Catholics and Pagans

I was raised Catholic, practiced Wicca and Druidry as a young adult, and am now in the process of returning to the faith.
When I was being raised Catholic, it used to fluster me when my protestant friends would tell me I was part of a pagan cult.
After experiencing the last 6 years of my life… It’s funny because I can totally understand why some people feel that way!
Druid ritual was almost identical to our mass, minus the focus of Christ and the Eucharist.
I often wondered if the new age druids were mimicking mass… or if the mass itself seems pagan because it was adapted to appeal to the original pagans.
Thoughts?

I have often wondered something similar. My very limited knowledge if satanic worship mimicks the Eucharist in as much as “act of ultimate worship”. Those who do not see Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist miss this “act of ultimate worship” while those who recognize the real presence but through an opposing act, eat/drink blood of something not Christ as an “act of ultimate disrespect” to the one, “Christ”, in which the sacrament was once originated for.

I believe these satanic worshipers understand more fully the “real presence” than most Christians and I believe this misunderstanding is satan’s most elusive tool.:highprayer:

Peace!!!

I can recommend The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn. The Mass has nothing to do with pagan practices. It has everything to do with the heritage we take from the Old Testament and with John’s vision of Heaven,

Those protestants would probably have accused the Jewish Temple cult as pagan, too…

See Mike Aquilina’s The Mass of the Early Christians to learn how the Mass is essentially what it was however thousand+years ago. I don’t know the age or geographical separation of the other practices you mention You might compare…

I can’t speak about druidism etc., but perhaps you wlil find any genuine expression of humanity seeking after the divine to share similarities.

Regarding world religions preparing the way for Christ, Varghese’s book might be good. It may also shed light on druidic practice.

I find St Justin Martyrs mid-second century apology interesting as well, particularly what he says on the Eucharist and the mass. Keep in mind he is providing a concise explanation for a pagan audience.

Chapter 66. Of the Eucharist

And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, This do in remembrance of Me, Luke 22:19 this is My body; and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, This is My blood; and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.

Chapter 67. Weekly worship of the Christians

And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.

Just to clarify, I don’t have any experience with satan worship (or at least knowing satan worship). The pagans I practiced with venerated the earth itself and nature spirits. They also recognized one god and goddess as personification of all the old golds.

St Paul wrote about the similarities and differences between pagan worship and Christian worship in 1 Corinthians 10:18-21. Both religions, as well as ancient Judaism, practice sacrificial worship in which food and drink offerings are sacrificed to the deity on an altar dedicated to that deity by a priest and then eaten by those who want to be partners with the deity.

This is very interesting to me! When I was attending grove with the druids, we would dip our fingers in water and touch it to our skin in some way before entering the “sacred space”. We would sing as we would gather into the sacred space, something along the lines of “we all go to the holy well.” Then time would be spent invoking deities or spirits- we called them “the kindreds”. A seer (this was often my role) would pass a message from the gods to the people, usually by means of rune stones or tarot cards. Then we would gather around the fire in the center and toss offerings in while praying for the gods to accept our sacrifices and answer whatever prayers (very much like in mass when we pray, except with tossing things in a fire). Finally whoever was leading the rite would perform a blessing on a bottle of mead and “bring forth the waters of life”- which all the members of the grove would then drink from.

It was uncannily identical to catholic mass. Except instead of Eucharist, it was the “waters of life” blessed by the gods and the kindreds. :shrug:

I think worship rituals/ceremonies, when you break them down into more abstract components, are almost all essentially the same: typically you’ll have some sort of blessing/cleansing upon yourself or the sacred space before you begin, starts out with a general invocation, asking the deity/deities to be present, some essential ‘lessons/lore” typically in the form of readings and commentary, the main ‘work’ (be it petitions, working magick, etc.), ceremonial food and drink (though not all do this), concluding prayers, and final benediction. If you look at it that way, there are tons of similarities between beliefs and worship ceremonies as different as a Catholic Mass, Wiccan Circle, Druid Grove, Jewish service, etc.

That said, there are quite a bit of similarities between the Catholic Mass and pre-Christian/neo-Pagan worship ceremonies. I don’t think any one of them really modelled their ceremony after any other; it’s just how pre-Christian Europeans structured their worship ceremonies and Middle Eastern cultures structuresd theirs – are there a few borrowings here and there – maybe. That area of the Middle East as very heavily Hellenized (don’t forget too that people like the Galatians were Celts! - though again, heavily Hellenized) so it seems reasonable that there may have been some early borrowings, but not to the extent some people make it out to be. I suspect that what may have been borrowed was minimal.

Since nobody actually knows what rituals druids carried out, apart from some references made by the Romans to human sacrifice by druids (but then the Romans often exaggerated and fabricated things about their opponents for propaganda purposes) how can people today know anything about druid rituals?

If new age druid rituals resemble the Mass, then it seems clear that these people are mimicking the Mass. New age religions are exactly that; new. Druids, wiccan, heathens, asatru etc. are not old religions, they are modern creations and their rituals are modern inventions. How can they be otherwise considering no records exist of what ancient druids etc. actually believed, let alone know what rituals they performed?

The devil always mimics God.

The Druids did not leave any records of their practices, and much of the Wiccan and neo-pagan beliefs were invented in the 20th century and thus would include Christian borrowings, as part of the dominant themes of western culture.

This is something that is worth considering, when people claim Christianity borrowed this or that aspect of religious practice from pagan sources. Always look to see what the earliest textual reference to that supposed pagan practice is, and you will often find it is long after the rise of Christianity.

Some may argue that it was passed solely by word of mouth, but we can ask if that was the case, why do they think the information was not corrupted by not being passed textually over millennia? Atheists (who often borrow neo-pagan claims that Christianity comes from pagan sources) are fond of also claiming that the Gospels were corrupted in the scant space of (probably) a couple of decades before we received the Gospels in their present form - why do they think pagan oral tradition would be any different, over an incredibly longer space of time, and that they would not have added Christian traditions during that supposed period of oral passage? (As we know the Roman pagans did with the Neo-Platonist movement, just shortly after the rise of the Christian movement.)

Yes indeed. Pagans are very quick to try to claim that almost every Christian practice has its roots in pagan customs. The fact that there is no actual record of what pagan customs actually were doesn’t seem to stop pagans claiming that that their supposed ancient practices were effectively hijacked by Christians. The fact that Druidism (as it is known today) was an 18th century creation, or that the ‘ancient’ pagan religion of Wicca was created by Gerald Gardener in the 1930’s, does not stop them claiming theirs is an ancient religion.

Wicca is not Devil Worship. It’s a tradition of pre-Christian origins that honors the Earth and Divine Feminine, neither of which are necessarily at odds with Christianity.

No it’s not, it was created in the 1930’s by Gerald Gardner. Christianity is 2000 years old, Wicca isn’t even 100 years old. All the Earth mother, Divine feminine stuff that Wiccans believe is a modern invention. There is no evidence of this belief system from the past. Wicca like other new-age stuff, is a modern invention.

As for druidism, it does seem a bit strange to see druids annually carrying out various rituals at Stonehenge at the Summer solstice. Stonehenge dates to 2000 to 3000 BC, whereas the first reference to druids was 200BC, that’s a 2000 to 3000 year gap. As to how the druids in 200BC worshipped we have no idea. However I suspect that their worship didn’t involve elaborate rituals at what would have been not much than a pile of rocks on the ground (as Stonehenge was not restored until early 20th century).

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