Various Rites


My Wife is a protestant (at this point by name only really) After many many discussions, she agrees with almost all of the various Catholic Doctrines. She still has a few hold outs, but at this point, they are minor. She believes in the Eucharist, she at least understand why Praying with the Saints isnt bad. She has a few issues with the Pope, but other than that, from her perspective, the Catholic Churches teachings are OK (except when dealing with authority of the pope). Ultimately, she just feels it is another denom preaching what it feels is correct. But one whose principles she actually doesnt have a problem with. She even mentioned she loved the idea that the CC has the magesterium, she just doesnt think its infailiable

Anyway… long story short… she hates what protestantism is becoming. She feels it has become nothing more than a feel good experience, power point driven message. It has more to do with singing and feeling good than anything else. She wants a church that holds to the traditional method… Her comment is… “I just want to go learn about god!”

So, of coarse, I mention, well, why not try the Catholic Church. Its about as traditional as you can get. Her objections deal with the vestments and ornateness of most churches. This is actually a Huge issue for her as she feels it distracts from the message, just like power point messages can.

Question is this…

Are there any Rites that are not big on the vestments, have simple churches, but that are in Union with the Pope. I believe I could convince her to go if such a rite exists.

Thanks In Advance

In Christ


her hang-up with regard to vestments, and decoration of churches has its roots in hang-ups with the role of the sacramental priesthood. Assist her with that understanding, which will be far more helpful to her in the long run.


There is a great variety among the architectural styles of Catholic Churches, so you’ll have to see what’s available in your area. As far as vestments go, these are part and parcel of Catholic worship. You will find, however, that the vestments of the Eastern rites will usually be more “ornate” than those of the Latin rite. A book that would help your wife understand the use of liturgical vestments, ritual, etc. is Thomas Howard’s Evangelical Is Not Enough, which shows that such are actually very helpful aids in presenting “the message” which includes the sacrificial nature of the Mass; we’re not, after all, just there for a nice lecture, but for worship. :slight_smile:


Well the Roman Rite is about as simple as you can get in the Catholic Church anything East of there is more ornate and complicated for the newcomer. But then God deserves only the best, doesn’t He?


Dear heisenburg:

I realize that this is not a direct response to your question; but I think it might be a useful line of thought.

The Church does not teach about God with words alone – maybe not even primarily with words. The Church is a means of coming to know Christ Jesus. In part this is done by words, but it is also done by sharing experiences that He had. Jesus worshiped in the ornate and elaborate temple in Jerusalem. He traveled, probably on foot, for 90 miles or so from Nazareth to the temple to offer the Passover – and likely for the other two major holidays of the year. He engaged in these ceremonies, offering sacrificial animals, submitting to the elaborately vested priests, and praying and singing in unison with the faithful Israelites gathered there. He did this with His Mother and foster father. He prayed daily prayers, and prayed the Psalms and canticles from the Old Testament. He used water to cleanse and bless Himself. He was the anointed mentioned in the Psalms.

The Church lives out this reality. A devout Catholic who prays the Liturgy of the Hours, attends the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, who engages in the Easter Triduum, uses sacramentals, and has received the appropriate Sacraments, is given the means of coming to know Jesus in an intimate way, on many more than merely an intellectual level. By doing during our lives some of what He did during His, we come to know Him as one knows an intimate, not by facts and stories alone, but by shared experiences and common heritage.

Catholics are to a great extent Old Testament Jews, but perfected. He fasted; we fast. We do not ritually wash our hands before each meal – because Jesus did not – but we do ritually wash as we enter the Church, because Jesus (most likely) did. We do not offer the daily sacrifices of Moses, but we do offer the transcendent and perfect sacrifice daily, and we personally participate in that Sacrifice once per week. We are each anointed ones, because in keeping with the tradition from the Prophets we have had oil applied to our heads.

Our practices recognize the Church’s teaching that every act of Jesus’ life was an act of teaching. Hence, by imitating what He did we hope to learn the parts of His lessons which words alone do not convey – all of this, of course, tempered by careful attention to the perfection which He brought to the ancient practices.

It might be worthwhile to suggest to your wife that vestments, rituals, sacramentals, etc., are not distractions, but rather part of the message, a message with flows on many more levels of human experience than the intellectual or emotional, and a message which makes intimate contact with the person of Christ Jesus possible through thousands of years.

Spiritus Sanctus vobiscum.

John Hiner


I know you are excited that she might one day become catholic, but it seems the bigger issues are more then the vestments. Like the authority of the pope and the infalibility issue. She should never become catholic until she can profess these things. When anyone becomes catholic they have to profess in front of the whole church “I profess that I believe ALL the church teaches as revealed to it by God”

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