Help me with non catholic family at baptism?


#1

Hi, new to the forum. Baptized catholic by dad, raised protestant with mom, now im back home!
Anywho my children(toddlers) are scheduled to be baptized. None of my inlaws are cCatholic. Neither is my maternal family. Though I think they are happy to come, they havent been anti-catholic...yet. However Id like to design a program/service card to help them through the mass.
My question is this appropriate?
If so can anyone give me a quick outline of both mass and baptism. If you can only offer one, thats fine.
Any notes I can include for explanation? Such as explaining genuflecting.

None of my protestant family/in laws have stepped foot inside a catholic church before. My main goal is to field away the idolatry like questions that come once protestants are exposed to our candles,statues, kneeling,crossing etc.


#2

A simple way would be to ask them if they worship the empty cross in their church building. (I'm assuming theirs does have one) When they answer no, ask them why they can have that cross without worshiping it, but we can't have our cross/decorations without worshiping them.

If they respond "Because it has Jesus on it, so you'er obviously worshiping it." Ask them if they worship every picture of Jesus they see. Again, they'll answer no, and hopefully your point will be made.


#3

I would ask them to listen openly to all the words and prayers of the Mass while they're there. I'm sure they will have a few points of disagreement afterwards, but probably not as many as they think they will.

Genuflecting is based completely on a belief in the Real Presence, which they will not share. It's likely they will still view it as idolatry, but be sure to make the point that when we genuflect in front of the tabernacle (containing the hosts), we do so because we truly believe that it is Christ in there that we are worshiping, not a piece of bread. The Real Presence discussion will no doubt have to take place.

For a program, I would recommend making it a point to highlight the readings and other Scriptural references within the Mass, for which they will share a common reverence. The Ordinaries (Kyrie, Gloria, Creed, Sanctus, Agnus Dei) as well as the Our Father will be great prayers to pray together with them.

Again, if they will really listen to the Mass with an open mind, I'm sure they will find that there is not as much they object to as they think. After that, it will probably be easier to discuss the Mass, since you can then discuss the parts they object to rather than trying to go through a discussion of the entire Mass in general.


#4

If they're very Scripture oriented, you might want to have them take note of how much of the Bible is quoted in the Mass (if they attend Mass) or the Baptism ceremony. Many Evangelicals think Catholics don't use the Bible or rarely open it. It may give them a whole new perspective, dampen fears, and help them be more accepting of you faith/values. I will make your dilemma one of my Evening Prayer intentions today. You can ask the Holy Spirit to work within their hearts and that Mary will wrap her mantle of love around you all. God bless! :)


#5

Oi… this is going to take a long while to post.

You might start out with an introduction to mass and explaining its sources. You can also highlight that the church views the new covenant as a continuation and perfection of the old, and that our worship reflects the old. Touch on what each of the markers of the church (one, holy, catholic, apostolic) mean. Be sure to highlight that we are a liturgical church… which basically means that we believe that worship is to be structured and repeated in what are called “rites” and “liturgies”.

Note that the mass is made up of two main parts: the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist. Recall, the liturgy of the word inherits most of the synagogue services of the Jews. Here we have scriptural readings. Note to them that almost all of the mass quotes scripture though. Also highlight that there is a reading schedule so that every three years almost all of the Bible is presented to the church. The liturgy of the Eucharist inherits the general structure of the Jewish Passover celebration. You may want to highlight that the liturgy of the Eucharist, in Catholic belief, is the exact same sacrifice that Christ made on the cross. That we believe that Christ died once and for all time, and that in the mass we go back and take part in the last supper, death, and resurrection of Christ through God’s grace.

You might want to dedicate a section to symbolism in the church as well. Point out that the very structure of the building is symbolic (if you have a cruciform church, the floor plan makes a cross. A basillica is typically designed to evoke an ark/boat for the roof, in which we are riding out the flood of the world). Point out that candles are symbols lit when people pray, to show the prayers of the faithful being offered to God. The sign of the cross with Holy Water is to remind us of our baptism. I wouldn’t highlight statues in any significant way… it’s likely to be provocative. If they have an issue there, let them come and talk to you about it.

In the section on symbolism, you should also address the postures we use during the mass, and why we “bounce on one knee” (kneel/stand a lot). Sitting is a posture of rest and learning. Standing is a posture that symbolizes our redemption from Christ… that we are fit to stand before God to pray, that when we hear the gospel we stand as those who are redeemed. Kneeling is symbolic of our sorrow and repentence for our sins that caused Christ to need to die for us, and we take this posture at appropriate times during the mass too.

Next you should have a section on how to behave during mass. Here’s a source to start from, and you can add where you feel necessary (such as genuflecting before entering the pew if the tabernacle is exposed on the altar at your parish). You might want to find out the order of the sacrament of baptism and add it. You might also want to find out which responses will be used of those available and only show those ones (so talk to your priest to find out!).

DEFINITELY and charitably cover that during communion they should remain in their seats (and preferably kneel) and explain why (that we believe that one must believe as the church does regarding transubstantiation AND be in a state of grace according to church teaching to receive communion and that taking communion is a declaration of catholicity to the world).

You might also want to include the responses they should make in your guide (again, part of the missal)… and note that they don’t have to make any response that they don’t feel comfortable with. You might also note that they can make the profession of faith (or as much of it as they agree with) and remind them that catholic in the profession refers to the universal nature of the church, and not specifically to the Latin Church under the pope.

Finally, you might include a section on interesting side notes, such as the fact that the Jews believed that separating the blood from the body meant that something was well and truly dead. Because Christ is resurrected and a living sacrifice, you could highlight that at one point the priest will break off a piece of the Eucharist and drop it into the Chalice, because Christ is not “dead”.

Be sure to add a line at the end telling them that you’re completely willing to answer any questions they might have after mass and thanking them for coming!


#6

[quote="Actaeon, post:5, topic:307937"]
DEFINITELY and charitably cover that during communion they should remain in their seats (and preferably kneel) and explain why (that we believe that one must believe as the church does regarding transubstantiation AND be in a state of grace according to church teaching to receive communion and that taking communion is a declaration of catholicity to the world).

[/quote]

Great post! I agree with everything in it except asking non-Catholics to kneel. If "kneeling shows our humility before God," (LINK) and they don't believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, it's like asking them to kneel before what they believe is a false god. I would ask them to sit quietly during the Liturgy of the Eucharist (and to stand during the Our Father).


#7

[quote="Chemcpherson, post:1, topic:307937"]
Hi, new to the forum. Baptized catholic by dad, raised protestant with mom, now im back home!
Anywho my children(toddlers) are scheduled to be baptized. None of my inlaws are cCatholic. Neither is my maternal family. Though I think they are happy to come, they havent been anti-catholic...yet. However Id like to design a program/service card to help them through the mass.
My question is this appropriate?
If so can anyone give me a quick outline of both mass and baptism. If you can only offer one, thats fine.
Any notes I can include for explanation? Such as explaining genuflecting.

None of my protestant family/in laws have stepped foot inside a catholic church before. My main goal is to field away the idolatry like questions that come once protestants are exposed to our candles,statues, kneeling,crossing etc.

[/quote]

wctc.net/~mudndirt/Scripture%20in%20mass.htm It's for the old translation, but it shows where almost everything said in Mass can be found in the Bible


#8

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