Should I stay or should I go?


I have an dilema that I am faced with for upcoming June 10th. I am an Episcopalian who has been out of the Catholic church for 3 years now. My mom who is Catholic is having a mass said for my grandmother who passed away 5 years ago. Her brothers will be here from far away then and she would like for me and my wife and 4 yr old son to go to that mass. I am torn on it though. If we go, my wife, son nor myself can receive communion and the priest saying the mass is the same one that heavily influenced my decision to leave the RCC. My sister will be there as well but she cannot receive either because she turned Methodist about 6 years ago. Other than for my mother and grandmother, I do not see the point in going because we are not welcomed to communion as we welcome others in other denominations to communion in our church.


The question is are you trying to make a statement or show support for your mother and grandmother by honoring your mother’s wishes?

If it is the first, you can certainly choose to show your discontent with your inability to recieve in the Catholic church in contrast to your church’s interdenominational communion by choosing not to go.

If it is the second, you should swallow your discontent, and dislike of the priest and go support you mother and pray for your grandmother.


Since this is for your grandmother, it shows respect and honor on your part if you, your family & your sister go and pray for her.

Peace be with you.


I think you could go to the mass and offer your prayers for you deceased grandmother and your living mother. You can join yourself in a celebration of family and friends and love of Christ. Why would you not want to be a part of this public expression of faith?

As far as presenting yourself for "communion" one wonders why you would want to? It appears from your post that it is you [and your sister] who have ‘removed’ yourself from being in communion with the catholic faith community. You obviously do not believe in the sacrificial action of the mass and the Eucharist. It appears that you seperated yourself from the church because of personality conflict with a priest [the same one who will be presiding at this mass - your words]. If the reception of the “Body and Blood” [the Eucharist as in ‘the Body of Christ’ - "Amen’] were really that important to you*** and*** if union - as in being in union with - a faith comminity [and or family] was that important to you…Well yu would not be other than the catholic Christian you were at your baptism.

As another poster has written; Decide if you want to support you mother or make a statement of your discontent. The first option has you attending with smiles, a heart ful of charity forgiveness and love. You listen too scripture, sing hymns and pray. At communion you 1] offer your prayers to Jesus uniting ‘in spirit’ with those who receive; staying in your place or 2] You join the communion procession, place your right arm across your heart [chest] right hand on left shoulder and receive a bllessing while uniting yourself “in spirit” with those who receive.

There is also a third option: You recognize all that you left behind, seek reconcilliaiton and sacramental confession before the event, bringing yourself back to and in "communion" with your family, your faith community, yoursef and Jesus. We are eagerly waiting to welcome you home…wheever you are…God Bless you…


Go and make a spiritual communion. If it seems possible, go forward and receive a blessing. Or just sit in the pew.

Or, do as Yada said, which I read while typing this.


Anglicanus Catholicus


Ask the Lord for help with the priest and your feelings. Do the blessing. I thought you could have the wafer? I have and Im not Catholic. I will probably be toasted for that but I was told it was ok. It is a shame it cant be the other way around, communion is a special thing and I understand being left out there, when at home its not that way.

But like said, go with the thought of supporting your mom and her brothers and honoring your grandma. Your mom wants you all there and thats a more important tradition to follow.


No you shouldn’t be toasted - if you received wrongfully (which you did) it’s the fault of whatever ignoramuses told you you could. It’s not exactly a state secret among Catholics that we have closed communion.


OP is not clear whether this is an Episcopalian going to a Catholic service, or a Catholic going to and Episcopal service, but either way, all those who cannot receive communion may be in spiritual communion as Christians together. There is no requirement for Catholics to receive communion at every Mass they attend, and if you are at a Catholic Mass, many in the pews will not be receiving for various reasons, nonetheless you are all in spiritual communion. Your family has asked you to attend for the sake of other people close to you. Go.


ACBishop, I would suggest that you go for the sake of your your Mum and in rememberance of your grandmother. You may not be able to receive the Eucharist, because for you it is only a symbol of the presence of Jesus but for us as you know its different, and you chose to walk away from the Eucharist. However, there is no reason to believe that you cannot be in communion of prayers for your grandma and family, now is there?
Its a pity you chose to throw away your Catholic faith because of another person (the priest in question).
In your last sentence you sound petulant. If you go, go for mother and grandmother, and then go back to the place you want to be. I think this would come under “Honour your mother and father” that all may go well with you.
God Bless


You’re going to do what is best. That I’m sure on.

However, I just wanted to say that even though your church allows people from other faiths to receive your Mom, as a practicing Catholic, would not be allow to receive in your church.

The reason I point this out is because what if the shoe was on the other foot. How would you feel if Mom told you No she would not attend a service in your church because she can’t receive communion? What’s the point?

Just something to think about… I’m sure you will do what is best for you and your family.


well I had the wafer but not the wine and the priest blessed my son. my best friend was the decider, I knew there was “rules” but she was sure. But I should have thought it through because shes always mixed up on things, and asks me questions. :shrug:

Ah well, God made us best friends since childhood, which is rare. Dont worry she loves her Catholic Church, thats why I go with her to support her and she goes to mine. :slight_smile:


This is a question for all my friends on here who know much more than me.

Is the OP still a Catholic? He may go to another denomination for worship, but does that officially make him a non-Catholic who cannot receive the Eucharist anymore at Mass?


To officially become “un-Catholic” requires a lengthy process (not much unlike decaffeinating coffee) of paperwork filed with the diocese. If this procedure hasn’t been done, then a simple trip to the confessional with a desire to return to communion with Rome is all that is needed.


Well, for starters the he’s missed three years’ worth of Sunday masses - that in itself is a grave sin, probably mortal, which would prevent him receiving Communion.

Then there’s the three year’s worth of confession (required at least once a year) and Holy Communion (also required at least once a year) that he has missed - again to miss either of these is in itself grave and probably mortal sin.

Of course he is only a good confession away from being restored to good standing as a Catholic, you never really stop being a Catholic even if you leave the Church. Presumably he’s not interested in confessing and wouldn’t have the requisite intent not to sin again anyway.


Except he would have to go to Confession first because he has obviously missed Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.

We had a PP who I know had some people turning away from the CC. I just went to another parish until we could move. The move came in response to prayer.

Now I attend another neighbouring parish from the one in which I live. A ‘bad’ priest is better than no priest, because with ‘no’ priest there cn be no Eucharist. To me that is more important that any ill-feeling whatever. I would not allow anyone to come between me and Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.


These are the answers I thought. My point is, the OP seems to take offence that he can no longer receive Communion, when in fact he can, he just needs to confess.

To the OP, please attend and support your mother. You may have strayed from the Church, but it seems it is very important to her.


No he doesn’t just need to confess, because it seems he would have every intention of going straight back to his old ways afterwards. That renders his confession invalid - you have to have at least a wish not to repeat the sins you’re confessing!


Recently we attended a memorial service in a church for my husband’s uncle. We have been distanced from the uncle for a number of years and we are not Christian. We went for the sole and express purpose of supporting my mother-in-law (it was her brother who died). It was not the most comfortable thing I have ever done. but it was important.

This is not, in all honesty, primarily about attending a worship service, it is about honoring your grandmother’s memory and supporting your mother. In your place, I would go. It’s what, an hour out of your life? Swallow your pride, resentment and hurt feelings and go, sit, be respectful. It will mean the world to your mother to be able to introduce her grandchild to those friends/acquaintances/family members she has not seen in a long time (funerals and memorial services bring these folks out). Our daughter is 6 and it was incredibly meaningful to my mother-in-law.

Your son is not old enough anyway for communion in your own church or there (I was Episcopalian for a number of years), so his lack of receiving is irrelevant. The priest evidently knows you and your sister left the church–perhaps have a quiet word with him ahead of time about coming up to receive a blessing if you so desire (I know in the Episcopal Church one can go up with arms crossed and head bowed and just get a blessing). If you don’t desire, then sit respectfully. Yes, it will single you out in the congregation, but I am imagining it isn’t exactly a state secret that you left the church and you will not be the only non-Catholic there (especially as your sister is not).

If you are concerned about sending mixed messages to your son, you could try what I used at that age to explain to my daughter why we didn’t go to a particular church or with other family members. I told her that just like folks find that they prefer different flavors of ice cream, they also find that they prefer different types of churches and different ways of approaching (in your case) God. We go to the one that we like best and Grandma/Grandad go to the one they like best. Yes, it’s incredibly simplistic, but it worked for a 4 year old without getting into tons of theology or criticizing the choices of folks she loves and respects in a way she could not understand at that age.


i’m Jewish and I’ve attended Mass to support family and friends. I’d say go.


Honor your grandmother.

It’s one of the Ten Commandments. (Honor your mother and father.) Yes, I know, it doesn’t say grandparents, but you honor your parents by honoring their parents.

Do not think about the priest that you dislike. Think about the Lord, your grandmother, and your family.

The Lord will bless you for obeying His commandments.

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