A non-Christian playing guitar for a Catholic choir, for Mass?
My daughter is in Children’s Choir (my ex-wife is Catholic, and my daughter is being raised Catholic). I’m UU, and decidedly non-Christian (considering joining a druid’s circle), but I’d like to volunteer to play guitar for the choir as means to have shared activity with my daughter.
Well, since you asked…I have several thoughts:
there’s no sign on the door that says “Catholics only within”
no one’s going to ask you what religion you are
maybe being at Mass will bring you to Christianity, which would be a good thing, IMHO.
My former parish had a musical director who was a paid employee of the parish and who was a Protestant Christian. He often if not always played the piano while the choir sang. So I don’t think it’s all that unusual, although perhaps it varies from parish to parish.
What you say is true, but it doesn’t appear to be relevant to the OP’s question.
There is a big difference between having Protestants as musicians at the Mass and having people whio self-identify as non-Christian as musicians at Mass.
Mass is shared time with God. It seems likely that having a non-Christian father present at the primary time that is supposed to be for worshipping God will make it harder for the child to concentrate on God and develop a relationship with Him. It will probably make the child have to deal with difficult questions before she is ready to do so.
At the risk of sounding uncharitable, I think the OP should have his family time somewhere else. My answer would be completely different if the father were a Protestant Christian, but he says he is not.
A non-Catholic may not be a lector or an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. I don’t believe there are restrictions on music ministers. We have an organist who is Protestant at one of our churches and an unaffiliated individual as an organist at another. Before her health broke down, we had a Mormon in our choir. In Catholic worship, Word and Sacrament constitute the Liturgy. The music is to support the worship of the congregation not exist AS the worship. At many Pentecostal and Evangelical churches, the music leader is called the Worship Leader. The singing IS the worship. I can see where it would be more of a problem for them to have a non-Christian lead worship. That being said, we once had to ask our folk group leader to step down because she was carrying on a VERY public affair and had three children as a result of it. Her paramour would sit in the front pew and they would “make eyes” at each other during the Liturgy. Her more than heroic husband claimed the children as his own and raised them even though he knew what was going on.
Why would you want to contribute to the worship of a God you do not believe in? Mass is not an “activity” like dance class for you and your daughter to share. It is the Worship and Adoration of the Deity of Christians. :shrug: I am just wondering why the desire to do this?
I’d suggest you go for it We had a protestant music director for a while, although that’s not quite the same thing.
The main thing would be that you simply do what is required as a musician, and not cause tension in the spiritual arena.
And you never know - something may rub off in the process.
I’m curious though as to what is going to happen when you and your daughter starting discussing religious matters. I still remember some time ago where a survey was carried on the effects of parents on their children’s beliefs.
If both parents were practising Christians, there was an 85% chance their kids would remain or become Christian. If Dad only, 55%. If Mum only, 15%. If neither, 5%.
So the “Dad” influence is important in the religious and moral sense. Your daughter’s eternity may well by determined by what both what you say, and what you do. You’ll be held to account for it too.
Just because I do not share the beliefs of the religion, doesn’t mean I wish those who practice it harm.
Weird. I never even suggested that you wished people harm. Why would you jump to that? My point is why would you partake in the worship of a God you do not believe in? Why play the notes and sing the words that are lies to your ears? Why encounter people in their most intimate moment with their Creator if you think that moment is a sham and a lie?
Something about the way you responded to that kind of sent red flags up for me…
For the same reason that atheists and others enjoy “Christian” holidays such as Christmas, Easter, All Saint’s Day… We like it, it gives us a time to celebrate with friends and family.
Gifts? Candy? Egg Hunts? A giant ham in the middle of a table? There is none of that at Mass.
By the way, what non Christians celebrate All Saints Day?
Mass is not a “family” event, like watching your daughter’s soccer match. You can defiantly have some nice father daughter time with her at the local ice cream parlor. Mass is not social, it is not a time to “jam” with a loved one. It is the greatest sacrifice a Catholic believes in, and it is God Himself becoming flesh and heaven meeting earth. Literally.
I am truly torn by your question. One one hand we believe that there are graces one receives just by attending Mass. And our beautiful liturgy has converted millions. So part of me thinks wow, this cannot be bad, because you may just be exposed enough to plant a seed. And that should be a very important thing. But something just catches me wrong here, your motives have to have some bearing on the decision. And lying in your words and music seems wrong. It also seems wrong to “use” the Mass as a social event for you and your daughter that somehow is a priority because of a marital decision you made.:shrug:
I honestly don’t know what to tell you or even what is the right answer.:shrug: Really I don’t. But I do ask ( and you do seem somewhat respectful) that you refrain from the Eucharist. I cannot quite call what you are suggesting as sacrilege (though it could be) But receiving the Host would be. Sometimes this can be a awkward message to get across while still being charitable and welcoming. But it is something that you should follow and be aware of.
As an aside I wish to express my hope that you will continue to think of your daughter (which I think is your biggest motive in wanting to do this.) And I wish you the best!