How to make the liturgy understandable?

To pre-emptively expel any defensiveness, this thread is not in anyway insinuating that liturgical rubrics are bad.

That being said, I feel like Catholics have an obstacle to overcome with this when it comes to evangelization. For certain protestants, the liturgy might not seem so terribly alien, but there are a steadily decreasing number of protestants that come from any sort of ‘high church’ background. The new norm within protestantism is shifting towards, restoration / non-denominational / Pentecostalism. This is the background I came from also. When I jumped ship over the summer and started going to a parish, it was all very odd (though has since become increasingly natural). Now in my particular case, I had already dug through Catholic apologetics, was sold, and ready to receive my secret papist decoder ring in the underground crypt at any time. It might have been emotionally new and weird for me at first, but objectively, that didn’t at all stop my conversion. What concerns me is that that’s not how a lot of people come to the faith, at least not at first. It isn’t unusual for a person to wander into a non-denominational church at some point and just attend the worship, or more often, to go with a buddy. There is nothing they would need to learn by doing this; it would all be very manageable. If a person wanders into a parish, that’s a completely different story. I feel like because of this, there are a good number of reverts/converts to Christianity that are being swept into the non-denominational crowd.

How do you think we can counter this problem? Am I wrong? Should we deal with it or see it as inevitable?

Hmm… First of all, let me say that I love your attitude and humor. The “papal minion” tag slays me every time I see it.
On to the heart of the matter…

I am a lifelong Catholic (Roman Rite); and aside from visiting a United Church of Christ congregation several times (at the behest of someone else - NEVER considered leaving our Church); I have never seen or known anything else.

That being said; perhaps a welcome paragraph for those who come from a non-denominational background could be put into the bulletin or on the first page of the missal in the pew. Somewhere conspicuous. Catholicism isn’t really something that you can wander into and pick it up on the first day. It just doesn’t work like that.

You raise a great point, TK421. Perhaps our non-denominational-convert-friends can answer better than I. I think a message should be left/posted for them… but where? This is definitely an evangelization issue. I can imagine Catholicism has to be very intimidating to someone who’s never seen it before. What to do…?

I think it works both ways. We get Protestants coming to our Church that are attracted to the Mass, its spirituality, the reverence of the Eucharist, etc. To some people, a rousing sermon by a pastor, a great band and big screen monitors are not enough for them, they are looking for a little more reverence. I remember years ago when I was exploring Christianity, I read a book called ‘Rome Sweet Home’ by Scott Hahn (who was a Presbyterian minister). Scott Hahn went to a Catholic Mass and sat in the back to check it out, to see what was going on. He was drawn into the Mass, and as he returned in the following Sundays, Scott Hahn had realized that a lot of the language that the Priest used during the Mass was very biblical. And of course as the story goes on, Scott Hahn (drawn in by the Mass) later converted to the Catholic Church.

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