Should a Catholic receive a blessing at a Lutheran ecumenical service?

Well, I appreciate the variety of answers, especially those with the CCC to help with documenting.

I kind of felt hijacked at the event, as it was billed as a prayer service for the opening of our small town festival. When I got there and saw the program and it mentioned “Open Communion- we do not turn anyone away” I was very uncomfortable, and rightly so.

Just getting info for the next time! BTW, if I go. Thanks!

I wouldn’t, especially in that situation. There would be nothing per se wrong with it as anyone can bless anyone else. In other contexts it would be fine (no one declines a blessing after a sneeze, even from an atheist!). However, making an affirmative act to receive a blessing from a Lutheran minister giving the blessing as a part of his ministry or a liturgy connotes indifferentism to the fact that the minister is not an authorized minister of Christ.

As the CCC quote provided by JohnStrachan notes, “the more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons).”

We aren’t even supposed to attend non Catholic worship, and if you do because of a reason such as a wedding or a funeral, you are only supposed to be there in presence, not at all taking part in any of the worship as doing so is showing you believe it is legitimate which it is not. This may not be the case going to an Orthodox Divine Liturgy because even though they are in schism, their priests and sacraments are still valid. This is not so in Protestantism. And some are worse than others. I suppose Lutherans and Anglicans are the closest to Catholicism but they still are in heresy.
Why are you going to heretics worship? That only creates confusion you know.

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It was at a funeral for an ELCA church a couple years ago and the minister made it a point to announce before Communion that they practiced Open Communion and everyone was welcome to receive. He wasn’t pushy about it and I felt no pressure to receive, however. Perhaps Open Communion is an area of emphasis for the entire ELCA right now?

The only positive I could see would be going in the hope of being able to proclaim the Truth of Jesus Christ and His Church. Maybe one of the protestants might ask ‘why are you not going for ‘communion’’? But in general, I agree, best not to go at all.

The OP mentioned it was an ecumenical prayer service.

Although one would not expect communion to be offered at an ecumenical prayer service.

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What exactly is an ecumenical service going to provide besides religious indifference?

I would like to point out that the Bible is replete with laymen giving blessings (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Caleb, David, etc.).


How do you think an ecumenical service is going to provide religious indifference?

Presumably ecumenical services build bridges, open channels of dialogue, and help Protestants interact with Catholics so that they can see that no, we’re not the demon-worshippers or whatever that some of them insist we are.

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Exactly. Felt a bit hijacked.

Perhaps slightly oversimplified. That would be like saying a Jewish Rabbi is a lay person. Or like a Lutheran saying Pope Francis is a lay person.

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I disagree about the religious indifference. It provides a unity in prayer before our town festival and solidifies the already close community we have. We have a church picnic- some of the Lutherans work at it. They have a spaghetti dinner, and pretty much without the Catholics buying and working- it would go bust. We do have a lot of families who are Catholic, but their mothers were Lutheran, so they have that connection. These are strong Catholics, BTW.

Also, I was a public school teacher, and I can tell you that we need to focus on supporting each other as Christians. Those students who are “unchurched” are far more uncivilized that the ones who come from Christians backgrounds. Sad to say, some Catholics who come to church these days are more into the materialist culture than our Baptist parents or non-denominational.

Does that mean I confer “authority” or authenticity to the entirety of the beliefs? No. But I do see the Spirit is working.

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Excellent point, Hodos.

Excellent example-thanks!

My goodness! The hostility toward our non-Catholic brethren here is disgraceful!

Ecumenical prayer services have many potential benefits. The OP’s bishop was there, so it certainly isn’t out of line. To call it a sin against a commandment or something along the lines of “fake” or “false” is just a blatant affront to Christian charity. (You remember the second part of how Jesus summarized the commandments: love one another.)


No, factually correct.

If you don’t have holy orders, you are laity.

How would you like a non-Catholic to refer to our priests as lay people?


I don’t really care how they refer to them, it’s not my concern. I’m responding to a Catholic asking whether she, a Catholic, should receive a blessing. The answer to that Catholic is, no, because only the ordained in Holy Orders can give blessings.

I am not talking about honorific titles, which is a completely different thing. I call Episcopal priests by the honorific they use-- Father. I refer to a rabbi as Rabbi. I refer to the lady pastor of our local Methodist church as “Pastor Tammy”.


You are best to follow the example of your Bishop.

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