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  #1  
Old 10-17-2009, 03:16 PM
Redeemed
 
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Question Catholic vs. Non-Catholic church

Although I have visited quite a few different Protestant (non-Catholic) churches, I have never visited a Catholic church. The closest I came was a Lutheran church, but when I was scolded in a not-so-friendly manner for taking communion with the congregation, I never returned.

As a young boy, my husband visited a Catholic church with a friend. He also got in "big trouble" with his friend's dad, when dad found out he (my hubby) had taken communion.

I've seen mass (is mass just another word for church?) on TV, and it appeared very formal, somewhat mysterious, and rather intimidating. Intimidating meaning--I fear I'd do something not acceptable or I'd not do something I should do, if I were there.

If you are a non-Catholic and you have visited a Catholic church, please share your feelings and initial reactions to your visit. Is it so terribly different from a Protestant-type service, as I imagine it to be? I've heard say there's not much talk of Jesus, and that there is a lot of repititious "chanting."

If you are a Catholic, please dispel the mystery for me. Just what really does go on in there? (kidding, kidding!) Do some Catholics really go to church every day? Are there evening services, as well as morning? Are there lots of candles, incense, splashing of Holy Water, and smoke? (I hope you're not laughing. My husband said the priest walked around with some "smoking thing.") Is church a spiritual-heart thing, or more of a responsibility? (I'm sure that would vary from one to another.)

If you are a Catholic and you've visited non-Catholic churches, what were your feelings and responses to the visit?

Are we all so very different?

Would it be a good idea to speak to a priest before I were to visit? I think I'd like to be invisible on my first visit--you know, take it all in without standing out as a newcomer. (Churches in my area are usually small.)

What would I wear? If I wore blue jeans, would I be underdressed?

Anyway, pick and choose the questions I've presented as you will, and tell me what you think.

Thanks!

~Nancy
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2009, 04:39 PM
preachergirl
 
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Default Re: Catholic vs. Non-Catholic church

HI Nancy 48, I'm right behind you. I've been to Catholic Church a number of times but only remember well more recent time at brother in Laws Church who is a Priest. Quite formal for me, I don't remember much what was said this time but that the audience says a Hail Mary...prayer quite often during, and you get up and down alot from those kneeling boards. Various things going on up front, incence etc. I will say though that I felt a spirit from the people during all this, this was all real to them and I felt the same love and unity you would feel in any sincere Church. I went along with the whole thing, because felt rerspect, being a guest, and have nothing bad to say.

I did hear Denny (bro-in-law) speak once at a marriage I believe it was...and really was inwardly impressed with the depth of what he spoke about; I did enjoy that, and really was surprised at the meaningful message.

I am not Catholic and never have been and no desire to be, because I know and experience God very deeply in the way I have since I first knew him, but I have grown over many years to not despise another man's religion, and also to perceive that others may just know him in some different outward ways but yet if it's truly the God of Abraham we serve, then still we have to be one in his Spirit, and I believe we are.

I have marveled in a way before that God gave me this Catholic family, because clearly I have known I have calling and God has led me in all my ways and my ways are not Catholic at all, but do far more resemble Full Gospel groups, but this only shows me what I say all the time...God looks on the heart while man looks on the outward.
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: Catholic vs. Non-Catholic church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redeemed View Post
If you are a non-Catholic and you have visited a Catholic church, please share your feelings and initial reactions to your visit. Is it so terribly different from a Protestant-type service, as I imagine it to be? I've heard say there's not much talk of Jesus, and that there is a lot of repititious "chanting."
I went to catholic mass a couple of times while in the AirForce just to check it out. One time I did not include myself in the Eucharist, and one time I did (the first time) sinse I did not know about any exclusion factor and actually I was baptized catholic as a baby. The priest preached a message just like any protestant church, and we sang songs, and we would respond per the bulliten to the words the priest would say at prescribed times. If you are new to it, definately follow the bulliten closely. I had wished that it was a more social situation, I entered and left without being spoken to alot. A bit more structured than most protestant services. But being the military chapel, service there may vary alot from a non-military enviroment.
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Catholic vs. Non-Catholic church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redeemed View Post
Although I have visited quite a few different Protestant (non-Catholic) churches, I have never visited a Catholic church. The closest I came was a Lutheran church, but when I was scolded in a not-so-friendly manner for taking communion with the congregation, I never returned.

As a young boy, my husband visited a Catholic church with a friend. He also got in "big trouble" with his friend's dad, when dad found out he (my hubby) had taken communion.

I've seen mass (is mass just another word for church?) on TV, and it appeared very formal, somewhat mysterious, and rather intimidating. Intimidating meaning--I fear I'd do something not acceptable or I'd not do something I should do, if I were there.

If you are a non-Catholic and you have visited a Catholic church, please share your feelings and initial reactions to your visit. Is it so terribly different from a Protestant-type service, as I imagine it to be? I've heard say there's not much talk of Jesus, and that there is a lot of repititious "chanting."

If you are a Catholic, please dispel the mystery for me. Just what really does go on in there? (kidding, kidding!) Do some Catholics really go to church every day? Are there evening services, as well as morning? Are there lots of candles, incense, splashing of Holy Water, and smoke? (I hope you're not laughing. My husband said the priest walked around with some "smoking thing.") Is church a spiritual-heart thing, or more of a responsibility? (I'm sure that would vary from one to another.)

If you are a Catholic and you've visited non-Catholic churches, what were your feelings and responses to the visit?

Are we all so very different?

Would it be a good idea to speak to a priest before I were to visit? I think I'd like to be invisible on my first visit--you know, take it all in without standing out as a newcomer. (Churches in my area are usually small.)

What would I wear? If I wore blue jeans, would I be underdressed?

Anyway, pick and choose the questions I've presented as you will, and tell me what you think.

Thanks!

~Nancy
As we believe the Catholic Church is Judaism fulfilled, much of Catholic mass resemble Jewish temple worship.

Each of those gestures and things [candles, incense, etc] have a deep symbolism. The "Smoking thing" is simply for incense which in Scripture symbolizes prayer. Candles symbolize Christ, the light of the world, etc.

Incense is used mostly at very solemn celebrations but not at every Sunday.

Yes, Catholics can go to mass every day.Yes, there are morning, mid-day and evening services. Depends in which Diocese, what area of town.

There is a great difference with most Protestant services. In most protestant services the center of all is the preaching. In the Catholic Church there are two liturgies: the liturgy of the word, consisting of Scripture readings and a sermon on those readings. Then is the Liturgy of the Eucharist where we center around Jesus there in the bread and the wine.

Church attendance is an obligation and an immense privilege; both!

I cannot dispel all the mystery because no human can fully comprehend the mystery of Christ.
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Catholic vs. Non-Catholic church

Mass is an act of worship not a performance. We are not there to be entertained. Now, some parishes do better than others in welcoming people. But the worship experience itself is not simply a "social gathering" but an act of worship where Christ himself at the altar under the appearance of bread and wine is the center.

A non-Catholic should abstain from taking communion in respect of our faith and practice. That is why taking the bread and wine is called communion, meaning that in receiving it you are saying that you are in full communion with the Catholic faith. If you are not Catholic, you are not of our same faith. Thus, you are not being truthful in receiving. You should respect that view of those hosting you at that time.

Saying a Hail Mary is not in the liturgy of Mass so it must have been something unique there. I have attended thousands of masses and that is not a part of it. It is formal because it is an act of communal worship. Each part has deep meaning, every gesture is not without meaning.

Last edited by SolaVerbumDei : 10-18-2009 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Catholic vs. Non-Catholic church

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolaVerbumDei View Post
A non-Catholic should abstain from taking communion in respect of our faith and practice. That is why taking the bread and wine is called communion, meaning that in receiving it you are saying that you are in full communion with the Catholic faith. If you are not Catholic, you are not of our same faith. Thus, you are not being truthful in receiving. You should respect that view of those hosting you at that time.
See, that just seems too exclusive. I don't see why anyone would have to chain themselves to a specific denomination to part-take in a ceremony that was meant for all of us who love, follow, and trust Christ. I'm mean, I kinda understand, but it's still silly in my mind on why you wouldn't allow someone to part-take in a ceremony that Jesus wants all of us to do (is we so choose). He never said that you had to be Catholic to take of the break and wine.
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2009, 02:18 PM
Redeemed
 
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Default Re: Catholic vs. Non-Catholic church

Kim and Brad~
Thanks for the insight. It sounds as if a Catholic service is somewhat different than what I'm used to. Thanks for your replies.
~Nancy
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  #8  
Old 10-18-2009, 02:54 PM
Redeemed
 
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Default Re: Catholic vs. Non-Catholic church

[quote=SolaVerbumDei;58854]
Quote:
As we believe the Catholic Church is Judaism fulfilled, much of Catholic mass resemble Jewish temple worship.

Each of those gestures and things [candles, incense, etc] have a deep symbolism. The "Smoking thing" is simply for incense which in Scripture symbolizes prayer. Candles symbolize Christ, the light of the world, etc.
Nothing wrong with symbolism. It can be quite beautiful and meaningful. The bible is full of symbolism. I light a candle on the anniversary of my friend's death, in her name, as a gesture of love, respect, and remembrance.


Quote:
Yes, Catholics can go to mass every day.Yes, there are morning, mid-day and evening services. Depends in which Diocese, what area of town.
This is actually nice. If you feel a particular need for worship or a need to feel close to God in God's house on a day other than Sunday, the church is open and available.


Quote:
There is a great difference with most Protestant services. In most protestant services the center of all is the preaching.
We usually begin with singing. The lead singers and musicians are called our "Worship Team." We pause for church news, prayer, and we pause for collections. The songs are usually chosen to relate to whatever the sermon for the day will be. The sermon follows the singing, and in my church, the pastor chooses verses from the bible and expounds on them, often giving historical background, ideas on how to apply what is taught to our own lives, etc. Even if you don't have a lot of time to study the bible on your own, you learn much just from attending church.



Quote:
In the Catholic Church there are two liturgies: the liturgy of the word, consisting of Scripture readings and a sermon on those readings. Then is the Liturgy of the Eucharist where we center around Jesus there in the bread and the wine.
We have communion once a month at my church. The pastor always reads the passages from the bible that tell of Jesus, the bread and wine. He assures visitors that it is "open table" and that all may partake, unless there are personal reasons for not doing so. He actually encourages that all participate, and that we should think on what we are missing if we do not. We sit quietly while the bread and wine are distributed, reflecting on and remembering the sacrifice. We all partake at the same time. This is followed up by prayer and more song.


Quote:
Church attendance is an obligation and an immense privilege; both!
It is good to feel that way.


Quote:
I cannot dispel all the mystery because no human can fully comprehend the mystery of Christ.
Well said.
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:10 PM
Redeemed
 
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Default Re: Catholic vs. Non-Catholic church

[quote=SolaVerbumDei;58855]
Quote:
Mass is an act of worship not a performance. We are not there to be entertained.
I agree, too many churches are trying to entertain and will not speak on biblical subjects that may offend, even if they are truth. Some churches always keep their message positive and uplifting, because that's what people want to hear. Sometimes though, we need to be chastised, we need to be reminded of the very real suffering that goes on in the world, and we need to be helped in developing a heart of compassion toward that suffering.


Quote:
Now, some parishes do better than others in welcoming people. But the worship experience itself is not simply a "social gathering" but an act of worship where Christ himself at the altar under the appearance of bread and wine is the center.
Some people do seem to come to church primarily to socialize, or as a Sunday obligation.


Quote:
A non-Catholic should abstain from taking communion in respect of our faith and practice. That is why taking the bread and wine is called communion, meaning that in receiving it you are saying that you are in full communion with the Catholic faith. If you are not Catholic, you are not of our same faith. Thus, you are not being truthful in receiving. You should respect that view of those hosting you at that time.
Forgive me, but I see this in a different light:

Jesus took the bread and broke it and said, "this do in remembrance of me." And likewise the cup. Please understand, I came from unbelieving parents. God alone brought me to Himself. When I first purchased a bible, I almost felt like I needed to do it in secret. And you can not imagine the courage it took for me to attend church the very first time. Being shy by nature was hard enough. The fact that I went alone made it harder. I honestly didn't know what I would find there. Church was completely foreign to me. But I loved Jesus and He said to not forsake meeting together, so I went.

When I visited the Lutheran church, it was the first time I ever attended church. Even so, when they moved to take communion, this was not new to me, because I had read of it, and well remembered it. It was meaningful, and I heard Christ saying, "Do this in remembrance of me." I understood the solemnity of the moment, and I felt very privileged to "be at the table," so to speak. It was a very holy event for me, my first communion. Then when the elder scolded me right there in the foyer, not softening his reproof with even the hint of a smile, I felt so embarrassed and ashamed. It was like he had told me that I was not good enough to sit at Christ's table, that by joining them in remembrance, I had done something wrong. I felt very rejected.

I can not get past the fact that Jesus, Himself, would have wanted me to participate. Taking communion is not about being in full communion with the Catholic faith; taking communion is about being in full communion with Christ!

And when you say that if I am not Catholic than I am not of your same faith . . . well, what exactly are you saying? I can come in off the street, with a heart full of love and need for God, but I am "not of your faith"? I can not eat at Christ's table? I am not worthy of remembering so great a sacrifice?

Are we not all Christian, first and foremost? What is it that should set Christians apart from other faiths? What is it that binds Christians of any Christian church or denomination, if it is not Christ? How can I attend any church that will not allow me to take communion, when Christ, Himself, said that we should do so? Am I to listen to men who rebuke me? Or to Christ who asked that I partake? Would the Catholic Church keep me from obeying the words of Christ?

Coming to Christ should not be made so difficult that one must study for months on end to do so. It is a matter of heart. The thief on the cross, remember, was welcomed by Christ, probably as an example to us more than for any other reason. Jesus knew what was in the thief's heart at that horrible moment in time. He likewise knew what was in my heart when I took that first communion, and though men attempted to despoil it, I still hold it as sacred and precious.

I agree there is much to learn after we initially accept Christ, much to help us on our journey, but the 'coming' is a matter of heart; and, if one's heart is acceptable to the Lord, beware the man who would send him packing in shame with head held low for partaking of bread and wine that symbolize (or even more so, actually are) the body and blood of our Savior. It feels almost as wrong and offensive as being told that I will not share in salvation because I practice the Sabbath on the wrong day of the week.

Any church, every service, needs to be aware of newcomers to the Christian faith, as well as newcomers to the individual church. If they are made in any way to feel cast out or shamed, they may leave and just say the heck with the whole thing (faith). They are new, not grounded in their faith, tentatively seeking, and very sensitive to the treatment they receive. Unfortunately, many newborn Christians have not yet learned the rule---Do not judge Christ or Christianity by the ill-considered actions of Christians or Christian churches. There needs to be a balance between caring for the members of your church and caring for the Shepherd's lost sheep, don't you agree?

Respectfully~
Nancy
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:12 PM
Redeemed
 
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Default Re: Catholic vs. Non-Catholic church

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Originally Posted by Kriizzle View Post
See, that just seems too exclusive. I don't see why anyone would have to chain themselves to a specific denomination to part-take in a ceremony that was meant for all of us who love, follow, and trust Christ. I'm mean, I kinda understand, but it's still silly in my mind on why you wouldn't allow someone to part-take in a ceremony that Jesus wants all of us to do (is we so choose). He never said that you had to be Catholic to take of the break and wine.
I agree, Kristen.
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