One of the advantages of being Catholic, logistically, is that anywhere I ever go on Earth, the Mass service is always the same, with the only possible variables being the language and the songs. My question for non-Catholics, since I believe that the churches would vary widely on the service order, etc… is how do you handle it when you travel, or when you would have to go to another church for some other reason. In most details, you might not know what to expect. I mean no disrespect, and apologize in advance if any is taken.
I belong to the LCMS. There is a church locator on the LCMS website and you can usually find a parish in a city. The service may not be 100% the same, but we use the same lectionary (we use the same as the RCC, acutally) so we’ll hear the same Scripture no matter where we go.
As a non-Catholic who attends only the Catholic Mass, I just do what a Catholic would do. Sorry to interrupt.
LDS here, we have that, and you’re correct, it is a blessing. Wherever I go, I’m hope on Sunday, yes? Even if the service is in a different language.
I think we also sing out of the same hymnbook too.
We just didn’t go to church. Many Protestants do not have the same urgency to go to service, partly because most Protestants do not attach sin to missing church. When you don’t believe in the Real Presence, there’s also less urgency to get to service.
I’m only speaking to my experience in churches. It’s hard to pin down too much across all of Protestantism. Since I’m in RCIA now, my feelings have changed, of course
I go to Mass when I’m travelling abroad
If I’m with my husband (we’re both Reformed pastors, I’m on my way to Rome and he isn’t) I typically go to an early morning Mass, and then accompany him to an Anglican service, which generally is the closest to our own liturgy.
My experience was the same growing up Baptist. We just didn’t go when we were out of town. Without the Eucharist, missing a service wasn’t a big deal.
Also, I went to a few different churches over the years and while there were differences and I felt more comfortable in some than others, it wasn’t so different that I didn’t feel like I could follow along. Similar to how I was able to transition to attending Mass fairly easily while I still had no plans to convert.
I actually enjoy going to different churches because it can add a new perspective to the worship experience, which can potentially be a good thing, provided it is the same Lord and Savior whom is the focus of our worship and the Gospel is still preached in a way that honors God and His Word. In other words, it can’t be a pro-abortion, pro-Gay marriage, super liberal political church but needs to be a church where traditional values are honored and where Jesus is Lord.
Sometimes I see God at work in different ways in different congregations other than my own, and even in other Christian denominations. The fact that the pastor at the other church may have a different sermon that what my pastor is preaching at my home church that week is not a big deal for me. Sometimes the sermon at the church where I am visiting turns out to be something I needed to hear.
Plus, I can always watch the worship service at my home church that I missed on the Internet at my convenience. One time, I was on the road on a Sunday and listened online to my church’s worship service until I reached Podunk, America, where the signal dropped.
When I take my annual trip to visit most of my relatives about 1,000 miles away, I usually attend their church, which is a different denomination altogether. If I lived in their city all the time, I’m not sure where I would attend, to be honest, because my denomination tends to be much more liberal in their region of the country than where I live.
I used to post Facebook posts on my church’s group page asking if anyone had any recommendations for a good church in the area I’m travelling to.
When I was a kid, we would either pick a random church to drop in on and visit - or more often, we would just have our own Bible study in the RV or something. As mentioned above, no sacraments = no need to be in a particular place or with certain people. Ironically, if you were at home on the “normal routine”, it was considered a major taboo to miss services, and some considered it sinful.
You have to remember that the Protestant/Evangelical definition of the word church is “gathering”. Specifically, the gathering together of Christians or “God’s People”. See Col 4:15 as an example.
I say that to say that most American Evangelical Christians aren’t hung up on denominations as you would think. I’ve been to many “church on the beach” services and “church on the lake” services when away from my local church and I honestly can’t tell you which denomination is having the service. It is usually a guy with a guitar leading a few well known songs (no need for printed words to the song), a time of prayer, and a short sermon by a local pastor/missionary.
Sometimes we gather as a family after breakfast on Sunday morning and sing a few songs, read some scripture, and have a family member (usually one of the dad’s) say a few words of encouragement. Occasionally we will even take the Lord’s Supper together as a family.
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