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Question for Catholics

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My family is Catholic -- my mom and her siblings went to Catholic school through high school, were confirmed, the whole nine yards. However, I was never baptized and was raised mostly without religion (we went to midnight mass on Christmas Eve, but that was about it). 

 

So today I went to a mission with my DD and we walked through the church as part of our tour. As we walked in, I dipped my fingers in the holy water and crossed myself because it would have felt disrespectful not to, but then I wondered if it's actually wrong for me, as a person without faith, to participate in such ceremony. I also thought of lighting a candle for my late grandmother, who was Catholic, but wondered whether that was appropriate as well, and decided not to after all. 

 

So anyway, I thought I'd just ask -- is it okay for me to do those things when I visit a church, or should I leave those rituals for actual Catholics to do? 

post #2 of 10

I say-"Do it!" You shouldn't take communion but go ahead with the other stuff. :)

post #3 of 10

It's fine. I asked similar questions of both priests and RCIA directors when I was discerning and was told that as a non Catholic I could participate in everything but the Eucharist. So cross yourself with holy water, get your throat blessed on Saint Blaise day and receive ashes it's fine. 

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you! smile.gif

 

So, one more question: Is there a particular way you're supposed to light a candle in a Catholic church? Is there a ceremony about it, or just light it and that's that? 

post #5 of 10

Generally you would light it and then say a prayers for you intention....  can be as simple as "I hope your well Grandma."   There is no particular ritual.

 

PP's are correct you may participate in everything except for taking communion....  my father has gone to mass with my mother for the last 30 years.... he isn't Catholic... and I don't know that he will ever become one either.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you Ofwait! smile.gif

post #7 of 10

The sign of the cross is a prayer.  Lighting a candle is a prayer.   It is never wrong to pray :)

post #8 of 10

When we bless ourselves with holy water and cross ourselves, we are invoking the Holy Trinity. We are reminded of our baptism in Christ, and our commitment to follow Christ. I would say that it is not disrespectful to not do these things if one is not of the faith.

 

As for lighting a candle, it is a prayerful act and a lovely gesture to do in remembrance of the departed souls.

 

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well we went again today, and this time I crossed myself, lit a candle, and spent a moment thinking of my grandmother and everything she meant to me. It was nice -- thanks for all the replies! 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshoes View Post

When we bless ourselves with holy water and cross ourselves, we are invoking the Holy Trinity. We are reminded of our baptism in Christ, and our commitment to follow Christ. I would say that it is not disrespectful to not do these things if one is not of the faith.


I agree, and that's why I have conflicted feelings about it. I feel like, if my grandmother were living and she and I went to church together, she would be upset if I were to walk past the holy water without crossing myself, so instead of doing it as a personal prayer or commitment to Christ, it's more a deference to my grandmother's memory and beliefs. Not really the pure intention of the sign of the cross, but it's what felt right to me today. 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

Well we went again today, and this time I crossed myself, lit a candle, and spent a moment thinking of my grandmother and everything she meant to me. It was nice -- thanks for all the replies!  

I agree, and that's why I have conflicted feelings about it. I feel like, if my grandmother were living and she and I went to church together, she would be upset if I were to walk past the holy water without crossing myself, so instead of doing it as a personal prayer or commitment to Christ, it's more a deference to my grandmother's memory and beliefs. Not really the pure intention of the sign of the cross, but it's what felt right to me today. 



That's beautiful:)

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