This past weekend, I fulfilled my Sunday obligation for Mass on Saturday. I normally fulfill my obligation on Sunday, but this weekend was different: my mom wanted me to go to church with her, my step-dad, and my step-grandmother. And needless to say, my step-grandmother isn’t Catholic. She goes to a local Protestant church.
I have nothing against other denominations. In fact, most of my family are members of non-Catholic Christian denominations.
But going to a Protestant Sunday morning service was a bit different for me. Before this, I can only remember one other time I went to a Sunday service for a non-Catholic denomination. So my experiences with how other Christian denominations worship was and is incredibly limited.
There were a few things that were somewhat similar with the service I went to this past Sunday. Firstly, it was about an hour long, which is about how long a normal Sunday Catholic Mass will last. They also read a couple of passages from Scripture which reminded me of the readings and Gospel from a Catholic Mass. And their preacher gave a sermon which reminded me of a priest’s homily. They also recited the Apostles Creed, which we have in the Catholic Church (even if it is a worded a bit different). They also had something during the service catered to the children, which some Catholic parishes do as well (albeit in a somewhat different fashion).
Even though there were similarities between this service and a Catholic Mass, this service cemented my desire to remain Catholic. And there are a variety of reasons why.
First of all, I like the structure of the Catholic Mass over the type of service I attended this past Sunday. When it comes to Mass, the general structure of Mass will remain the same. No matter what liturgical season it is or where in the world you go. This may be the same for other Christian denominations, but I like how when going to a Catholic Mass, you generally know what to expect. I also like how the Catholic Mass has a definite beginning and ending. With the service I went to, the beginning and end of the service were a bit lackluster compared to what I’m used to as a Catholic.
Secondly, I like how in the Catholic Church, we can generally tell who the priest is. With the church I went to this past Sunday, I wouldn’t have known who their preacher was had I not been introduced to him. This is just a preference of mine for the priest/congregation differentiation of the Catholic Church.
Thirdly, I like the sacraments of the Catholic Church. I know other Christian denominations have sacraments as well. But I like how the Catholic Church celebrates her sacraments. Especially the Eucharist being celebrated at every Mass.
These are just a few reasons why this particular Protestant service reminded me of my love for Catholicism.
I do not intend to bash other Christian denominations. I just don’t feel comfortable in non-Catholic denominations. I feel like I stand out like a sore thumb and I don’t feel quite at home.
But when I enter a Catholic church building, I feel like I’m home. I feel like I belong. And that’s the way I feel about Catholicism as a whole.
Just because I feel at home in the Catholic Church doesn’t mean it lacks issues. Because the Church does have her share of issues. But I believe the good that she does around the world and in my own life far outweigh her issues.