Protestants attending Catholic Mass

My Mother in Law is protestant and attends Mass with our family when visiting. During the consecration of Eucharist she will not kneel. It’s distracting to me. Although I understand she does not recognize Our Lord, I am a little embarrassed that a member of my family will not kneel before the Blessed Sacrament. I often pray that the Lord soften her to his will.
Should I be concerned about my intentions in inviting her to Mass?

I can’t answer the last question, but some thoughts:

if you attended her church when they communion (if they do), would you kneel if they did? The only reason I ask is that it is typical for members of one communion to not participate in the rituals (for lack of a better word) of another.

while I would agree that she is being disrespectful to our Lord, she is also being inconsiderate of her family. That is truly sad.

But if you want the Lord to soften her heart, dis-inviting her seems to reduce that chance.

Hope that helps,
Jon

[LEFT]Jon,
I get your point about attending her church and the answer is “no” I would not participate. And to clear up my last question - I am concerned that my evangelization to her might not be appropriate. It would be difficult for me to talk to her about it but not impossible. I suppose in the future, I will talk to her about it and hopefully she will still attend but with a greater sense of respect and veneration. [/LEFT]

It sounds to me like, invite her. let her sit, and remember that faith comes by hearing. Let the Spirit and the word speak to her.

His peace with you, and her.

Jon

Pray for her and try not to be embarrassed. Likely chance that no one else in the congregation is giving it much thought. Anytime that I notice someone not kneeling, I figure either they are not Catholic or perhaps have a physical reason for not kneeling. The Lord knows her heart and yours. Peace.

This… :thumbsup:

Its better that she comes and sits then not coming at all. If she attends long enough, perhaps one day she will start to ask good questions.

Getting them in the door is half the battle. Let her sit and if she ever asks questions, answer them as best you can. If you don’t have a good answer for her, answer her with something “I know why we do ***{fill in the blank}***, but I’m not sure how to properly explain it. Let me look it up in the Catechism and catholic.com so I can give you a solid answer.”

The Lord works in mysterious ways… you never know what will happen.

God Bless.

Continue to invite her to Mass. Don’t worry about her kneeling or not. Be charitable and be a good example of Catholic Christianity to her.

You bring up a good point Jenny. I do not kneel, or prostrate, or genuflect for the simple reason that I cannot. It is not physically possible for me to do so.

Instead of genuflecting I do a bow from the waist. Not everyone is the same with the same capabilities.

When I walk into the church cane in hand I think most understand.

I think it’s very nice your MIL attends Mass when visiting. Many visitors that I know of simply do not kneel at all and sit instead for they do not believe in the Consecration, don’t want to give the apperance of participating in a Catholic Mass when they are not Catholic or for other personal reasons.

I would try to ignore it to the best of your ability and I think you have wonderful intentions to invite her and would continue to do so.

God Bless,
Mary.

Thank you for all the advise. I long to see her come home and to have enjoy the fullness of faith. It will take time and in the future I will focus my attention on The Lord and trust in his will. Thank you again!

Chances are that you are the only one, or one of a very few, who are noticing it. I attend daily and NEVER kneel. It is painful and with an artificial knee and my weight it is simply not a good idea. And while you should be concentrating on the Mass, look around. You’ll see several not kneeling and who knows for what reason.

Personally, I’m glad to hear that she is willing to attend Mass. With prayer, the time may come when she will kneel.

May I respectfully offer appreciation of the wise words of JonNC in this thread.
It is so good that she attends Mass at all. Leave it to Our Blessed Lord.
God bless you.

You never know. My mother-in-law started attending Mass with me, and several years later, at age 85, was received into the Church. :slight_smile:

She also did not kneel, and still doesn’t, because she is not able.

Having said that, a non-Catholic friend of mine attended Mass with me and did not kneel. I would not have expected her to or desired her to because she believes the Eucharist is just bread, so to kneel would indicate worship of bread. She is very respectful of Catholicism, and that is all I ask. (Not that I wouldn’t love it if she would also become Catholic one day! :slight_smile:

Be happy she comes with you and is respectful. She doesn’t kneel because she’s not Catholic, and doesn’t believe what we do. Let the Lord work on her heart. Pray for the Holy Spirit to come. Offer up your Communion for her benefit.

Ask St. Monica for her intercession like she prayed for her son St. Augustine to repent and become Catholic.

Ask St. Andrew for intercession for yourself, so that you can lead your family member to Jesus, just as he led his brother St. Peter to Jesus.

Keep inviting her and tell her you appreciate her coming. Put a smile on your face.:thumbsup:

I think any time a Protestant attends a Catholic Mass it is a good thing. As long as they aren’t disruptive (something like standing up and denouncing us all as heretics) and don’t receive the Body and Blood (dangerous for them…); exposure to Catholicism is a good thing.

It’s funny, but yesterday I was reading a thread on a “Reformed Protestant” forum with some pretty anti-Catholic bias; and one of the threads I was looking at was; “Is it ever okay to attend a Catholic Mass?”

Of course all the replies were of the opinion that if it were to support a friend or family member at a funeral. And even some of them said that in the future they would only attend the graveside service after the mass.

I think that positive exposure to Catholic mass is never a bad thing for anyone!

There are visitors at Mass all the time and many do not kneel. We have many elderly people at our early Mass and most can’t kneel. The way my knees are going, I don’t know if I will be able to kneel 10 years (or less) from now? So don’t worry about and I would not say anything to her. She is coming to Mass (which is more than you can say about of a lot of Catholics)! Pray for the Spirit to move her.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.