Non-Catholics attending Mass


#1

How would you answer a priest who states that (with the exception of children) only Confirmed Catholics should attend Mass? In other words non-Catholics aren't welcome to attend Mass.

To me that is wrong on so many levels. We should welcome all who wish to attend Catholic Mass whatever their faith (or not). I know several Catholic converts who became Catholic because, as non-Catholics, they attended Catholic Mass on and off over a period of years.

Are there any specific teachings or documents that clearly state that all are welcome to attend a Catholic Mass?


#2

Everyone is welcome to attend. The only thing they are barred from is Communion. The Mass would seem a great method for conversion, so why keep non-Catholics away from it?


#3

No the church welcomes all people to mass.............however , only catholics in good standing are able to recieve holy communion .


#4

[quote="Brendan_64, post:1, topic:319003"]
How would you answer a priest who states that (with the exception of children) only Confirmed Catholics should attend Mass? In other words non-Catholics aren't welcome to attend Mass.

To me that is wrong on so many levels. We should welcome all who wish to attend Catholic Mass whatever their faith (or not). I know several Catholic converts who became Catholic because, as non-Catholics, they attended Catholic Mass on and off over a period of years.

Are there any specific teachings or documents that clearly state that all are welcome to attend a Catholic Mass?

[/quote]

Doesn't the inside cover of the missalette offer a welcome to all with an explanation why non Catholics should not receive Communion? Could you may have misunderstood and that's what he may have been referring to....Communion?


#5

[quote="johnnyc176, post:4, topic:319003"]
Doesn't the inside cover of the missalette offer a welcome to all with an explanation why non Catholics should receive Communion? Could you may have misunderstood and that's what he may have been referring to....Communion?

[/quote]

That's what I was thinking as well. Except the OP said the priest said "Confirmed Catholics" should only attend mass. One doesn't have to be confirmed to receive the Eucharist.


#6

[quote="Brendan_64, post:1, topic:319003"]
How would you answer a priest who states that (with the exception of children) only Confirmed Catholics should attend Mass? In other words non-Catholics aren't welcome to attend Mass.

To me that is wrong on so many levels. We should welcome all who wish to attend Catholic Mass whatever their faith (or not). I know several Catholic converts who became Catholic because, as non-Catholics, they attended Catholic Mass on and off over a period of years.

Are there any specific teachings or documents that clearly state that all are welcome to attend a Catholic Mass?

[/quote]

Sound like you might have misquoted or misheard the priest. I am sure he meant communion not attendance.


#7

[quote="Brendan_64, post:1, topic:319003"]
How would you answer a priest who states that (with the exception of children) only Confirmed Catholics should attend Mass? In other words non-Catholics aren't welcome to attend Mass.
To me that is wrong on so many levels. We should welcome all who wish to attend Catholic Mass whatever their faith (or not). I know several Catholic converts who became Catholic because, as non-Catholics, they attended Catholic Mass on and off over a period of years.
Are there any specific teachings or documents that clearly state that all are welcome to attend a Catholic Mass?

[/quote]

I would pull him aside, alone, and tell him he is wrong. As you said, on soooo many levels.


#8

[quote="johnnyc176, post:4, topic:319003"]
Doesn't the inside cover of the missalette offer a welcome to all with an explanation why non Catholics should receive Communion? Could you may have misunderstood and that's what he may have been referring to....Communion?

[/quote]

It is possible that I misunderstood, but I don't think so.


#9

Catechumens/the Elect are typically dismissed before the Creed. They do not join the assembly for the Liturgy of the Eucharist until after initiation at the Easter Vigil.

Perhaps your priest was talking about catechumens and you misunderstood.


#10

[quote="DaddyGirl, post:7, topic:319003"]
I would pull him aside, alone, and tell him he is wrong. As you said, on soooo many levels.

[/quote]

I would suggest speaking with him, yes. But ASK if you heard correctly, first; if so, tell him you don't understand and ask if he would explain.


#11

[quote="1ke, post:9, topic:319003"]
Catechumens/the Elect are typically dismissed before the Creed. They do not join the assembly for the Liturgy of the Eucharist until after initiation at the Easter Vigil.

Perhaps your priest was talking about catechumens and you misunderstood.

[/quote]

From my own personal experience, (currently in RCIA right now) we are only dismissed after the homily during Scrutinies, which have been the last 3 Sundays. Today was the last of the three. All of the other Masses prior to these Scrutinies, we've been welcome for the entirety of the Mass, but no Communion (of course).

For me, personally, watching other Catholics during Mass, most especially during the Eucharist, moved me into going into RCIA and wanting to become a Catholic. I can't see a priest barring people from sitting through the entire Mass, as long as they're not taking Communion.


#12

[quote="Sebrina, post:11, topic:319003"]
From my own personal experience, (currently in RCIA right now) we are only dismissed after the homily during Scrutinies, which have been the last 3 Sundays. Today was the last of the three. All of the other Masses prior to these Scrutinies, we've been welcome for the entirety of the Mass, but no Communion (of course).

[/quote]

The Rites call for dismissal and breaking open the word and not just during the Scrutinies.

[quote="Sebrina, post:11, topic:319003"]
For me, personally, watching other Catholics during Mass, most especially during the Eucharist, moved me into going into RCIA and wanting to become a Catholic. I can't see a priest barring people from sitting through the entire Mass, as long as they're not taking Communion.

[/quote]

You were not a Catechumen then. You were an inquirer.

No one has suggested that anyone be "barred" from Mass nor that any priest was barring anyone.


#13

Does this apply to candidates too, or merely catechumens?


#14

I hope the priest was misinterpreted. The Mass is for everyone. The only part that is Catholic-only is Communion, but even then you do not have to be confirmed to receive. You need only have gone through your 1st Communion.


#15

[quote="Brendan_64, post:1, topic:319003"]
How would you answer a priest who states that (with the exception of children) only Confirmed Catholics should attend Mass? In other words non-Catholics aren't welcome to attend Mass.

To me that is wrong on so many levels. We should welcome all who wish to attend Catholic Mass whatever their faith (or not). I know several Catholic converts who became Catholic because, as non-Catholics, they attended Catholic Mass on and off over a period of years.

Are there any specific teachings or documents that clearly state that all are welcome to attend a Catholic Mass?

[/quote]

There is a misunderstanding somewhere here, for instance how is a catholic child supposed to go to Mass, make there first confession, and first holy communion which the church stipulates they must do they if they are not allowed to go to mass before confirmation? Let alone catechumens, inquirers etc.

There are crossed wires somewhere here, best to see if the priest will clarify his position before you go further(I'm not necessarily saying you heard him wrong, I'm saying best to check what he meant)


#16

[quote="Jennet, post:13, topic:319003"]
Does this apply to candidates too, or merely catechumens?

[/quote]

Yes candidates and catechumens as a group typically leave the Mass after the readings during the three weeks of scrutany. Our parish, does this all throughout the RCIA process. As I understand it, it mimics an early Christian tradition - we call "breaking open the word"; in which candidates and catechumens will study further in the Gospel meaning/reflection.

The only exception, would be a rare case in which a candidate has received baptism and holy communion in the Catholic church in communion with Rome- but seeks the third sacrament of initiation -confirmation. Even though RCIA is not technically for this person - it seems to be an accepted forum for receiving the sacrament. In this case, a person may want to stay at Mass and receive - or attend a separate Mass that weekend and then go along with the RCIA group during the scrutany.


#17

I am a cradle Catholic; however due to family moves I was not confirmed as a teen (jr high or whatever age is usual). I eventually got confirmed as a young adult just after college.

I seriously hope this priest does not think that I should not have been attending Mass all those years between being "child" and getting confirmed!

Please ask him to explain what he meant. I am willing to bet that he misspoke and was thinking of Catechumens or some other specific case and not generally all non-Catholics or non-confirmed adults.


#18

[quote="Jennet, post:13, topic:319003"]
Does this apply to candidates too, or merely catechumens?

[/quote]

It's meant only for the catechumens. Sadly, the reality is that in most parishes there aren't enough people to run three separate programs (catechumenate, candidates seeking full communion & Catholic candidates seeking Confirmation and perhaps First Communion) so everyone gets lumped in together.


#19

[quote="Brendan_64, post:8, topic:319003"]
It is possible that I misunderstood, but I don't think so.

[/quote]

Then approach the Priest for clarification on what he meant and towards whom. As someone pointed out in, the Bishops do state that they welcome those of other faiths to Mass to come and join in prayer but not partake of Communion. Don't accuse him that he is wrong, ask him for clarification on what was said.


#20

[quote="Jennet, post:13, topic:319003"]
Does this apply to candidates too, or merely catechumens?

[/quote]

Catechumens.

Candidates are not to be dismissed. They have already been initiated (baptized).

NOTE: Some RCIA programs include candidates in the dismissal but it is NOT called for in the Rites.


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