I navigate primarily in the Non-Catholic Religions subforum, but I had a question on Catholicism that I'm not totally sure where to post.
I was born in Italy, but I never really knew anything about Catholicism until long after we came to the United States. My parents converted to Pentecostalism long before was born, so that is the church environment I know.
The Catholic Church that they grew up in, at least from what I can tell from the rare occasions they talk about it, seems significantly different than the one I have witnessed first hand here in the United States when I have accompanied Catholic friends to Mass.
Now, I know there is a difference between an 'Extraordinary Form' and a Mass that is usually celebrated. I know that different Mass traditions can be celebrated and they're all considered perfectly valid and perfectly Catholic. So please, I ask that you do not misunderstand my questions as a swipe against one form over another.
But, my parents have never known the custom of receiving the Communion host in your hand instead of directly in your mouth (and "allowing it to dissolve rather than chew it").
To summarize, my parents remember a more classic version of Mass than I have observed. Now, my question is: is the Catholicism practiced in the United States the same as throughout the world? Are Masses celebrated differently in Europe than in America? Or is it that perhaps my parents have been away from the Catholic Church for so long that they didn't witness some changes that might have occurred over the decades?
Thank you for your time,