What is Appropo for A Protestant (Future Catholic)?


#1

Hey there everyone, I thought here might be a good place to post the majority of my questions (if I have the wrong forum, I apologize!). I have several involving the Mass itself and practices outside of Mass as well…

First of all, I know there are lots of written and rehearsed prayers. Protestants prayer whenever, wherever, however… is that still allowed? Or is it considered irreverent to pray in such a familiar manner?

Should Protestants cross themselves in mass and before they pray? Or is this strictly Catholic? A woman at the church I’m attending is not a confirmed Catholic, but crosses herself, makes the sign before the Gospel reading, etc. Should I be doing those things too?

Is it appropriate for non-Catholics to pray using the prayers such as the Act of Contrition or other written prayers? What about saying the Lord’s Prayer during mass, and the Nicene Creed? I’ve been saying the prayers and singing along in mass, but should I not be?

Also, is it inappropriate for Protestants to pray through the saints and the Holy Mother? It makes perfect sense to me to do so, and I’d like to start, but I don’t want to do or say anything offensive.

During the Celebration of the Eucharist, should I kneel with the rest of the congregation, and again when they return to their pews?

I apologize, I know these are a lot of questions, but they’re just a start… I am thinking about attending RCIA classes in the fall and converting, but until then, I’m just feeling my way through Masses and trying to live my life in the best manner possible, bridging the gap between my Protestant upbringing and newly found Catholic beliefs. Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Jade


#2

As far as I know, all these are perfectly fine for you to do. The only thing I can think of that non-Catholics cannot do that Catholics can is receive the Eucharist, which I’m sure someone here has already mentioned. :slight_smile:

Its also a very good thing to pray informally; mainy Saints have recommended talking to God as you would your best friend. Set prayers can help in that they guide a person to the correct attitude towards praying, and are good for when spontanious prayers are difficult. Sometimes you don’t have to say anything at all to pray.

I see nothing wrong with any Christian crossing themselves (Anglicans, Lutherans e.t.c do this too), its just usually always associated with being a strictly Catholic practice.

Again, you can pray along here too - the only reason I’ve seen for someone not to say, for example, the Creed is when they don’t actually believe it (such as a visiting non-religious person).

I know exactly how you feel; this time last year I was in the same situation. :smiley: If you have any other questions feel free to PM me, I might be able to help.


#3

As far as Mass goes, you can do anything a Catholic can do (except receiving Eucharist until you’ve gone through RCIA and received your first Communion). This means you can make the sign of the cross (this is a prayer in itself and is appropriate wherever, whenever), kneel when everyone else kneels, participate in all the prayers, and even go up during Communion for a blessing.

As far as prayer goes outside of Mass, Protestants mostly participate in spontaneous, discursive prayer, as you described. This type of prayer (whether vocal or mental) is encouraged as well as recited prayers (vocal or mental) like the Act of Contrition, the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, The Hail Holy Queen, etc.

Prayers to our Blessed Mother and the other Saints are also encouraged and acceptable. As long as you are acting in good faith and are sincere in your prayers, there is no way you could offend. They know what is in your heart.

Welcome home and pax vobiscum!


#4

Thanks so much! Another question… as a Protestant, I’ve always used devotional books in addition to reading the Bible in my daily devotions. Is this still okay once (if) I become Catholic? It seems so, but I want to be sure.


#5

Absolutely. I would recommend finding devotional books that are explicitly Catholic. Protestant devotionals may certainly be godly, but they will undoubtedly be written from a perspective that is different than ours.

I recommend the Imitation of Christ. I also recommend getting a copy of an abridged version of the liturgy of the hours. It lays out prayers and readings that you can meditated over when you are not at Mass


#6

Okay, I’ll definitely look into those. Thanks!


#7

JadeArwen, it’s great that you’re considering becoming Catholic!

I just wanted to say a few words about praying informally as you do now as a protestant. That kind of prayer is what many Catholics never really learn to do, and it’s so valuable! You have a headstart on a lot of people who have been Catholic all their lives. They work hard to learn “mental prayer” and living in the “presence of God,” and you already do that naturally.

Remember, it’s the same God you already know and love!

Betsy


#8

You are off to an awesome start! I would, however, find a Catholic devotional book to use for daily readings.
God be with you!


#9

Sure, often Catholics use Liturgy of the Hours, the Bible, prayers from particular Marian apparitions, writings of the Saints, etc…


#10

Awesome! I will definitely look into the books you’ve all recommended.

I can’t fathom not praying to God freely… I’m very glad that it’s not only allowed but taught.


#11

Prayer is a conversation with God, it’s one of the ways we grow closer to Him, so informal prayer is wonderful!!!

Obviously, prayers during Mass are “set” for uniformity and for the solemnity and sacredness of what Mass is, but even during Mass there are plenty of opportunities for (private) informal prayer (during the prayer intentions after the homily, before and after Holy Communion).

I hope you’ll take RCIA classes and fully join the Church. Also, stick around CAF – it’s a great place for help and fellowship!

God bless you! :smiley:


#12

God bless you and keep blessing you, JadeArwen! :smiley:

The answer to all your questions is: Yes, feel free to do all of those things. All are encouraged. Practicing any or all of them would be great!

That’s great! I’ve been doing that for a long time and can’t tell you how powerful a blessing it is. Though I know you’re fully aware of how this works :wink: :D.

If you like, it would be great!

Absolutely pray them!

You can’t imagine what an amazing blessing this will be for you. The sooner you start it, the better for you :).

Definitely!

Ask any more questions you please! I’d be thrilled to help answer whatever I can.


#13

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.