Proper conduct for non-Catholic at Mass


#1

I am a non-baptized Protestant, now dating a Catholic (long-distance) and I have been thinking seriously of converting. I have attended mass regularly over the last several months and I feel very drawn to the Catholic church.

I will be attending mass with my boyfriend’s family this month, and I am worried about behaving respectfully. When I attend mass on my own, I cross myself at the specified times and participate in mass, except that I do not go up to receive the Eucharist.

Is this proper? I attended the RCIA orientation meeting (although I am not currently pursuing the classes) and the priest indicated that we could all cross ourselves during prayer. I am worried that perhaps I shouldn’t cross myself at mass if I’m not baptized. Do devout, traditional Catholics get offended if a non-Catholic/non-baptized Christian crosses herself?


#2

I'm in rcia right now and our priest told us it was fine to bless ourselves with the sign of the cross, use holy water appropriately, and genuflect(sp).
Cheers,
Drew


#3

[quote="blondestrudel, post:1, topic:347516"]
I am a non-baptized Protestant, now dating a Catholic (long-distance) and I have been thinking seriously of converting. I have attended mass regularly over the last several months and I feel very drawn to the Catholic church.

I will be attending mass with my boyfriend's family this month, and I am worried about behaving respectfully. When I attend mass on my own, I cross myself at the specified times and participate in mass, except that I do not go up to receive the Eucharist.

Is this proper? I attended the RCIA orientation meeting (although I am not currently pursuing the classes) and the priest indicated that we could all cross ourselves during prayer. I am worried that perhaps I shouldn't cross myself at mass if I'm not baptized. Do devout, traditional Catholics get offended if a non-Catholic/non-baptized Christian crosses herself?

[/quote]

I seriously doubt that someone would offended by this, and if they did, it would be them at fault, not you. They probably wouldn't even know you are not Catholic, unless they know you, or you or someone else tells them. Even if they did know, there would be no reason for anyone to be offended. In fact, I would be pleased (and am) to know that a non-Catholic person was attending mass and participating, and was seriously considering becoming Catholic. You are very welcome to attend and participate in any Catholic mass, the only thing being that you are not allowed to receive holy Communion until when and if you convert to Catholicism, which you seem to already know anyway.
If you are worried and nervous, you could discuss this with your boyfriend.


#4

Do make the Sign of the Cross. It's an ancient and beautiful sacramental sign that honors the Blessed Trinity and brings blessings to you.


#5

Hmm,

Certainly no one would be offended by you crossing yourself during mass at the appropriate times.

Isn’t crossing oneself with holy water, however, a sign and remembrance of our Baptism? That - you may want to hold off on doing until you are actually baptized. Just my :twocents:.


#6

I agree with LoveGod's post, blondestrudel.

I doubt that anyone is even noticing what you are doing, and I mean that in a way that is meant to put you at ease. :)


#7

You're doing just fine! Having made the journey myself, I know that the questions will come from well-intentioned Non-Catholics. Explore the answers to their questions and if you can't find it, don't be afraid to ask, either here or the local priest.

Here's praying that you join the Tiber Swim Team!

John


#8

[quote="blondestrudel, post:1, topic:347516"]
I am a non-baptized Protestant, now dating a Catholic (long-distance) and I have been thinking seriously of converting. I have attended mass regularly over the last several months and I feel very drawn to the Catholic church.

I will be attending mass with my boyfriend's family this month, and I am worried about behaving respectfully. When I attend mass on my own, I cross myself at the specified times and participate in mass, except that I do not go up to receive the Eucharist.

Is this proper? I attended the RCIA orientation meeting (although I am not currently pursuing the classes) and the priest indicated that we could all cross ourselves during prayer. I am worried that perhaps I shouldn't cross myself at mass if I'm not baptized. Do devout, traditional Catholics get offended if a non-Catholic/non-baptized Christian crosses herself?

[/quote]

Sounds like you are doing things right. You are doing what you can, and you are not doing what you cannot. :thumbsup:

DGB


#9

[quote="blondestrudel, post:1, topic:347516"]
I am a non-baptized Protestant, now dating a Catholic (long-distance) and I have been thinking seriously of converting. I have attended mass regularly over the last several months and I feel very drawn to the Catholic church.

I will be attending mass with my boyfriend's family this month, and I am worried about behaving respectfully. When I attend mass on my own, I cross myself at the specified times and participate in mass, except that I do not go up to receive the Eucharist.

Is this proper? I attended the RCIA orientation meeting (although I am not currently pursuing the classes) and the priest indicated that we could all cross ourselves during prayer. I am worried that perhaps I shouldn't cross myself at mass if I'm not baptized. Do devout, traditional Catholics get offended if a non-Catholic/non-baptized Christian crosses herself?

[/quote]

The only thing you may not do is receive Communion. You may participate in everything else during the Mass.


#10

[quote="Mary_Ellen, post:5, topic:347516"]
Isn't crossing oneself with holy water, however, a sign and remembrance of our Baptism? That - you may want to hold off on doing until you are actually baptized. Just my :twocents:.

[/quote]

Yes, it's a reminder of our baptism. But as I've often told our RCIA folks, it can also be a sign of anticipation of baptism.

I think the OP is doing just fine!


#11

In the Catholic church where I am an altar server, people are encouraged to come forward in the communion line. If they do not receive the Eucharist, they receive a blessing.


#12

Just remember to stop The Lord's Prayer at "Deliver us from evil". :D

The "For Thine is the Kingdom..." part comes after the priest says a bit.


#13

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