sin to attend Protestant Sunday service?

Not in place of Catholic Mass of course.

I’m visiting my family in August, and I’m expected to attend their church on Sunday. They do not know I am still Catholic and would throw a ballistic conniption if they found out (mostly my mother).

If I attend Vigil Mass on Saturday, is it still sinful to attend Protestant ecclesial service on Sunday?

So let me see if I understand. You are about to utterly deny your faith to your own family in order to avoid some minor familial discomfort and the question you have is whether attending another Christian denomination service is problematic?

Is that about right?

Answer: No, attending the protestant service is not the sinful part of this scenario. Prayers to St. Sebastian for you.

If they ask, I will tell them I’m Catholic. But no one knows I go to Catholic Mass. There’s no occasion to ask.

Are you or are you not hiding the fact that you are Catholic from your family?

" I am still Catholic"

Were they expecting you to leave the Church?

Are you a convert to the Church?

I did not deny but I also did not tell them I converted.

that doesn’t answer the question. Are you intentionally keeping the information from them, and if so, why?

The last time we discussed religion was before my official acceptance at Easter Vigil but after attending Mass semi-regularly.

I was raised Protestant.

My mother, specifically, is very, very emotional and feels I need to be Protestant to be “part of the family”, so to speak. It’s (psychologically) important that I go to her church when I visit home.

My father is anti-Catholic due to the normal Protestant bigotry, but I don’t mind telling him — he is not emotionally fragile and I can handle dealing with him.

I fear my mom will psychologically unravel.

So, you believe that withholding your conversion from you mother is for “her” mental health benefit?

emmm hmmmm, ok.

I think she would genuinely lose it. When I told her I attended Mass (that’s even before I converted), she was emotionally devastated.

Of course I would withhold this information for fear of consequences I cannot control. Why else would I not tell?

Because you don’t want to face the unpleasantness of her throwing a “ballistic conniption”. Your words, not mine.

This seems a recipe for disaster eventually if you keep hiding this information.

She was angry at first. That I can handle.

But she broke down and couldn’t function.

I don’t care if she’s angry at me. I don’t care if she screams at me.

I would actually prefer that. At least we can argue and have a dialog.

So all this time you thought I didn’t tell my parents because I didn’t want to get yelled at?

Good grief. Why did I even bother asking an online forum.

Forget it. I’ll just go ask my priest.

Family friends told her she’s being ridiculous.

She’s stubborn. And emotional. Bad combination.

I suggest you talk to your pastor who knows your situation for the bigger issue of keeping your conversion from your mother.

As to attending their service, there can be reasons to do so and this sounds like one of them. Don’t participate in their communion.

That I know not to do. I’ll just pass the tray of grape juice over to the next person.

This. Family situations can be delicate. It would probably be better to seek advice from someone to whom you can lay out the whole story rather than simply talking to people on the internet.

Just do not receive their communion. (That’ll get mom wondering, won’t it.)

I agree that talking with your priest beforehand is probably best regarding the situation with your mother and hiding your Catholic faith from her.

Prayers for you. Strength of Christ be with you.

One of the passages which came to mind when I read your post was Luke 14:26.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." ESV

While we don’t take it in literal context as it were, the concept behind it is that we must have the thought that following Christ fully may lead to leaving behind those things which we previously put before Him.

A few verses earlier (Luke 9:59) Jesus tells a man who wants to bury his father to let the dead bury the dead. While it is thought that the man’s father was aged, rather than having recently dead, the point was “if you are not ready to leave your old life behind, you are not ready to follow me”. (Look up Muslim convert stories on YouTube for perspective and examples).

It doesn’t mean we ignore our family for the faith, but does mean we stand in our faith with those around us.

I would encourage you to not waste this opportunity for contemplation, questioning and spiritual growth. As was suggested a conversation about your thoughts with your Pastor would be a good idea.

Good luck in your journey!

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