Playing the piano for Protestant services


#1

A friend and I are arguing over whether it is a mortal sin for me to play the piano for a Presbyterian service on Sundays. I am getting paid. I depend on this income for my living. I always fulfill my Sunday obligation by playing for a Mass before I play for the Presbyterians. I am NOT turning my back on the Catholic Church. Far from it. I say I am trying to help bring the people there closer to the Catholic Church. I read the document on ecumenism in Vatican II and it seems as though what I am doing is okay by what is written there. He says Protestants are heretics and I cannot play at their services and I must stop immediately, repent, go to Confession and do satisfaction. Who is correct?


#2

Play on! There is absolutely nothing wrong with making your living this way, since you are loyal to the Catholic Faith and never neglect your Sunday obligation.

In fact, if you don’t hide the fact that you’re Catholic, you may be just the example some Presbyterian needs to see that Catholics don’t have horns and a tail. :smiley:

Tell your friend to lighten up. And if you are still conflicted over this, then by all means ask your priest to reassure you. If I had this kind of question my priest would be my first source.
Grace to you,
Paul


#3

Thank you for your answer, Paul. Actually, I went to 3 priest friends, 3 other priests AND a bishop (plus many friends, Orthodox and liberal). They ALL told me my friend was wrong and they saw no sin in my playing for Protestants. He told me they were heretics and were inviting me to walk with them to hell. Yikes!


#4

They may be heretics but that is no reason not to play the piano at there service. You need the income and you may be a good influence on them. You are allowed to attend a protestant service as long as you do not ignore your sunday obligation to go to mass. I say keep playing.


#5

[quote=pianoplayingmom]He told me they were heretics and were inviting me to walk with them to hell. Yikes!
[/quote]

Pardon the observation, but your “friend” sounds a bit unhinged. Yikes indeed.

Grace to you,
Paul


#6

Your friend needs to read the Catechism - A sure norm for teaching the faith - JPII

scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc.htm

817 In fact, “in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame.” The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ’s Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism - do not occur without human sin:
818 “However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers. . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”

CCC 838 - The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."[322] Those “who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.”[323]

“Outside the Church there is no salvation”

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338



#7

if your friend makes a habit of putting himself in the place of your priest in giving you spiritual guidance on possible conditions of sin then maybe you need new friends


#8

[quote=puzzleannie]if your friend makes a habit of putting himself in the place of your priest in giving you spiritual guidance on possible conditions of sin then maybe you need new friends
[/quote]

You may be right. Thanks.


#9

I tried that, JGC. No go with my friend. Dopey, huh?


#10

I’ve played for Protestant services (Episcopal, Methodist, UCC) for over 30 years. Like you, I make sure to attend Mass, first and foremost. I do not participate in any communion services, I’m not a member of any other groups in the other churches. I simply play or sing, as a PAID PROFESSIONAL. That the venue is a church building instead of Carnegie Hall doesn’t make me either less professional or less Catholic.

Say some extra rosaries for your friend, send him or her some nice holy cards, and let this whole thing go. It is probably time to let the friendship go “on the back burner”. You can always say that you can’t visit, chat, etc., because you’re in the middle of a rosary, or have to go out and get fresh holy water for your font. (Provided you then go right ahead and say that rosary or get the holy water, of course!)


#11

would there be a question of sin if you were a pianter, plumber, or landscaper selling services to another church? No.
It’s no different here.

“Don’t shoot; I’m only the piano player!” comes to mind :wink:


#12

I play guitar for the “worship team” at an evangelical free church. I don’t get paid. I also attend a bible study and weekly theology course through the Church. My wife prefers to attend this church - she has some personal reasons for being disenchanted with the RC Church… I still attend Mass every Sunday and some days during the week. I don’t participate in the “communion sunday” once a month based on the advice of a priest. He was correct to advise me as such.
These experiences have actually deepened my Catholic faith and I am somewhat of a “light” for many of my Evangelical friends who might otherwise think that “faithful Catholic” was an oxymoron.
And I must say, I’m never comfortable judging others. I may know some theology, but that certainly doesn’t add one ounce of holiness to me. I think we are called to “love one another” . Now that doesn’t mean I don’t defend the Catholic faith and even seek opportunities to enlighten people as to what the Catholic Church actually teaches (vs. all the misunderstandings). I even do this with the Pastor of the church who is a faithful Christian living what I would basically call a life commited to Christ. Do we agree theologically? No, not entirely. Does this mean I should shun interaction with the church? I don’t think so.

This much I will say - it’s pretty pathetic that our Catholic Churches need to pay people to play at Mass. The fact that we can’t get a few people to voluntarily share that duty is truly sad.

Phil


#13

I am going to show my ignorance. Personally, I have never heard first hand that the church “paid” for an organist. I think some Evangelicals pay for musicians since that draws a bigger crowd to their church. :slight_smile:


#14

“…the labourer is worthy of his hire.” Luke 10:7

If you want professional quality music, you need to hire a professional. That involves pay, and rightly so.
Paul


#15

Here in Minnesota, we church musicians get paid pretty much across the board in both Catholic and Protestant churches. Not all are paid but most are. It is right/just that we do. For me, I depend on this income greatly for survival.

I think the biggest issue between my friend and me is love versus judging. He thinks he’s doing me a favor by shunning me, declaring I am a heretic and thus excommunicated because I cavort with heretics. (I don’t…I play for pay at their services.) He claims this is divine law (to shun heretics), dating back to St. Paul. I say he’s made himself above the pope because he told me that even if I went to the pope for support (which I believe I’d have, considering how the pope has furthered the ecumenical movement), he’d say the POPE is a heretic. Good grief! And, thanks for all your support, everybody!


#16

[quote=Steve Andersen]would there be a question of sin if you were a pianter, plumber, or landscaper selling services to another church? No.
It’s no different here.

“Don’t shoot; I’m only the piano player!” comes to mind :wink:
[/quote]

You are correct! PLEASE don’t shoot me!


#17

[quote=Tantum ergo]I’ve played for Protestant services (Episcopal, Methodist, UCC) for over 30 years. Like you, I make sure to attend Mass, first and foremost. I do not participate in any communion services, I’m not a member of any other groups in the other churches. I simply play or sing, as a PAID PROFESSIONAL. That the venue is a church building instead of Carnegie Hall doesn’t make me either less professional or less Catholic.

Say some extra rosaries for your friend, send him or her some nice holy cards, and let this whole thing go. It is probably time to let the friendship go “on the back burner”. You can always say that you can’t visit, chat, etc., because you’re in the middle of a rosary, or have to go out and get fresh holy water for your font. (Provided you then go right ahead and say that rosary or get the holy water, of course!)
[/quote]

Thanks…I agree…I HAVE been praying mightily for him.


#18

I forgot to say I play at 2 Catholic churches on the weekend, too, so I fulfill my Sunday obligation. And, I never take communion at the Presbyterian church. Contrary to my friend’s condemnation of me, I really am trying to do the right thing for Our Lord.


#19

[quote=pianoplayingmom]I forgot to say I play at 2 Catholic churches on the weekend, too, so I fulfill my Sunday obligation. And, I never take communion at the Presbyterian church. Contrary to my friend’s condemnation of me, I really am trying to do the right thing for Our Lord.
[/quote]

Its okay as long as you wear earplugs when the sermons are being preached :smiley: Just kidding!! :smiley:


#20

Personally, I won’t go to a non-Catholic church unless it is a wedding or a funeral.

Was taught that way. I must admit I have attended other people’s churches only to become the joke of the minister’s sermon. My point, many bad experiences attending old girlfriend’s churches.
I won’t let my daughter attend Protestant services except for funerals or wedding either. And yes, I am her Father, I have the right to govern my family.


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