What if you're invited to a non-Catholic church and you're Catholic


#1

I know that it’s a MUST to go to Mass if you’re a confirmed Catholic and it would be a mortal sin to miss Mass just for no reason.

Now, what happens, if after I get confirmed, that my parents invite me to go to their church? Would I have to go Mass Saturday night then go with them Sunday? How would this work yet I don’t want to be rude to my parents?


#2

Paris, as long as you attended Sunday Mass (or Saturday evening) you could attend your parents’ religious service as well. You would not, though, be able to participate in the Lord’s Supper as celebrated in their church.


#3

Go with your parents by all means…just don’t count it as Mass…and attend Mass on Saturday night, as you suggested.


#4

[quote=Paris Blues]I know that it’s a MUST to go to Mass if you’re a confirmed Catholic and it would be a mortal sin to miss Mass just for no reason.

Now, what happens, if after I get confirmed, that my parents invite me to go to their church? Would I have to go Mass Saturday night then go with them Sunday? How would this work yet I don’t want to be rude to my parents?
[/quote]

Hi Paris Blues,
Congratulations on your upcoming confirmation to the Catholic Faith! I have pasted below the response to your question from a Catholic website. Hopefully it provides the answer you are seeking.

Catholic Article - May a Catholic attend a service at a Protestant church?

Issue: May a Catholic attend a service at a Protestant church? How may a Catholic participate?

Response: A Catholic may attend and participate in common prayer at services in Protestant churches. Catholics are encouraged to pray and sing, and they may read or preach, but a Catholic may not receive “communion” if this is part of the service.

Discussion: There is no ban against a Catholic attending a Protestant service, although a Catholic may not receive “communion” if made available. This is largely a consequence of the invalid ordination of ministers attempting to confect the Sacrament. Canon 844 of the Code of Canon Law says that Catholic members of the Christian faithful may receive sacraments only from Catholic ministers. Further, the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that there can be no “Eucharistic intercommunion” between the Church and Protestant communities (no. 1400).

Participation in common prayer without taking part in a communion rite is an act of true ecumenism—promoting unity without denying the truths of the one true faith—and should not likely be a cause of scandal. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, in its 1993 Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, encourages such participation:

In liturgical celebrations taking place in other churches and ecclesial communities, Catholics are encouraged to take part in the psalms, responses, hymns and common actions of the church in which they are guests. If invited by their hosts, they may read a lesson or preach (no. 118).

However, the Catholic must not think of the worship service as an addition or substitution for Mass. It is important that the Catholic does not give the impression that there is no real separation between Catholics and Protestants. Protestant services must not be attended in order for the Catholic to experience “feelings” of fellowship or closeness to God.


#5

[quote=Paris Blues]I know that it’s a MUST to go to Mass if you’re a confirmed Catholic and it would be a mortal sin to miss Mass just for no reason.

Now, what happens, if after I get confirmed, that my parents invite me to go to their church? Would I have to go Mass Saturday night then go with them Sunday? How would this work yet I don’t want to be rude to my parents?
[/quote]

Assuming that you have decided to become confirmed, you are called to begin to live a Catholic life and you should attend Mass every Sunday. Essentially, you are Catholic by intent and the requirement to attend Mass applies to you even though you are yet fully in communion and fully Catholic. Granted there are justifications for missing Mass (i.e. travel considerations) but they must be discussed and cleared by your Priest PRIOR to missing Mass.

My advice is to quietly and unobtrusively (so as not to offend your parents who are called to give respect) either excuse yourself Saturday evening or early Sunday morning, go to Mass and join them as soon as possible either at home or their place of worship. If your city offers Sunday evening Mass, you can do that too. Hospitals are often sources of odd-time Masses. While I advise you to check with your Priest about this, but I believe that your circumstances might justify “attending” Mass by watching it on TV especially since you are not yet able to recieve the Eucharist.

Part of our call to be eucumenical is to respect the attempts of our fellow Christians with whom we are sadly divided to find solace in Christ. Sometimes this calls us to attend services with them but it is imperative that we never give them the impression that we believe such service equates to the worship of the Mass.


#6

Go ahead! I attend a Protestant service every week with my family. If nothing else, some Protestants may see Christ in the life of a Catholic, a reality that many do not know exists!


#7

[quote=Paris Blues]I know that it’s a MUST to go to Mass if you’re a confirmed Catholic and it would be a mortal sin to miss Mass just for no reason.

Now, what happens, if after I get confirmed, that my parents invite me to go to their church? Would I have to go Mass Saturday night then go with them Sunday? How would this work yet I don’t want to be rude to my parents?
[/quote]

That’s what I would do - I try to make sure I meet my fabulous Sunday obligation and than attend the function I am invited to - my Parish is so active I have TONS of Masses from which to chose!

Also, I travel a LOT speaking all over the country and I get to go to Mass EVERYWHERE…I got to attend Mass in O’Hare Airport once!


#8

I’m Roman Catholic,and I’ve been invited to baptist services,and I never feel strange.All I said to myself was “Christ is Christ,no matter what service I go.”:slight_smile:


#9

Just the other day a friend of mine, and his Lutheran wife stopped by briefly to visit. I have alot of Catholic art in my home, as well as a few crucifixes hanging on the walls. Anyway, she made a rude comment about “you Catholics” do this and that, blah blah blah. She then made another comment about how liberal they were with their “communion”, and remarked that I “should” go to their church sometime, and I could even take communion there. I told her that I could not, since it was not consitent with the Catholic faith. I then proceeded to tell her that she was forbidden from receiving communion at Catholic Churches because she is a Protestant. Before she could fully remark that Catholics were discriminating against non-Catholics by denying them communion and that it was a Christian “right” to receive wherever and whenever they want in the “Christian” community, her Catholic husband (my friend) had to explain things to her very gently. I just wonder what it is about the rules and rituals of the Catholic faith that Protestants do not understand?


#10

[quote=gmmartin42]… I just wonder what it is about the rules and rituals of the Catholic faith that Protestants do not understand?
[/quote]

Our Unity is in the Eucharist!!


#11

go to Mass, then go to services with your family…

you will be doubly blessed …

:slight_smile:


#12

[quote=paramedicgirl]Hi Paris Blues,
Congratulations on your upcoming confirmation to the Catholic Faith! I have pasted below the response to your question from a Catholic website. Hopefully it provides the answer you are seeking.

Catholic Article - May a Catholic attend a service at a Protestant church?

Issue: May a Catholic attend a service at a Protestant church? How may a Catholic participate?

Response: A Catholic may attend and participate in common prayer at services in Protestant churches. Catholics are encouraged to pray and sing, and they may read or preach, but a Catholic may not receive “communion” if this is part of the service.

Discussion: There is no ban against a Catholic attending a Protestant service, although a Catholic may not receive “communion” if made available. This is largely a consequence of the invalid ordination of ministers attempting to confect the Sacrament. Canon 844 of the Code of Canon Law says that Catholic members of the Christian faithful may receive sacraments only from Catholic ministers. Further, the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that there can be no “Eucharistic intercommunion” between the Church and Protestant communities (no. 1400).

Participation in common prayer without taking part in a communion rite is an act of true ecumenism—promoting unity without denying the truths of the one true faith—and should not likely be a cause of scandal. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, in its 1993 Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, encourages such participation:

In liturgical celebrations taking place in other churches and ecclesial communities, Catholics are encouraged to take part in the psalms, responses, hymns and common actions of the church in which they are guests. If invited by their hosts, they may read a lesson or preach (no. 118).

However, the Catholic must not think of the worship service as an addition or substitution for Mass. It is important that the Catholic does not give the impression that there is no real separation between Catholics and Protestants. Protestant services must not be attended in order for the Catholic to experience “feelings” of fellowship or closeness to God.
[/quote]

Excellent! Thx for all the helpful info! I was worried too about the same. If your parents ask you “why did you not take communion?”–now you’ll know how to respond.


#13

[quote=gmmartin42]Just the other day a friend of mine, and his Lutheran wife stopped by briefly to visit. I have alot of Catholic art in my home, as well as a few crucifixes hanging on the walls. Anyway, she made a rude comment about “you Catholics” do this and that, blah blah blah. She then made another comment about how liberal they were with their “communion”, and remarked that I “should” go to their church sometime, and I could even take communion there. I told her that I could not, since it was not consitent with the Catholic faith. I then proceeded to tell her that she was forbidden from receiving communion at Catholic Churches because she is a Protestant. Before she could fully remark that Catholics were discriminating against non-Catholics by denying them communion and that it was a Christian “right” to receive wherever and whenever they want in the “Christian” community, her Catholic husband (my friend) had to explain things to her very gently. I just wonder what it is about the rules and rituals of the Catholic faith that Protestants do not understand?
[/quote]

What they do not understand is that Catholic Christians do not recognize their priests/ministers as having received valid holy orders. Therefore they cannot perform a valid sacrifice. Their communion is symbolic. Our Eurcharist is not. Jesus did not want a symbolic communion meal - He did speak in symbols when it came to this Holy Meal. He spoke in very plain terms regarding the Eurcharist.

Because other Christians do not believe that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ they are not in full communion with the Faith. Therefore, they cannot partake of the Eucharist. It is not that we are ‘discriminating’ against them…it is that they are not fully of the faith.

I am so sorry that your friend’s wife was rude to you. I am always amazed that, when trying to convince someone their faith is ‘wrong’ , they chose to be mean about it. Yeah, that will work!


#14

[quote=Paris Blues]I know that it’s a MUST to go to Mass if you’re a confirmed Catholic and it would be a mortal sin to miss Mass just for no reason.

Now, what happens, if after I get confirmed, that my parents invite me to go to their church?
Would I have to go Mass Saturday night then go with them Sunday? How would this work yet
I don’t want to be rude to my parents?
[/quote]

First, I would get rid of the “have to” and replace it with “Want to”
After that …You already have your answer;

Go …(because you WANT to) to Mass Saturday,
And go with them on Sunday.

My brother invited me to go with him to a "super- mega "church so I did.
I enjoyed the singing, the “preaching” was so-so.
but what stood out like a Grand canyon
Is the ABSENSE of The Altar…
I could not get Rev. 11: 1 out of my mind all through their service.

God Bless,

gusano


#15

[quote=gmmartin42]Just the other day a friend of mine, and his Lutheran wife stopped by briefly to visit. I have alot of Catholic art in my home, as well as a few crucifixes hanging on the walls. Anyway, she made a rude comment about “you Catholics” do this and that, blah blah blah. She then made another comment about how liberal they were with their “communion”, and remarked that I “should” go to their church sometime, and I could even take communion there. I told her that I could not, since it was not consitent with the Catholic faith. I then proceeded to tell her that she was forbidden from receiving communion at Catholic Churches because she is a Protestant. Before she could fully remark that Catholics were discriminating against non-Catholics by denying them communion and that it was a Christian “right” to receive wherever and whenever they want in the “Christian” community, her Catholic husband (my friend) had to explain things to her very gently. I just wonder what it is about the rules and rituals of the Catholic faith that Protestants do not understand?
[/quote]

Lutherans themselves hold a similar position:
**

A. The LCMS believes that Scripture teaches that the Lord’s Supper is a precious gift of God in which Christ gives us His true body and blood (in a miraculous way), together with the bread and wine, for the forgiveness of our sins and the strengthening of our faith. Because the Bible teaches that this sacrament may also be spiritually harmful if misused, and that participation in the Lord’s Supper is an act of confession of faith, the LCMS ordinarily communes only those who have been instructed in the teachings of our church and who have confessed their faith in these teachings. **
**That, horror of horrors, sounds just like the Catholic practice. **

**And what do Protestants not understand about Catholic rules, traditions, etc…? Many things. Why don’t you make it your job to clarify those misconceptions? :stuck_out_tongue: **

(GAH! I HATE wysiwyg editors!)


#16

You need to go to mass but if you choose to go to a Protestant service not only can you not participate in their communion service you need to be concerned about their interpretation of scripture. Many protestant ministers interpret the bible in ways that are not in line with the magisterium of the Catholic church. The music may be good but be careful you could be lead astray!!


#17

[quote=RobNY]Lutherans themselves hold a similar position:



**That, horror of horrors, sounds just like the Catholic practice. **

[/quote]

Why do you find that to be “horror of horrors” ?

I think it is an answer to Jesus’ prayer;
…"That they may be one, even as we are one. "
(John 17: 11)

God bless,

gusano


#18

[quote=sparkle]Excellent! Thx for all the helpful info! I was worried too about the same. If your parents ask you “why did you not take communion?”–now you’ll know how to respond.
[/quote]

Just a small fyi on semantics… we ‘receive’ communion, we don’t ‘take’ it.


#19

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