Is it permissible to accompany my friend to an Episcopal service weekly?

I am a Catholic, have been my whole life, and will be my whole life. My best friend is an Episcopalian, and in her sunday school she learned that they are “basically Catholic.” Often she invites me to attend her service, and I explain how if I do I must go to a Catholic Mass as well…she cannot understand why though. I attend the TLM and have invited her to come witness the sacrifice of the mass. She had the idea that every Sunday we can go to her service, then go to mass, and then go out for lunch, and I am happy with the idea. This is unless, of course, it is contrary to the Church. I know we are not supposed to participate in a different religious service (which I don’t, I would simply observe) but would the steady attendance to one be forbade? I am also hoping that her seeing the TLM every week will show her the beauty of Catholicism and perhaps (god willing) spark a conversion. Also, does the TLM and its spirituality allow for a non Catholic to often attend (and not participate)? Your thoughts are appreciated. Thank you

You could certainly attend her service. And attending the TLM, she may well realize that the Episcopal Church is not “basically Catholic.”

A couple of my Episcopal friends also insist that they are ‘basically catholic’. Sadly, we know they are not, but must be kind, hoping that they will one day find being ‘basically’ Catholic insufficient.

I think that they tell themselves that because they see the fullness of our Catholic Church, but, due to the pressures of social appropriateness that exist in their communion, are willing to settle for less.

Personally, I would not go to a protestant service every week, especially under the circumstances you describe. Sound like your friend may be engaging in some relationship evangelism.

I really don’t know. I know a woman at my parish who attended baptist services with her husband and then went to Mass every Sunday, though she’s divorced now. I suppose there’s a chance if you did it long enough she would eventually see the light and convert but conversely I’d be worried about them trying to proselytize you and it would probably come to a point where they force you you to to pick one or the other. It could even perhaps be considered a near occasion of sin but I don’t know; it’s not something I would do anyways. I’m surprised she can not understand why you need to go to Mass. How about the fact the the Episcopal Church is a break off of the Church of England whose existence is thanks only to Henry VIII’s wanting to divorce and remarry? As nasty as a conversation it would be to bring this up, it is historical fact and I’m surprised she is not aware of it. The Catholic Church is the one true Church; the Church founded by Jesus Christ which is something the COE does not dispute. As you’re a Catholic she must realize that our view of their “Mass” is that its validity is null and void and that their Eucharist is nothing more than bread. There’s no other explanation for why you still need to go to Mass.

I would advise talking with the Pastor of your local Parish.
Many of the Episcopal Churches are trying to re-align with the RC church, some going so far as to research and find Bishops that might still have valid apostolic succession and some are in dialog with the RC on how to maintain their services and yet become licit with the RC.

Please keep in mind, you should not receive communion in a non-aligned Episcopal Church nor should your friend receive should they not be in an aligned Episcopal Church… gets a bit sticky here; hence why I advise seeking the help of your Pastor.

peace be with you.

None of them have valid apostolic succession, at least from a Catholic perspective. Ever hear of Apostolicae Curae?

Catholic Answers professional apologists would oppose weekly attendance:

Can I go to a Protestant service if it is the only way to bring someone to Mass?
Is it a sin to worship in other Christian churches?
Should I attend my wife’s Evangelical church?

Yes indeed, and it’s something that pops up on the radio show quite often and the suggestion is always, not to go.

I figured advising OP to talk with the parish pastor first would be the kinder way of saying… you really shouldn’t be doing that. :slight_smile:

I would say from time to time is acceptable but not weekly.

Probably the only time it would be permissible is if say your in a mixed denominational marriage like I am and other people are where perhaps you go to your spouses church with them and then the two of you go to Mass.

A lot of couples do that and some times the non Catholic spouse does eventually convert.

In my case my Wife is Nazarene that’s basically a very watered down Anglican
1)Catholic Church
2)Church of England Or Anglican Church
3)John Wesleyan a Anglican Priest starts Holiness Movement
4)Holiness Movement Unintentionally by John Wesleyan becomes the Methodist Church
5)Out of the Methodist Church forms the Pentecostal Church which believe you have to speaks in tongues to truly be a Christian and be Saved.
6) Out of the Pentecostal Church comes Christ Church and Church of the Nazarene.
Church of the Nazarene believes in the Salvation Doctrines of John Welseyan and in the holiness movement but omits the Pentecostal belief in requiring the gifts of Tongues to be saved. The Nazarene Church has the Anglican Theology or at least a watered down version of it omitting Intercession of Saint’s, Canon of Saints, Marian Veneration and even the Catholic tradition of Confession some High Churches still have retained.
Church of the Nazarene is Methodist in Theology but Pentecostal in Charismatic Worship as it omits the Liturgy deriving from the Catholic Church and Anglican Church and the Methodist Church.

She has some issues with Religion and Denominations as do a lot of people now in days which is why there is such a rise in Non Denominational Churches even though Theologically they are Baptist or Pentecostal.

So we don’t go to her Church she grew up and very seldom Mass.
I take my eldest Children to Mass with me.

Learn what you can about the Anglican Church the common ground and share that with your episcopal friend and also share the things they have omitted that they may find interest in.

Perhaps invite your friend to Eucharistic Adoration or some of the special Masses.

I would talk to your Catholic priest about this. If he is FSSP, I’m guessing he would advise you NOT to attend. However, if you do go, do not try to recieve communion from them. That is forbidden and always has been.

When I was episcopalian I also described our church as basically Catholic, however I always knew the episcopal church did not have the fullness of the Catholic faith. They both celebrate similar liturgies, but once one becomes a Catholic, one sees the benefit of having the Pope,
the Real Presence, and the beautiful Mass!

If a friend invites me I will say : I worship where ever the name of Jesus ( of the Bible ) is lifted up - Does your church do that ? . We are only told not to worship false gods in the Bible. Not to worship the Golden Calf remember that ? Going to a friends church where they sing different songs or have a different " format " shouldn’t hinder your relationship with Jesus. Whenever possible worshipping in your home church should be the priority , they are your family :slight_smile:

I would also advise you to talk to the priest at the Episcopal church. Let him know what you’re planning, so he knows you won’t convert and so he doesn’t wonder why you won’t receive communion.

IMHO, regularly attending a church that you believe to be deficient (as you believe the Episcopal Church to be), would not be a good move. You’ll be looking for fault in their liturgy instead of listening and praying with a sincere heart. When your friend is receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord, you’ll be telling yourself she’s worshipping a piece of bread. I think there’s a danger of becoming cynical and letting that spill over into your thoughts while you’re at the Catholic Mass.

I was raised in the Episcopal church and as a little girl it was everything to me along with my Book of Common Prayer.
However, as a teenager I realized the Catholic church is the Church started by Jesus Christ. For many years I stayed away from church altogether and returned and tried to be episcopalian again. I loved the anglican way, but I realized this was not the same church I knew as a child. It didn’t seem very Catholic anymore. So I converted to Catholicism. I know if I were to attend an episcopal service with a friend now I would be uncomfortable and would not want to do it on a weekly basis.

i’ve been to anglican worship’

wonderful music, a great homily, very inspiring prayers, but it was not mass

No. Not like we know Mass. :heaven:

Where did you get Jesus started the Catholic Church ? Jesus wasn’t concerned of any man made organization of such. The commission was to spread the gospel message only. Eventually men started with their own agenda , profit making organizations in the name of religion. People will follow charismatic people to the end ( Jim Jones ) thinking somehow God is involved.

I believe it is Matthew 16:18.

When I read the answers to questions like these I am always amazed at some of the answers that come. What if…what if this friend just wants to share a meaningful Sunday experience with her best friend? It seems to me, if you’re going to have an intelligent conversation about faith, you need to know what you’re talking about. If the OP is solid in her faith, what does she have to worry about?

It also comes off as a bit rude to turn one’s nose up at a heartfelt invitation to someone’s place of worship-- because it is an intimate thing to share. You’re opening yourself and your beliefs up to someone else to experience and critique. Saying “i cant go to your church because it’s not the REAL church” is condescending and will drive the friend away from both the friendship— and the Catholic (or whichever) faith.

Seems to me that this sort of arrangement between friends with no other agenda than spending time together and creating meaningful and faithfilled conversation sounds like a lovely idea. I get a little weary of this “pick a side/ your not on my team” way of thinking.

The issue the original poster put forth was a invitation to attend the Prot service every Sunday.

Having intelligent conversation about faith does not require immersion in a non-Catholic faith.

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