Question for respectful protestants only!


#1

My infants are being baptized. Husband and I are Catholic.
None of our family is Catholic.
None of have even been inside a Catholic church, im pretty sure they’ll be overwhelmed. Id like to make a service card to help them through it.
My question is you have attended a Catholic mass is there anything you wish you would’ve had explained to you before?
Anything that would’ve made your experience easier?


#2

To know that non-Catholics cannot receive communion in the Catholic Church.

That is the most important thing that Catholics must inform non-Catholics about when bringing them to Mass.


#3

My wife was a former nun, and having gone into the Catholic church for the first time it was quite different. I wondered about the liturgy in comparison to the Protestant church I was accustomed to. My biggest question was concerning the sacrifice of the Mass. And I asked; why does Christ need to be re-crucified? The book of Hebrews says For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [which are] the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: ** Nor yet that he should offer himself often**, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; **For then must he often have suffered **since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.Heb 9:24-26 My question was if sin was put away by Christ 2000 years ago why do it again. Also the word **once means ONE TIME and the result has perpetually validity meaning never to be repeated. You and I have a birth certificate and the action of our birth was one time never to be repeated. that certificate is valid forever.It is the same for a death certificate perpetual validity never to be repeated. So I said if my sin was put away and in Hebrews chap 10 I read For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Referring to me, why does it need to be repeated? That was my question and probably will be theirs. That may be what you encounter.


#4

Correct. However, I think the question was for non-Catholics, and not what do we Catholics think is the most important thing.


#5

Yes, do make sure they’re informed that they can’t take communion. A good friend of mine attended the church I go to for Mass in order to get a learning credit (It was a Spanish Mass), and took “The Lord’s Supper” along with everyone else. I nearly had a heart attack in the car when she told me.

Protestant denominations generally allow you to take communion if you’re a Christian (of any denomination), so they probably won’t know any better unless you inform them.

And you may want to explain the sign of the cross. I remember thinking the first time I met a Catholic, “Why do they always do that?”


#6

[quote="Don_Jackson, post:4, topic:307942"]

Correct. However, I think the question was for non-Catholics, and not what do we Catholics think is the most important thing.

[/quote]

Correct. However, I was speaking from my own past experience as a former non-Catholic attending his first Mass.


#7

As a protestant of a non liturgical background I remember well my first Catholic mass, a wedding at Notre Dame in South Bend Indiana. I had no clue what on earth what was going on during the ceremony. It was very ackward since everyone around me knew what was going on. Tried my best to follow along and "when in rome do what the romans do" but frankly I was always two steps behind and marching on the wrong foot so to speak.

Years later as I started my inquiry I went to my first liturgical service and it was overwhelming. If this is their first / only visit then yes a guide would be nice, if nothing else for them to look through after so they figure out what on earth it was they just witnessed.

The biggest thing to tell them is : "RELAX, no one is going to be offended if you just sit, stand, kneel and listen quietly and say nothing. You are a guest. When it comes time for communion just step out of the pew and let us out etc."

If you do give a guide for them, be sure to let them know that you and no one else actually expects them to keep up with it, or the hand motions for that matter.


#8

If I may, and others may clarify better than I can, but He is not being re-crucified at Mass. Rather, we are participating in the original sacrifice Jesus made. God transcends time and the sacrifice during Mass is the same one at both places at both times. Christ’s crucifixtion is present at Mass.


#9

I quite agree with Bitznbitz. As guests in your ‘home’, it is important to put them at ease. Tell them beforehand what the general order of the Mass is, that people will be sitting and standing and kneeling, and that they are free to follow. If they don’t feel comfortable kneeling, then sitting is perfectly appropriate. They will recognize the readings and the homily and perhaps communion if they are from a liturgical church. I’m sure they will have questions also.

There is a wonderful series of books called ‘How to be a Perfect Stranger’ that helps with etiquette in various churches and synagogues - when to stand and sit, when NOT to participate, etc. I have found it extremely helpful, since I am often a guest in unfamiliar houses of worship.

amazon.com/How-Perfect-Stranger-Essential-Religious/dp/1594731403


#10

If I may offer some advice, find out if your friends can receive a blessing instead of communion. Some Catholic churches do this, some don’t. It could lessen the sting of them feeling rejected.


#11

[quote="Boltz44, post:3, topic:307942"]
...

[/quote]

Boltz. Since you're new here, I didn't report that. Your post is off topic. It would be preferable for you to start a new thread in the Apologetics forum.


#12

[quote="Boltz44, post:3, topic:307942"]
My wife was a former nun, and having gone into the Catholic church for the first time it was quite different. I wondered about the liturgy in comparison to the Protestant church I was accustomed to. My biggest question was concerning the sacrifice of the Mass. And I asked; why does Christ need to be re-crucified? The book of Hebrews says For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [which are] the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: * Nor yet that he should offer himself often*, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; **For then must he often have suffered **since the foundation of the world: but **now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.Heb 9:24-26 My question was if sin was put away by Christ 2000 years ago why do it again. Also the word **once *means ONE TIME and the result has perpetually validity meaning never to be repeated. You and I have a birth certificate and the action of our birth was one time never to be repeated. that certificate is valid forever.It is the same for a death certificate perpetual validity never to be repeated. So I said if my sin was put away and in Hebrews chap 10 I read *For by one offering he hath* perfected for ever*** them that are sanctified. Referring to me, why does it need to be repeated? That was my question and probably will be theirs. That may be what you encounter.

[/quote]

The Mass is a RE-presentation of the same sacrifice on Calvary.

Remember... God is outside of time. Through God's power, we are making present Calvary. Jesus becomes present on the altar under the appearances of bread and wine, in a most unique way. While it is true that God is present everywhere, He is present substantively in the Eucharist.

The Catholic Church is not one organization among many. It should be more accurately described as an organism. A Divine organism. It is, according to St. Paul, the Body of Christ. Remember when St. Paul was going around persecuting Christians, and Jesus knocked him off his horse? Jesus said to him, "Saul, Saul why do you persecute Me?" Note that Jesus did NOT say, "Saul, Saul why do you persecute My Church?" But, "Why do you persecute Me?" Persecuting Christ's Church is the same as persecuting Him.


#13

[quote="Chemcpherson, post:1, topic:307942"]
My infants are being baptized. Husband and I are Catholic.
None of our family is Catholic.
None of have even been inside a Catholic church, im pretty sure they'll be overwhelmed. Id like to make a service card to help them through it.
My question is you have attended a Catholic mass is there anything you wish you would've had explained to you before?
Anything that would've made your experience easier?

[/quote]

It would have made my experience easier when I was Baptist and attending a Mass to know that everything I needed to know to follow the mass was in the first few pages of the Hymnal. :)


#14

As a Lutheran, I find the Catholic Mass so similar to the Lutheran Mass (or perhaps the other way around is more accurate), that there is little discomfort.

Small suggestions: when to stand, when to kneel, when to sit. What to do during the sacrament. Must I cross myself. Must I genuflect.

Jon


#15

[quote="JonNC, post:14, topic:307942"]
As a Lutheran, I find the Catholic Mass so similar to the Lutheran Mass (or perhaps the other way around is more accurate), that there is little discomfort.

Small suggestions: when to stand, when to kneel, when to sit. What to do during the sacrament. Must I cross myself. Must I genuflect.

Jon

[/quote]

When to stand/kneel/sit– Do as the Romans do :D
Eucharist– My assumption is actually that the priest would be willing to bless them if they go up. Apparently the CAF assumes otherwise :shrug:
Crossing yourself– I don't see why not. I'm pretty sure they're allowed to do and say anything the congregation does except receive Communion.
Genuflecting– I don't think they have to, but they'll probably get strange looks if they don't


#16

=Razanir;10118277]When to stand/kneel/sit– Do as the Romans do :smiley:

LOL Well said.

Eucharist– My assumption is actually that the priest would be willing to bless them if they go up. Apparently the CAF assumes otherwise :shrug:

My experience is they will if you cross your arms in front of yourself.

Crossing yourself– I don’t see why not. I’m pretty sure they’re allowed to do and say anything the congregation does except receive Communion.

Oh, I meant should they feel obliged to, not whether they are allowed to. I’ve made the sign of the cross at a Catholic Mass because I always do.

Genuflecting– I don’t think they have to, but they’ll probably get strange looks if they don’t.

Kind of like when Catholics have visited my Lutheran parish and do genuflect. :smiley:
We had a choir presentation at our parish a few years ago, and some members of the choir were Catholic. and genuflected. I was only surprised a bit because I know the CC teaches we don’t have the real presence. Maybe it was the large crucifix over our altar that swayed them.

Jon

Jon


#17

[quote="JonNC, post:16, topic:307942"]
LOL Well said.

[/quote]

I tried.

My experience is they will if you cross your arms in front of yourself.

This is what I was referring to, actually

Oh, I meant should they feel obliged to, not whether they are allowed to. I've made the sign of the cross at a Catholic Mass because I always do.

My grandparents (UCC) don't even stand/kneel with everyone :shrug: Personal preference, I guess. If I was Protestant and visiting, I'd try to follow along, at least.


#18

A few brief descriptions of what to expect should be helpful, along with some short explanations of the significance of things like crossing oneself.

I went to a Catholic church several times with a Catholic friend some years ago; when I visit a strange church, I always appreciate the sense of having someone around as a friend to help me understand what to do. If you think your family won’t be offended, perhaps you can “plant” some of your own friends next to them to guide them while you’re occupied with the baptism.


#19

[quote="AbideWithMe, post:18, topic:307942"]
A few brief descriptions of what to expect should be helpful, along with some short explanations of the significance of things like crossing oneself.

[/quote]

This would even be interesting to a few Catholics (such as myself :whistle:)

EDIT: Referring to the Sign of the Cross part


#20

[quote="JonNC, post:16, topic:307942"]

Kind of like when Catholics have visited my Lutheran parish and do genuflect. :D
We had a choir presentation at our parish a few years ago, and some members of the choir were Catholic. and genuflected. I was only surprised a bit because I know the CC teaches we don't have the real presence. Maybe it was the large crucifix over our altar that swayed them.

Jon

[/quote]

Hi Jon. Genuflecting is Catholics second nature,:o it is not surprising they do that in your church. I guess the atmosphere is reverence enough or rather Catholic enough for them to do that. We don't kneel before the crucifix but the tabernacle if there is one. It is a compliment for your church that they do so. Even though Catholic teaches you don't have the real presence, I guess they forget that they were in a Lutheran church when they see the surrounding is so familiar with their church.;)


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