Ok to play organ for a Protestant service?


#1

Ok, here’s a question. As an organist and pianist, I often get called to sub at Protestant services when their organist is sick or on vacation.

Is it a sin for me to play for those services? I attend Mass daily usually, so my Mass obligation is not a question. Also, I attend Mass on Saturday nights too.

Just wanted to be sure. Anyone?

Thanks!


#2

I think it would be best to ask your priest that question. You are going to get a variety of answers from the people here.


#3

some may view this as a way to evangelize without even saying a word because many of
those folks know where you come from.


#4

I would say yes. It shows an ecumenical spirit if nothing else IMO.


#5

Speak to your pastor or spiritual advisor. Or you can call the Catholic Answers main number and ask to speak with Father Serpa at 619-387-7200.

I think it really depends on the protestant community and the strength of your Faith. Are they going to know that you are Catholic and try to convert you? What will you have to say/do if people start asking you things after service? Will you be pressured into becoming part of the community and join in fellowship after service? I think there are tons of individual things that make this question complicated.

May The Lord grant you the wisdom to make the correct choice. Amen.


#6

Do you think it would be a sin for a Catholic accountant to help them with their books? Or a Catholic landscaper to do a job for them? Or a Catholic electrician to rewire a room for them? You are being hired to perform a service, nothing more. Would anyone think it wrong if a protestant played Catholic hymns at Mass?


#7

This^^^
You must be very good, and pleasant to work with. All the protestant churches that ever wanted to hire me even for a weekend, insisted that I eventually join their church. I always ended up declining. Many churches here will not even offer a one time gig to a Catholic. As a Catholic, the parishes have always known that they never paid me the going rate, so they were generally happy that I could make some money to support my family by taking these extra jobs.
I see nothing wrong with it. It all goes to the glory of God.


#8

First of all, I agree with others who say to talk to a priest, its a very questionable thing, IMO

I do not think it playing the organ and being an accountant for a protestant church is quite the same thing. It seems a possibility to me (although I am no expert), that playing an organ would be formal cooperation, while being an accountant for them is a material cooperation.
Or, put another way, I can see how providing services to a protestant church is ok, but that is quite a step from direct participation in their liturgy/worship services.


#9

But under current canon law, there is nothing whatever wrong with such direct participation, short of Eucharistic intercommunion.

I have trouble with the ban on Eucharistic intercommunion. Along with the Catholic Church’s position on women’s ordination (the two are connected for me in both intellectual and personal ways, since my wife is in the ordination process in the Episcopal Church), it’s an obstacle to my conversion.

But of course I acknowledge that current canon law includes such a ban. It includes no such ban on other forms of participation in Protestant worship, which are indeed encouraged in the Vatican’s Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, a document which I notice the Catholics on this form pretty uniformly ignore when this subject comes up.

I will acknowledge, on the other hand, that Cardinal Arinze (then Prefect for the Congregation on Divine Worship) said in a question-and-answer session that regular participation in Protestant worship as an organist was “inadvisable.” That’s the strongest support for your position I know of.

Edwin


#10

She didn’t ask about regular participation, though FWIW. The occasional “sub” and I presume the occasional funeral service.
Sometimes people just don’t know other musicians, and sometimes people just want YOU because they know you and your abilities. I don’t think she’s looking fro a permanent gig.


#11

She didn’t ask about regular participation, though FWIW. The occasional “sub” and I presume the occasional funeral service.
Sometimes people just don’t know other musicians, and sometimes people just want YOU because they know you and your abilities. I don’t think she’s looking for a permanent gig.


#12

Thanks for the helpful replies, everyone.

I just got off the phone with my priest, and h said that as long as it does not interfere with my Mass obligation, there is no problem at all because I am providing them a service as opposed to joining them in full worship with what they teach and believe.

So, looks like I can continue subbing in good conscience. :slight_smile:


#13

What position of mine? You did not read my post very well. With respect to the OP question, I said ask a priest. The main part of my post was a response to the implication that playing the organ at a protestant service was equivalent to being their accountant. And even that I tred to be careful in my wording (e.g. “it seems possible to me”).

As to the ban on inter-communion, I really do not see how that can be difficult for you. You cannot deny that the Eucharist has always been the primary sign of Christian unity, heck that’s why its also called “communion” . Inter-communion would simply be a lie, it would be an act of unity where such unity does not exist. And the Catholic Church is certainly not alone on this point, the Eastern Orthodox have the same restrictions. The Orthodox and Catholics both acknowledge each others sacraments as valid, and still we are not to receive communion in each other’s churches barring an emergency. Why? because we both understand the lack of communion between us.


#14

The priest took pretty much the same position, saying that I’m simply providing them a service for a fee.

*edited to fix auto correct that changed the word “service” to “vice!”


#15

=AnnoDomini1959;12379012]Ok, here’s a question. As an organist and pianist, I often get called to sub at Protestant services when their organist is sick or on vacation.

Is it a sin for me to play for those services? I attend Mass daily usually, so my Mass obligation is not a question. Also, I attend Mass on Saturday nights too.

Just wanted to be sure. Anyone?

Thanks!

It IS a sin; and could even under certain conditions become a Mortal sin.

Here’s why.

IF they know you are a Catholic, you are [by intent or not] giving scandal to the Catholic faith and church, as it can be easily interpreted as approval of their beliefs and practices.

I suggest you Do discuss this with a knowledgeable Catholic Priest. :thumbsup:


#16

And, you may get a chance to do some evangelizing while you are at it.


#17

Wow! I don’t usually get that kind of support! Thanks!


#18

Newsflash: The poster has already said that he discussed it with his priest who said it isn’t a problem. Therefore, your conclusion that it is a sin is wrong and your determination that he is giving “scandal” is wrong.


#19

Thank you.


#20

I would be hesitant to do so. Music is not a mere service, at least not how we Catholics understand it, and I believe Protestants would agree. Music is one of the highest forms of worship that we can offer to God. The greatness of the liturgy is to be found in its sung expression, after all. But providing musical services at a Protestant service, then I would say that you’re directly participating in Protestant worship.

Of course that does not mean that it’s necessarily a sin. We can, at times and under certain circumstances, participate in non-Catholic worship (as long as we refrain from communicating at Protestant “Eucharists”). You will have to ask yourself if your playing will cause any problems with yourself and those around you.

In Jesus and Mary,
OS.


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