Supporting A Friend?

Hi, I’m a college student who was recently Confirmed into the Church and I have lots of questions! Please bear with me as I give you the background details…

I have a friend who is a former, pretty staunch atheist. However, she recently has accepted Christ and now goes to a nondenominational, independent church near our school. Tomorrow, she is going to be giving her testimony during her pastor’s sermon. I really would like to be there for this, as it is something that is important to her, and I’d like to support her because I know she would do the same for me.

I was planning on of course still attending Mass beforehand, and then going to this service afterwards. My dilemma is that I almost feel like a bad person for attending this church because it is not Catholic! Is it wrong for me to attend this church, even though I’m there to support my friend? I know that I cannot take communion at this church because it is not Catholic, so how can I politely decline when it comes time for communion?

Thanks for all and any advice, and God Bless!

Please go - not only will you be helping your friend in her faith, your will be helping your own faith.

To hear the testimony of a former atheist that you respect could be very powerful.

The easiest way to decline a communion is to just stay seated in the pew, or if you’re in a row of people, get up to let everybody else out and then sit back down. If your friend asks why, then you have a good opportunity to explain and educate.

Some people can ask for a blessing instead of communing, but personally think this is a bad habit.

I don’t see any reason why you should feel you can’t go. If the church has communion the way we do, then just stand as your row goes out, let people pass you, then sit back down again. If they pass a plate, hand it to the next person in line. If someone asks, tell them you are Catholic.

PS- There’s a good chance they won’t even have communion.

There is nothing wrong with visiting a non-Catholic church occasionally, especially on a special occasion such as your friend’s testimony. If communion time comes around, just politely decline.

I would say go as a support for your friend, while not aggreing with the theology espoused by that ecclesial group.

I wouldn’t worry about communion at all, since many “non-denominational” denominations don’t have it very often at all, lots of them only four times a year.

Thank you everyone for your responses!

My boyfriend and I were discussing the issue last night. He agreed… as long as I still go to Mass and don’t take their possibly warped views to heart, I will be fine. What’s most important is that I am supporting my friend!

My other friends go to Harvest Bible Chapel, and I know they give out bread and grape juice or something. I think they do something similar at this church.

Thanks for the advice! I will do my best to be as respectful as possible. I am so happy to be able to help lead my friend deeper into a relationship with Christ :).

Just thought I’d let everyone know how it went.

It was great! My friend cried a lot and so did her pastor. They did hand out communion, but my boyfriend and I just stayed sitting. It was very different… they took a piece of pita-looking bread and dipped it in a cup of juice. I have never seen THAT before.

Something I found a little disturbing was that throughout the pastor’s sermon, I noticed he kept saying “I believe…” “I think this means…”, meaning that the whole church is founded on HIS interpretation of the Bible. Hmmm…

Thanks for all your advice again!

I would go and support a friend of mine if I was in your position.

God bless

Thanks for the update. Glad it went well. Pray for your friend, supply good sources of info on why it matters how we worship God (His way rather than her way) and support her in this as best as you can.

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