How Bad is it to attend Protestant Service


Short story…
Converting to Catholicism, starts RCIA next year January.
Freshman in Jesuit college, and will stay home during the summer.
Mother devout Christian and accepts all those who accept Christ (she and I were raised Methodist).

Now the details.
My mother is not against Catholicism but is against my decision for doing so because she thinks that I am making a hasty decision without deciding on it long enough (she wishes me to think about this until after college :eek:). I KNOW WITH ALL MY HEART that the Catholic Church is for me in my pursuit of the fullness of Christ, so I will NOT waver in this regard. When it comes to my faith, I mean what I say.

She says Catholic Mass doesn’t matter because I’ve been touched by God in the Methodist church (it’s where I initially found my faith). However I want the fullness of God hence I am converting to Catholicism. I have contemplated for 2 years and had dialogue with priests. Unfortunately if I say this as a response for why I want to attend mass, she just gets upset and says God is also in the Methodist church. She thinks the idea of “fullness of Christ” in Catholic Mass being ridiculous (she thinks Christ is in full in Methodist church as well).

To give better context about what kind of person she is, she also gets very upset when I try to tell her she’s not allowed to partake in Catholic communion since she is not Catholic, with her response being that she believes in Christ and has every right to.

Methodist service seems very much dead in comparison to the beauty of Mass and is why I wish to go to Mass. However, she doesn’t want me to.

My questions.

  1. Should I try to go to Mass no matter what (call parish for help, although my mom would get VERY upset if I did that without her approval, which she won’t give…).

  2. If I do end up going to Methodist church service for the summer, I know that I am not to partake in communion (true communion only exists in the Catholic church :slight_smile: and even I know that from just observing). However should I also refrain from participating in worship (praise/songs)? Should I just observe and that is it? How should I go about my Methodist service if I am forced to?


Attend both. Mass, you know you should attend. Methodist service, if it won’t do harm to your faith, which doesn’t seem like it would, I would suggest you live under your mother’s rules as long as you live under her roof. As long as the music isn’t heretical, which it probably isn’t, you can sing with bravado along with our separated Methodist brethren. The only activities I can think of that I would rule out are communion and any recruiting efforts.


Well if I were to go by my mother’s rule, then Mass is a no go. :frowning:
So I should just go to Methodist service for the summer for the time being?


Probably. You are still setting aside the Lords day and do not have canonical mass requirements until after you are fully initiated.

But you do know now you need to set aside the Lords day so do that to the best of your abilities. If that means while at home you are stuck only going to the Methodist church then it is what it is.


Probably. You are still setting aside the Lords day and do not have canonical mass requirements until after you are fully initiated.

But you do know now you need to set aside the Lords day so do that to the best of your abilities. If that means while at home you are stuck only going to the Methodist church then it is what it is. (Maybe watch mass on EWTN). They even have an App.


As John S pointed out, you don’t have an obligation to attend Mass every Sunday, not yet. Maybe you could go to Mass on a weekday once in awhile? And a Methodist service is also good; Christ is present in a Methodist service as well.


If you are 18 or older, you are an adult.

I think the “attend both” is a good comprise. Tell your mom that is part of your learning process (which isn’t a lie because you are in “learning mode”) and that the earliest you can become a Confirmed Catholic is next Easter.

This should allow her to get used to the idea. She may not like it, but you are not receiving the Sacraments right away.

Good luck and God Bless.


I am over 18, and I have told her it isn’t until next year Easter that I receive the sacraments.
She still insists that I wait until after college to think this through.


Although christ is everywhere, catholic teaching is clear that transubstantiation does not occur during a methodist service.

To the OP, we must obey our parents in all things, except those against God. I advice disobeying your parent and attending mass when you can. God must come firat, and although you are not bound by sunday obligation yet, I would still advice you if becoming catholic to attend mass when you can.


Methodist teaching is clear too.

Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of our Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
(Articles of Religion, article 18)


I’m converting from Methodist to Catholicism. The Methodist church uses the same hymns as the Catholic church (though sometimes they will use the praise and worship type, they’re not heretical). Methodists aren’t recruiters either. Just friendly and kinda “there”. Methodists are protestant but they’re not like the evangelical Megachurch type, at least not in my experience. I’m sure there are exceptions, there always are. But they have the same creed, infant baptism, confirmation, etc. Communion is very different. There were actually several Catholics who attended and participated in my church, though some didn’t go up for communion. It’s not a lion’s den, I think you can use it as a faith building experience.


While you are at it, quit trying to convert your Mother. The more you try, the more she is going to get upset. That (her conversion) is the Holy Spirit’s problem, not yours. The more you talk to her about this, the more upset she is going to become, and the more she is going to dig her heels in.

Do we see a pattern here?

Quit asking for permission. You don’t need it. And she doesn’t need to give it. And she is not going to give it. Those are the parameters; you need to decide how to work within them. And part of that is to quit flapping your jaw.

If you outright disobey her - for example, you are heading off to Mass this summer, and she says “I don’t want you to go”, you can either challenge it by arguing (already proved fruitless), or you can simply say “Un hunh” and go - and then see what the results are; or you can choose to not go. At that point, she will react as if she has won (and you most likely will too) and that is going to dig the hole deeper.

Is there a pattern here?

You need to break the pattern; and that either means sitting her down and telling her (not discussing - telling) that if she continues to badger you about this, you will move (and be prepared to) or you need to stop the discussion, go about your business, attend RCIA, and tell her at the last minute that you are joining. Last minute being Good Friday next year, or Holy Saturday morning.

She is manipulating you, and you are letting her. Either you need to avoid whatever it is that triggers her manipulation, move out, or do what she says - which includes not joining. There simply are not a whole lot of other options.


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