What can Protestants do at Mass?


#1

I was raised Protestant but my wife and kids are Catholic and we attend Mass each week. I have not yet made the decision to convert as I am still hung up on some of the differences between the Catholic Church and how I was raised. But I do enjoy attending Mass and participating to the fullest extent that I can.

What am I as a non-Catholic permitted to do in the Mass and what am I not permitted to do? Are there some things that I am permitted to do but it is not recommended that I do? I certainly know that I cannot take Communion, but what about the other activities and postures? I routinely do go forward during Communion to receive a blessing along with my younger boys. Is this okay? Also, is it appropriate for me to genuflect; make the sign of the cross; raise my hands during the Lord’s Prayer; cross my forehead, mouth and heart when the Gospel is read; etc.?


#2

Generally speaking, you are permitted to do all that lay Catholics are permitted to do, with the exception of receiving Communion. Some Protestants and other non-Catholics and non-Christians are not comfortable with specifically Catholic gestures such as genuflection and the sign of the cross, and should not participate in them if those gestures are not in keeping with their own beliefs. But, if you are comfortable performing them, you are welcome to join in.

[quote=Tim_Cleveland]I routinely do go forward during Communion to receive a blessing along with my younger boys. Is this okay? Also, is it appropriate for me to genuflect; make the sign of the cross; raise my hands during the Lord’s Prayer; cross my forehead, mouth and heart when the Gospel is read; etc.?
[/quote]

Blessings instead of Communion: If your priest offers them, you are free to go forward to receive them. Just be aware that since such blessings are not part of the liturgical rubrics, some parishes do not offer them.

**Raise hands/hold hands during Lord’s prayer: **Even lay Catholics are not supposed to be doing this because it is not part of the liturgical rubrics. The correct posture is to stand quietly without doing anything special with your hands. However, if people near you tend to grab at your hands, you may clasp your own hands together to indicate that you do not wish to hold hands.

Recommended reading:

Mass Appeal by Jimmy Akin


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