Anglican Use parishes are Roman Catholic parishes that utilize a Vatican-approved version of the Anglican liturgy. Although this is primarily for the benefit of Anglican congregations that have converted to the Roman Catholic Church, any Roman Catholic may participate in the liturgy offered at an Anglican Use venue, and, in doing so, fulfill his obligation.

Catholics may not become official members of the Anglican Use Parishes but they are free to attend Mass there

Are you quite sure of that? I have heard that, and I have heard the opposite.

Actually there are many Latin Rite Catholics who are registered members in some of the Anglican Use parishes.

Once the Ordinariate is established I believe you will see more of them joining these parishes.

At this point I think it depends on the local Bishop whether one can register as a member, but once the Ordinariates are established they will not be under the local Bishop, but an Ordinary.

Although some might see Anglican Use parishes as a negative, they are really a plus for the Church, as there are many Catholics who don’t want to attend an OF Mass and the same goes for the EF, but the Anglican Use Mass has the reverence, beautiful music and is in the vernacular, except at some settings of the liturgy when parts are sung in Latin. Which appeals to Catholics who don’t feel comfortable with the Latin, but want a more traditional liturgy.

These parishes have brought back Catholics who didn’t feel they fit in either choice of the Latin Rite liturgies. The AU Mass is a Latin Rite liturgy.

We will have to wait and see how Rome and the CDF handles all the details once the Ordinariates are established. At this point there are many unanswered questions.

God Bless


and where does the Church teaches that?

Not 100% sure but I’ve read it somewhere in the past.

Not sure if it will be the Bishop or the Vatican who would prevent people from switching parishes. Like with Eastern Catholics, its more likely a Latin Catholic can switch to an Eastern Church than for an Eastern to Latin Rite because the Vatican doesn’t want to deplete the already small numbers of Eastern Catholics, and they want to maintain their membership if not grow so that the traditions will be preserved.

But I agree with you that the AU could provide a great option for those who seek traditinalism but wants it in the vernacular.

Anglican Use parishes are those that have already “made their way to Rome”. They are no longer Anglican churches but Catholic Churches using a form of the Mass that retains (but is not exactly like) some of the elements of a traditional Anglican Mass. Prior to the most recent overture, there were 7 Anglican Use parishes in the US (mostly in Texas). Most Catholics are unlikely to have encountered one and may not even know they exist.

Here’s some interesting reading on the Pastoral Privalege.

Teaches what? Your question doesn’t explain what you are questioning.


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