My son is going with an Episcopalian friend on a snowboarding outing / overnighter with his friend’s Youth Group. They will snowboard on Saturday, spend the night as a group at a nearby hotel with a swimming pool and hot tub, then go to Sunday morning services. I’m a bit torn about allowing him to do this. First of all, it would be closer for me to pick him up at the hotel BEFORE they go to Sunday morning services, but I don’t want to offend the friend’s family (also my friends!). If I DO let him go, I think it’s not okay in the eyes of the Catholic Church for him to receive communion. Is that true? What do you think about him even going to their service? He will still go to Mass at our church Sunday evening.
Your son has no business worshipping at a non-Catholic Sunday service—let alone receiving their eucharist there. Your son needs to know that this is not acceptable for Catholics. I’m more concerned with what you are communicating to your son than what you are communicating to your friends. Pick him up at the hotel. Tell your friends the truth! Tell that Catholics can’t do this and that you will explain later. This is an opportunity to give witness about your Catholic Faith—your most precious possession! Have courage. The Lord is giving you an opportunity. You are in my prayers.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.