Should a non-Catholic Christian participate in a Catholic Mass?


Clarify Share Report Asked March 10 2014 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
There are two ways to look at this question. First, what does the Catholic Church teach about who can participate in Mass (communion)? Second, what should a Protestant consider?First, according to ...

March 10 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

B8c746f3 63c7 43eb 9665 ef7fba8e191b Kelli Trujillo Supporter Minister, Mother, Grandmother, Teacher, Musician
I think the answer depends on the reason for the question. I see two reasons to ask this question: 1) the questioner wants to know if it's permissable/advisable for a non-Catholic to attend mass, or 2) the questioner wants to know if it's something he or she should be obliged to do as a practicing Christian.

In the case of the second reason, I would state emphatically that no, there is no obligation to attend mass whatsoever. I do think it's interesting to visit different churches when the opportunity presents itself to experience something new and to broaden one's understanding of what goes on in the body of Christ at large. However, one should seriously research any church, its reputation, its teachings, its doctrine, and its history before attending.

In the case of the first reason, it is permissable for a non-Catholic to attend mass; there is no sin in doing so, even though Catholics and protestants have different views about many topics, including which books of the Bible should be canonized.

I would also be careful of agreeing in corporate prayer if prayers are offered to anyone but Jesus, the Father, or the Holy Spirit, such as prayers offered to Mary or to the saints.

I've attended mass a few times with relatives, and I admire the sense of reverence in the service. On the other hand, it's easy to feel lost at times because services adhere closely to a prescribed liturgy, which involves the congregation in several ways, such as crossing oneself, genuflecting, kneeling on a prayer bench, and verbal responses throughout the service.

As others have mentioned, non-Catholics are not permitted to partake of communion due to a very specific set of requirements that must be fulfilled in order to do so. In protestant churches, the presiding minister usually reminds everyone that communion is for believers, not unbelievers, and that we should confess our sins prior to taking communion; the individual must decide for himself or herself if he/she is "fit" to take it with God as witness. 

In closing, if you're considering attending mass as a non-Catholic, I recommend that you study up on the Catholic church and its practices so you are going into it as one who is aware of what might be contrary to protestant beliefs and practices. And don't expect to be able to take communion, even if you do it freely and regularly in your home church.

February 17 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Bd5b30ec 065d 4621 8e17 277c8852e65f Juan Miguel Vera Cruz
We are all entitled to our opinion but I beg to disagree, I don't want to seat, stand up, kneel with those giant idols in front of me, in Psalms is says do not seat at the seat of the scornful, please, we all have opinions and this is how I see it. Nor will I confess to a priest and do repetitive prayers so I could be forgiven.

May 05 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Vincent Mercado Supporter Skeptic turned believer, Catholic, father of 3
Non-Catholics should participate in a Catholic Mass. Our doors are open. Irregardless of your belief, we ask you to participate.

Non-Catholics are not forbidden to participate in a Catholics Mass. They can participate, of course, in fact, we welcome it. 

A Non-Catholic Christian may participate in a Catholic Mass, but not in all its parts (communion, specifically). Let me explain. 

We begin by signing ourselves with the cross saying, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:19) It is a reminder of our baptismal vows, as well as our identity - that we are of the Triune God. 

The priest than calls us to penitence, beating our breast three times. (Luke 18:13) 

We sing a praise song "Glory to God in the Highest" which we know by heart, since it is the only praise song we sing. (Luke 2:14) My wife, who is not Catholic, has already committed it to memory. No projectors required.

Everybody sits to listen to the Word proclaimed. Bringing your own Bible is fine, but faith comes from hearing. (Romans 10:17) 

First reading - usually taken from the Old Testament. 
Psalms - the congregation responses to the cantor. 
Second reading - usually taken from the Letters of Paul. 
Gospel - taken from the gospels. 

The priest gives a homily - a verbal instruction or exhortation from what was read. After which, we recite the faith - the Nicene Creed. 

Then comes the prayers for the Eucharist. At this part, Catholics kneel while Non-Catholics can prefer to sit. After the prayers, we all sing the Lord's Prayer. (Matthew 6:9–13) 

During the Communion, Catholics receive the body of Christ in queue while Non-Catholics cannot participate. Not because we want to exclude you, but because of the manner the communion is given. Please bear with me, I will explain further.

Lets say you decide to queue, and your turn has come. The communion minister will raise the consecrated bread in front of your eyes and declare, "The Body of Christ."

At this point, a response is needed. Would you agree and exclaim, "AMEN!" or would you disagree and say, "No, that is just plain bread." 

Concluding prayers and we are all dismissed.

February 17 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Heather Furby
I think here it is useful to remember that the Catholic church is not one giant moral hegemony - being Catholic is like belonging to a family, and I might disagree with my parents position and values (ie official church doctrine) but I still consider myself part of the catholic family, as do innumerable other Catholics, including priests and nuns, who may hold very different opinions from the official church doctrines. My priest welcomes anybody who is a follower of Jesus to participate in mass and take communion, there is no emphasis on transubstantiation. It is useful to remember that the first followers of Christ were literally that - all Jesus asked was that they be baptised and 'follow me', there was no doctrinal statement that they had to sign first. It requires faith that God will reveal him/herself to his/her followers in God's own time, and not necessarily in the same way to everyone.

May 11 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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