Catholic attending Lutheran memorial service for Grandmother

Hello. I have a question I hope someone can anser for me. My family and I are Catholic and will be attending my Grandmother’s memorial service the first week of January. She was a very devout Lutheran and I am assuming there will be communion served at the service. Am I and my family allowed to participate and should we? Thank you.

No, Catholics are not allowed to participate in Lutheran communion.

My sincere condolences to your family.

If your are going to a WELS or LCMS Lutheran service, in addition to the Catholic prohibitions, we typically also ask you not to receive unless you get the pastors approval beforhand.

Some Lutheran churches do offfer a blessing if you cross your arms, but you should check with the pastor beforehand as it’s rare an not quite in keeping with Lutheran church teaching.

I pray that witnessing the Lutheran divine service that your Grandmonther once shared helps give you peace.

No, as a Roman Catholic you cannot. :frowning:
What my wife & I do when we attend a Lutheran service with our dear friends is during their communion, we pray for the reconciliation of Protestants to the Holy Mother Church. :thumbsup:
My condolences as well. :signofcross:

1 Like

Well, I would not assume communion will be part of a protestant funeral. I have never seen it done.

BUT, if it is, then no you cannot participate in it. Simply remain in your pew.

Could someone please direct me to the official explanation as to why Catholics cannot receive Communion in other Churches? Is it because they do not have the authority to call for the transubstantiation?


High Church Lutherans believe in consubstantiation.

They neither believe in transubstantiation nor have the priestly faculties

Exactly . . .

CCC #1400: Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, “have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders.” It is for this reason that Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible for the Catholic Church. However these ecclesial communities, “when they commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection in the Holy Supper . . . profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory.”

Catholics may not receive Communion at Reformation-derived (a.k.a. Protestant) churches. My condolences for your family.

My your grandmother rest in peace.

No, don’t go up for communion if it is offered. Simply stay in your pew, or rise to let everyone else out and then sit back down again.

Please talk to your family, including younger children, before you go to the funeral and make sure they are aware of what they should and should not do. You will still stand for the gospel, and you can certainly sing (and may know the music selected).

As others have said, it is likely that there won’t be communion at the funeral, so nothing to worry about there.


My deepest sympathies in the loss of your grandmother. May she rest in peace.

Adding on to what others have said, we do not believe they have valid orders to enact transubstantiation even if they DO believe in the real presence. As such, the following is problematic:

  1. By going up to receive, you give the perception that you accept that their rite is worthy of participating in. This denigrates the public perception of the highest value that we place upon the Eucharist, and as such it scandalizes the church.

  2. A catholic approaching their communion knows that what they are offering is merely bread and wine and not a valid sacrament at all… but THEY have sincere beliefs about their communion. It is insulting for a Catholic to think to himself “ho hum, this is just bread and wine/juice, so I can go up and take it like it’s nothing” while their congregants are sincerely trying to practice their faith to the best of their ability.

So the bottom line is that insults our Eucharist, scandalizes the church, and is disrespectful to the solemn beliefs of our separated brothers.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit