Questions About Mass


#1

Hey all,

I have a few questions about Mass. Please allow me to clarify: I am a "Non-denominational" Protestant who wants to become a Catholic. I have not yet undergone the process of Catechism--though I hope to soon--but I am doing my best to educate myself and speak with knowledgeable Catholics such as yourselves. Disclaimer: "Foot-washing" Southern Baptists have filled my head with misconceptions about Catholicism! -.-; (I'm sorry. . as true as that is, I should not have said it in such a joking way. . Sorry guys!)

I have never been to Mass before. I would like to know:

As I am currently a Protestant, would I be allowed to attend Mass?

I know that Catholic Christian services are generally different from that of Protestant Christian ones. Many Protestants have told me that Mass is "formulaic," and "ritualistic," and thus, "empty."

I know that Mass has its own sort of norms--just like how most Protestant services sing about 5 songs during the service, 4 usually occurring before the pastor gives his message, etc.) However, to what extent is Mass "ritualistic?"

As ignorant as I am. I would like to think that it is not at all "empty." That it is as wonderful as all the rest of the things that the Church offers. However, the misconceptions Protestants have given me filled me with fear. And thus, I ask:

Will Mass fulfill me and make me feel content--yet still hungry for God's Word--in the same way that Protestant services do?

Does Mass fulfill you?

How do you generally feel after Mass, and throughout the week?

I am dying to know. I've wanted to attend Mass for months!


#2

You are certainly welcome to attend Mass. I hope that you are properly greeted when you arrive, but even if not, know that Jesus welcomes you even if your neighbor is distracted! You should not approach to receive communion; this is reserved for those who believe all that the Church teaches.

The ritualism you mentioned, called liturgy, has proven itself over many hundreds of years to nourish the spiritual and psychological needs that people have to worship God. You might think of the liturgy as a plus, because the scripture readings, preaching and hymns to which you are accustomed are also a part of Mass. I find great comfort in the Mass, and could not imagine dragging myself to church just to hear a sermon and a couple of hymns.

One caution: some of the preaching, and much of the music, in Catholic parishes, is pretty dismal. Don’t let that put you off, just find a parish that has higher standards for liturgy and for music and for preaching.

Finally may I suggest that you get ahold of a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition. (I got mine at Wal-Mart, a Southern Baptist institution if there ever was one!) It is extremely well indexed and will provide the answer to any question that you might have about the Church. You may want to read it cover to cover and, if you do, you will be better informed than many cradle Catholics!


#3

I’m in the process of converting, from Baptist background, so I know where you are coming from. First thing, stop thinking about it, and just go. Yes, everyone is welcome at Mass. The only thing you cannot participate in is the receiving of Eucharist (Communion, closest thing you will have as a reference is the Lord’s Supper, but it is different, but that can be discussed later.) Other than that, follow the lead of others to stand, sit, and kneel and you will be okay. In the pew there will be a book that has the entire Mass listed out, along with hymns, so you can follow right along.

As to the Mass, there are some similarities to a Protestant service, the biggest different is the Eucharist. Once you understand the “why” of each part of Mass, it makes perfect sense, but will probably be a little over your head the first time. But just take in everything and enjoy.

A quick and dirty overview of the Mass, these are the major things, but I’ll forget a couple things:

  1. Entrance song, procession to the altar.
  2. Opening prayers, asking for God’s mercy and preparing ourselves to experience God in the Mass.
  3. Gloria in Excelsis Deo hymn.
  4. Prayer
  5. Reading from the Old Testament (different in a weekday Mass).
  6. Singing of a Psalm(s).
  7. Reading from the New Testament
  8. Alleluia song.
  9. Reading from the Gospel.
  10. Homily
  11. Recitation of Nicene Creed
  12. Prayers
  13. Beginning of the Eucharist liturgy.
  14. Prayers and Songs
  15. Our Father
  16. The Sign of Peace
  17. Distribution of Communion (just stay seated in the pew)
  18. Prayer/Blessing/Final Announcements.
  19. Recessional hymn.

So as you can see, a lot of hymns sung, 3 Scripture readings, homily, and prayers. It has several similarities to Protestant services (it should, the Mass was the model they used to create theirs.) And yes, Mass is very fulfilling. Actually much more so than my Baptist services ever fulfilled me.


#4

GO! Dont worry if you dont know what to do. Just enjoy.

I think you will find attending a Catholic Mass is a Holy experience.. at least that is what I think.

Mass is beautiful.


#5

In addition to attending The Holy Sacrament of the Mass, also inquire if their is a Blessed Sacrament Chapel near you by one of the Catholic Churches. Go, sit and experience being in the presence of Jesus


#6

[quote="lareinatortura, post:1, topic:181643"]
Hey all,

I have a few questions about Mass. Please allow me to clarify: I am a "Non-denominational" Protestant who wants to become a Catholic. I have not yet undergone the process of Catechism--though I hope to soon--but I am doing my best to educate myself and speak with knowledgeable Catholics such as yourselves. Disclaimer: "Foot-washing" Southern Baptists have filled my head with misconceptions about Catholicism! -.-; (I'm sorry. . as true as that is, I should not have said it in such a joking way. . Sorry guys!)

[/quote]

First of all let me say, "Welcome Home"!!!!

I have never been to Mass before. I would like to know:

As I am currently a Protestant, would I be allowed to attend Mass?

Absolutely. the only thing that you may not do is to receive communion. That must wait until after you have been formally received into the church. Just sit near the back at first and follow along with the others in sitting, standing, and kneeling. Later, once your more comfortable move up closer to feel even more a part of the liturgy.
The only other thing I would caustion you on is that in the "Our Father" there is a break between ".. but deliver us from evil..." and the Doxology..."For thine is the kingdom..." that can throw off non-catholics when they first come to mass.

I know that Catholic Christian services are generally different from that of Protestant Christian ones. Many Protestants have told me that Mass is "formulaic," and "ritualistic," and thus, "empty."

Empty is in the heart of the participant. The mass is not like a protestant "preaching" service. The mass is the fulfillment of Christ's mission. It makes present to us the one sacrifice on the Cross. I truly believe taht you will not find the mass to be empty.

I know that Mass has its own sort of norms--just like how most Protestant services sing about 5 songs during the service, 4 usually occurring before the pastor gives his message, etc.) However, to what extent is Mass "ritualistic?"

Someone else has already laid out the mass in an earlier post. I will only say that most of the mass consists of prayers that are taken either directly or indirectly right out of the bible. The mass is ritualistic in the sense that the same thing happens at every mass and does so in the same order, but as I said earlier the mass is not a "preaching" service. It is a liturgy and is the summit of our faith.

As ignorant as I am. I would like to think that it is not at all "empty." That it is as wonderful as all the rest of the things that the Church offers. However, the misconceptions Protestants have given me filled me with fear. And thus, I ask:

Will Mass fulfill me and make me feel content--yet still hungry for God's Word--in the same way that Protestant services do?

God is drawing home to His Church. He will give you the graces you need. Remember that when you come into a Catholic Church, you are entering into the real presence of Christ in the Tabernacle. How could such a space or liturgy be "empty" when Christ is pshysically present. to those who see emptiness I can only say that there were Pharasees in Christ's time who sat right next to Him (God) and they remained empty.
The mass may not effect you in the same ways that protestant services do. It will likely effect you even more profoundly. I know of one protestant who, at his first mass, could not stop crying because he was so moved by what he experienced. Others take a little time to "adjust" to the differences.

Does Mass fulfill you?

Like nothing else ever has.

How do you generally feel after Mass, and throughout the week?

Grateful. And I wish I could go more often.

Just as a note on this point. The Catholic church is the only church I know of that holds services every day. Most every parish has a mass in the morning, so if one is able one could go and receive Christ every day.

I am dying to know. I've wanted to attend Mass for months!

May God guide you on your journey.

And let us know how it goes.

Peace
James


#7

Oh, I can’t thank you enough, all

You’re a wonderful bunch. Thank you so much for your patience, support and kindness. I am very eager to attend Mass. While I was aware that I couldn’t partake of the Eucharist as a Protestant, I was under the impression that I could not attend period, as a Protestant.

But, now I see that is not true. Thank you for answering my questions. I will let you all know about my first experience with Mass. I’m wondering if perhaps I can make it to Mass held this evening.

Oh, I’m very excited!

P.S.

I now have it on my mind to get a copy of the Catechism. Thank you so much for suggesting it. And about Wal*Mart. . Yes, I agree with you. Sometimes that company scares the living day-lights out of me! o.O


#8

The following is my hand out to my CCD students. Mass is the highest form of prayer. If I don't have to go to work, I will definitely attend daily Mass. I recommend you to read Dr. Scott Hahn's book - The Lamb's Supper, Mass as Heaven On Earth. Dr. Hahn was a Protestant minister converted to Catholicism. His book tells you his first experience of attending Mass and how every part of Mass are Bible based.

Here is my brief explanation of Mass, hope it helps:

Mass, in memory of the death and resurrection of Christ, nourishes our souls and renews our spirits. It includes two major parts:

  1. Liturgy of the Word
    • Entrance – priest and alter servers march in to the front
    • Introductory rites
    • Penitential rite – confess our sins and ask for God’s forgiveness
    • Readings from Scripture and Homily

  2. ** Liturgy of the Eucharist**
    • The offertory
    When people bring bread, wine and donation to the front, the whole congregation participate as following:
    We offer ourselves and all that we have. The Lord can take what is temporal and make it eternal, take what is human and make it divine. The offering of the laity includes: our work, prayers, apostolic endeavors, ordinary married and family life, daily labor… all of these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

• The Eucharistic Prayer
During the celebration of the Eucharist all our sacrifices are most lovingly offered to the Father along with the Lord’s body. Everything we have goes on the altar, to be made holy in Christ. “By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, Who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.”
The climax is the Eucharistic sacrifice. The priest places his hands over the gifts and call down the Holy Spirit. This is the moment the Spirit and the Word transform the elements from bread and wine into the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ even though the appearance of the bread and wine remain the same.

• The Communion rite
We can’t overemphasize the relationship between “our daily bread” and the Eucharistic host.
We say “Our Father….” Then give the “sign of Peace”, and next prayer is
“Lamb of God”, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word, I shall be healed.” (Mathew 8:8)
Then we receive Him in Holy Communion. When the body and blood are inside us, that is the most intimate moment with the Lord. Pray to Him and give thanks

• The concluding rite
Mass has a sending-forth meaning. We have united ourselves to Christ’s sacrifice. We leave Mass now in order to live the mystery, the sacrifice we have just celebrated, through the splendor of ordinary life in home and in the world.


#9

[quote="lareinatortura, post:7, topic:181643"]
Oh, I can't thank you enough, all

You're a wonderful bunch. Thank you so much for your patience, support and kindness. I am very eager to attend Mass. While I was aware that I couldn't partake of the Eucharist as a Protestant, I was under the impression that I could not attend period, as a Protestant.

But, now I see that is not true. Thank you for answering my questions. I will let you all know about my first experience with Mass. I'm wondering if perhaps I can make it to Mass held this evening.

Oh, I'm very excited!

P.S.

I now have it on my mind to get a copy of the Catechism. Thank you so much for suggesting it. And about Wal*Mart. . Yes, I agree with you. Sometimes that company scares the living day-lights out of me! o.O

[/quote]

Yes, go to Mass this evening or tomorrow morning! It is the Feast of the Epiphany. I attended my very first Catholic Mass on the Feast of the Epiphany, exactly one year ago, so I've been going to Mass for exactly one year now. It has changed my life dramatically (in a good way). Nothing empty about that.


#10

Good evening all,

I attended Mass.

I came by myself and I was extremely nervous. I didn't think I'd know anyone there, I thought I'd just be sitting in the back pews, totally lost. *Well. . *

I ended up sitting in the very *front *pew with the coordinator of the congregation. She was very kind and friendly.

I told her about my interest in Catholicism, and how it went from, "I'm studying this because I'm curious and I want to understand them better," to "I think this may be where I need to be spiritually," and she offered me lots of encouragement. She told me not to be afraid, not to worry about my family's thoughts, just to keep pressing forward.

I have to say, it felt really foreign--even though I had a good idea of what to expect--and I felt very nervous. But, everyone was so friendly! Oh, it was nice. I was so afraid that I'd be looked at as the ignorant outsider, but I wasn't. I was so glad that the coordinator and her family were so kind, and that she helped me stay on track with everyone else during the service.

After it was over, she told me to follow her down to her office, that she had lots of books I could read. She gave me some children's books on Mass--hee hee. . I have no shame in reading children's material, although it's pretty funny to see me doing it--a Catechism book, and even a Bible. I expected to bring all of these back to her. I assumed she was just lending them to me, but then she told me to keep them! All I could think was, "Wow." I am excited to read them. And I am grateful for the coordinator's warmth and kindness.

I have to tell you though, guys. . In my heart of hearts, I feel reluctant. I still feel that fear. At first, I questioned if it was God's way of saying, "Just stay where you are, okay? -Don't leave your Protestant church." But, then I thought about it. .

(I was taught) Fear and anxiety don't come from God. Fear and anxiety are not things of God. God gave us a spirit of power, not of fear. I know the latter is true, but if I am right about the former, and it is not God who is trying to keep me where I am at, then the feelings of conflict must be coming from me. .

I realize that it was a different experience for me, and I also realize that these feelings could be a natural reaction to that. I know that when people's environments/lives/etc. change significantly, people sometimes react with feelings of hesitation to the change, fear of the change, or rebellion.

As far as Christianity goes, Protestantism is all I've personally ever known. I think that when people lose--or perceive that they are losing--something that has been with them for a long period time, they may become sad and feel reluctant to let go. Maybe that is my problem?

But, back to Mass, it was a different experience, and I'm glad that I went. I met some wonderful people. But, it was very different, and I was distracted by thoughts of, "Am I doing this right?" "Am I supposed to be here?" "I hope no one thinks I am being disrespectful because I do not know how to do. . whatever it is that they're doing." Besides that, I am not sure how I feel about it yet. I would like to go again next week. I have a lot of questions about the things that go on during Mass, though.

I realize that something really paining me right now is my husband. He is not objecting to my interest in the Catholic Church, nor did he object when I told him that I may convert. . I know he'll always accept me, but I feel like I will break his heart if I convert. I think he will worry about my salvation. .again. (Long story. . I went a few years in my life without having any religion at all. I wasn't an Atheist or anything like that because I was open to the idea of a "higher power," but I guess I was just tired of all the Baptist ******** I'd been fed since I was young. . My husband was influential in my returning to the church. That changed me life so much, and all for the better).

But, why Christians worry about the salvation of *other *Christians is beyond me. . I do not like how as Christians, we are divided. I don't like it. One of the reasons why I am looking into conversion is because the Catholic church is "The Church." The universal Church. The first Church. Even when I had no religion, I knew these things. .

When I see a Catholic Christian, I do not say, "Oh, look. . there goes a Catholic," as if that person worships a God different from mine, simply because I am Protestant, and he/she's not. We worship the same God. Now. . how we do that is a little different, and cause for controversy. . but. . I just don't understand why Protestants don't seem to accept Catholics as "Christians," when they were the *first *Christians!

I try to tell this to my husband, to assure him that he is not losing me, in whatever way he perceives so. I gently remind him that we are all Christians, that we all love and wish to worship God. I've told him these things before, but the last time I spoke with him about this, he did not say anything, but looked as though he was in thought. Contemplating, you know.

I don't want to cause my husband more pain and worry. Especially over such serious matters. It's made me feel as though it may be a bad idea for me to become Catholic. . But. . everything happens for a reason, and if God leads me to that point, I don't think it would be wise for me to just drop everything and turn the other way for another human being. No matter how much I love that human being.

It just hurts, you know?

Any responses are always greatly appreciated, but I would especially like to hear from any converts. .

Thank you, all. God bless you.


#11

First of all, you are right that God is not the source of fear. God leads us, but not by fear. I went through a long period - about six months, I think - during which I was absolutely terrified to go to Mass. Every Sunday morning I would have a panic attack. Actually, I would start having panic attacks on Saturday night. I would cry and drive in circles around the church. Why? I had absolutely no idea - there were no rational reasons for being afraid, but the fear was very strong. Still, somehow, I managed to go, every single Sunday. And eventually, the fear abated. I’m no longer even remotely afraid to go to Mass, instead I look forward to it with joy and find the thought of it comforting.

I was also really afraid of hurting other people by my conversion. I’m not married, but I’m very close to my parents and grandparents, and none of them are Catholic, most are not even Christian. They have had some difficulty dealing with it, but are being more respectful lately. Yes, it hurts sometimes.

Have you ever watched “The Journey Home?” It’s a show on TV, on EWTN, interviews with converts to the Catholic Church. It’s hosted by a convert, and he and most of the guests are converts from protestantism. It’s an excellent show, perhaps you could watch it with your husband. You can also watch the latest episode online and listen to archived episodes.

God bless. :slight_smile:


#12

I converted in 1993, from non-denominational Christianity. I have great respect for Protestant Christians, and many of them are certainly better Christians than me. But when I attend a Protestant service, it feels empty to me. It doesn't have the Eucharist, which fills the mass with so much meaning. A protestant service is like going to a birthday party that the birthday person never makes it to. Though I know that the Holy Spirit is present with anyone worshipping Christ, our Lord is present in a special way in the mass.
I highly recommend you read some of Dr Scott Hahn's books, particularly Rome Sweet Home, Our Journey to Catholicism. He talks about how difficult it was for him to convert, and how it was such a blow to his wife, who eventually joined him. But they were serious Christians and it was a tough road for both of them.
I didn't have such a hard time as I was never that theologically astute. I read an inaccurate book that basically said, you can believe whatever you like and still be a Catholic. So I became a Catholic and then began to learn about the faith -- which is kind of a good way to do it, from the inside out.
God is merciful.


#13

[quote="lareinatortura, post:7, topic:181643"]
Oh, I can't thank you enough, all

You're a wonderful bunch. Thank you so much for your patience, support and kindness. I am very eager to attend Mass. While I was aware that I couldn't partake of the Eucharist as a Protestant, I was under the impression that I could not attend period, as a Protestant.

But, now I see that is not true. Thank you for answering my questions. I will let you all know about my first experience with Mass. I'm wondering if perhaps I can make it to Mass held this evening.

Oh, I'm very excited!

P.S.

I now have it on my mind to get a copy of the Catechism. Thank you so much for suggesting it. And about Wal*Mart. . Yes, I agree with you. Sometimes that company scares the living day-lights out of me! o.O

[/quote]

Glad we could help.
Regarding the Catachism, there is a nice on line version HERE with a search engine at the bottom of the page. It's still a good idea to get a hard copy of the CCC but the online one has been very useful to me.

Peace
James


#14

[quote="lareinatortura, post:10, topic:181643"]
Good evening all,

I attended Mass.

I came by myself and I was extremely nervous. I didn't think I'd know anyone there, I thought I'd just be sitting in the back pews, totally lost. *Well. . *

I ended up sitting in the very *front *pew with the coordinator of the congregation. She was very kind and friendly.

I told her about my interest in Catholicism, and how it went from, "I'm studying this because I'm curious and I want to understand them better," to "I think this may be where I need to be spiritually," and she offered me lots of encouragement. She told me not to be afraid, not to worry about my family's thoughts, just to keep pressing forward.

(SNIP)

I realize that something really paining me right now is my husband. He is not objecting to my interest in the Catholic Church, nor did he object when I told him that I may convert. . I know he'll always accept me, but I feel like I will break his heart if I convert. I think he will worry about my salvation. .again. (Long story. . I went a few years in my life without having any religion at all. I wasn't an Atheist or anything like that because I was open to the idea of a "higher power," but I guess I was just tired of all the Baptist ******** I'd been fed since I was young. . My husband was influential in my returning to the church. That changed me life so much, and all for the better).

But, why Christians worry about the salvation of *other *Christians is beyond me. . I do not like how as Christians, we are divided. I don't like it. One of the reasons why I am looking into conversion is because the Catholic church is "The Church." The universal Church. The first Church. Even when I had no religion, I knew these things. .

When I see a Catholic Christian, I do not say, "Oh, look. . there goes a Catholic," as if that person worships a God different from mine, simply because I am Protestant, and he/she's not. We worship the same God. Now. . how we do that is a little different, and cause for controversy. . but. . I just don't understand why Protestants don't seem to accept Catholics as "Christians," when they were the *first *Christians!

I try to tell this to my husband, to assure him that he is not losing me, in whatever way he perceives so. I gently remind him that we are all Christians, that we all love and wish to worship God. I've told him these things before, but the last time I spoke with him about this, he did not say anything, but looked as though he was in thought. Contemplating, you know.

I don't want to cause my husband more pain and worry. Especially over such serious matters. It's made me feel as though it may be a bad idea for me to become Catholic. . But. . everything happens for a reason, and if God leads me to that point, I don't think it would be wise for me to just drop everything and turn the other way for another human being. No matter how much I love that human being.

It just hurts, you know?

Any responses are always greatly appreciated, but I would especially like to hear from any converts. .

Thank you, all. God bless you.

[/quote]

So much contained here - -Whew.
First of all - What a wonderful blessing to meet the coordinator at your first mass. This certainly seems to me to be God's way of telling you that you are on the right track.

Secondly - I hear your concern about your husband. However, consider this. Perhaps God is bringing you into the Church to be the way in which your husband is brought home. I have read and heard many times where one spouse is drawn to the Church and over time and through discussion their spouse eventually converts as well.

If you are able to get EWTN on your TV, or on the internet, you might consider looking into the show on Monday nights called "The Journey Home". I'm sure you'll find some of the conversion stories hitting close to home.

Let God lead you is the best advise anyone can give you right now.

Peace
James


#15

Get a hold of Scott Hahn's book Rome Sweet Home,Patrick Madrid's Surprised by the Truth and Tim Staples-Jimmy Swaggert Made Me Catholic CD. All great ways to learn about people coming tothe Catholic Church.


#16

Thank you so much, Student09

I will definitely check out this show. As a side note, the woman I sat with in Mass yesterday told me about a man named Scott Hanh. The Catholic leadership from my church lays out all this literature and media about Catholicism for people to take, for free. Even before I considered conversion, I would usually take something. I found them very interesting reads/listenings, even at that point. Well, one CD that was always set out on the tables is called, “The Conversion of Scott Hanh.” After the woman told me about Scott Hanh, I decided to pick up a copy. I plan to listen to it soon.

Thank you for your wonderful response


#17

[quote="Viki63, post:12, topic:181643"]
I converted in 1993, from non-denominational Christianity. I have great respect for Protestant Christians, and many of them are certainly better Christians than me. But when I attend a Protestant service, it feels empty to me. It doesn't have the Eucharist, which fills the mass with so much meaning. A protestant service is like going to a birthday party that the birthday person never makes it to. Though I know that the Holy Spirit is present with anyone worshipping Christ, our Lord is present in a special way in the mass.
I highly recommend you read some of Dr Scott Hahn's books, particularly Rome Sweet Home, Our Journey to Catholicism. He talks about how difficult it was for him to convert, and how it was such a blow to his wife, who eventually joined him. But they were serious Christians and it was a tough road for both of them.
I didn't have such a hard time as I was never that theologically astute. I read an inaccurate book that basically said, you can believe whatever you like and still be a Catholic. So I became a Catholic and then began to learn about the faith -- which is kind of a good way to do it, from the inside out.
God is merciful.

[/quote]

Oh, thank you, Viki63

I will definitely check out his book, as well as others he has written.


#18

Thank you all for your encouragement

I will definitely do some reading and check out what Scott Hanh has to offer. As far as the issue of my mixed family, I am starting to feel more at peace about. At peace about my desire to become Catholic. Thank you again, all.

I greatly appreciate your support.


#19

[quote="lareinatortura, post:1, topic:181643"]
Hey all,

I have a few questions about Mass. Please allow me to clarify: I am a "Non-denominational" Protestant who wants to become a Catholic. I have not yet undergone the process of Catechism--though I hope to soon--but I am doing my best to educate myself and speak with knowledgeable Catholics such as yourselves. Disclaimer: "Foot-washing" Southern Baptists have filled my head with misconceptions about Catholicism! -.-; (I'm sorry. . as true as that is, I should not have said it in such a joking way. . Sorry guys!)

I have never been to Mass before. I would like to know:

As I am currently a Protestant, would I be allowed to attend Mass?

I know that Catholic Christian services are generally different from that of Protestant Christian ones. Many Protestants have told me that Mass is "formulaic," and "ritualistic," and thus, "empty."

I know that Mass has its own sort of norms--just like how most Protestant services sing about 5 songs during the service, 4 usually occurring before the pastor gives his message, etc.) However, to what extent is Mass "ritualistic?"

As ignorant as I am. I would like to think that it is not at all "empty." That it is as wonderful as all the rest of the things that the Church offers. However, the misconceptions Protestants have given me filled me with fear. And thus, I ask:

Will Mass fulfill me and make me feel content--yet still hungry for God's Word--in the same way that Protestant services do?

Does Mass fulfill you?

How do you generally feel after Mass, and throughout the week?

I am dying to know. I've wanted to attend Mass for months!

[/quote]

Dear lareinatortura, you are certainly welcome to attend Mass :). You simply can't partake of the Eucharist until after Confirmation. But you are welcome to attend, pray and sing with us and absorb God's Word, for sure.

I attend Daily Mass. It is the richest part of each day. I very often hear God speaking to me during it, either through the readings of His Word, through the Liturgy and Prayers of the People, or through the hymns. The Mass is inundated with God's Word. It is a powerful experience with God. There is nothing like receiving the real Eucharist . . . I know you won't experience that until after RCIA, but it is incredible. I've had all kinds of spiritual insights and wonderful feelings of peace and the presence of God during Mass. I can't say how you'll feel during it, as different people react to things in different ways, but I doubt you'll be disappointed.

And by the way, formula and ritual don't mean something is empty. Just consider Psalm 136, a very formulaic prayer, and full of God's truth. And the Old Testament rites are full of rituals that poured out directly from God upon Israel. Baptism and Eucharist are also symbolic rituals, though they are full of the reality of God as well, and consequently are sacraments, symbol as well as the reality of what is symbolized.


closed #20

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