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If I Attend Mass but Am Not Catholic, Should I Receive Communion?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Feb 18, 2024
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Some people may enjoy attending Mass but do not practice the Catholic faith. The Catholic Church is happy to see people of different faiths attending, but they do request, most often in the service, that only Catholics participate in the Communion portion of the service. To take Communion when one is not Catholic feels like a violation of the sacred nature of the sacrament to most practicing Catholics.

This may seem a little strange to non-Catholics, who wonder why it matters. A practicing Catholic would respond that it matters because of the spirit in which one takes Communion. Catholics believe that the host is literally the body of Christ, transformed from bread by the priest presiding over the service. For Catholics, to accept the body of Christ when not believing it to be such is sacrilegious and heretical.

If non-Catholics are thinking about becoming Catholics, accepting Communion host is still not appropriate. Taking one’s first Communion host, whether as a child or adult, requires thoughtful participation and education. The sacrament of the Eucharist occurs after baptism. Someone who is not yet a member of the Catholic Church is welcome to attend masses, investigate, and go to special classes if he or she would like to join the church at a future point.

Many other Christian churches also have a Communion ceremony, and might also ask people not to take part unless they are a member of the church. Some churches may not care about what denomination a Christian practices. They may encourage all who are Christian to take part in the section of the service if they truly believe in Christ, and believe that Communion is the symbol of the body of Christ.

This is especially the case with churches that are quite similar. For example, an Anglican Christian might take Communion at a Presbyterian or Episcopal Church. Churches that are non-denominational and have a Communion service may encourage all with Christian beliefs to take part.

In most cases, if one is not Christian, one should abstain from taking Communion in any church where it is offered. Though in some cases, a church may believe that such exclusion is not necessary. A church may conclude that the person who takes part shares in the body of Christ whether or not he believes.

If you enjoy attending church services but are not Christian, it’s a good idea to ask a Christian friend who belongs to the church, or the pastor, what you should do about the Communion portion of the service. These people can help advise you about the way the sacrament is regarded in a specific church.

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Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By anon990232 — On Apr 12, 2015

My niece just had her First Communion but her parents are divorced. Her Catholic father only has her at most every other weekend. There is no way she will be receiving communion every week. She doesn't attend Catholic school. Is she going to have a problem?

By anon978044 — On Nov 14, 2014

I grew up in a Protestant denomination that discouraged people from taking Communion if their hearts weren't "right with God". Apparently that was a personal decision to make. The idea was that Communion was a ritual intended for believers to strengthen their bond with God through remembrance. It was not something that would bring redemption to active sinners. If a person truly repented of his or her sin and was in a good place spiritually, then he or she could receive Communion with a whole heart.

I didn't necessarily agree with that philosophy, however. I felt like Communion should be open to anyone who attended that service, regardless of their religious affiliations or state of spirituality. I felt like Communion was more of a re-dedication to God than an affirmation of faith.

By anon946469 — On Apr 19, 2014

I'm not a Catholic. However, I've been attending Mass. I like the Mass because it is a quiet service and not loud and preachy.

I really like weekday mass because it isn't crowded and I get anxiety around crowds of people inside closed buildings. I really think it is awesome that Catholic Mass is held seven days a week and not just on Sunday.

I am not a social butterfly. I can easily tell when people are really friendly and have a sincere smile or not. I am not going to church to make friends. I go to church to spend some time with God in prayer and to hear the Bible. Although at the Catholic Church, we have attended some breakfasts and soup dinners. I think it is an incentive for my husband to go to church with me. I go to these activities for him.

At the Catholic Mass, I like to pray in church and I feel God's presence during Mass because it is quiet enough to hear myself pray. I am a baptized Christian from another religion that accepted the Trinity. I've belonged to two former religions from my youth that do not fit. One I was born into and another because of a teen marriage I converted to.

Anyway, during the Catholic Communion I sit in the back of the church and pray. I do not come from receiving communion faith and it seems odd to me. I am glad I do not qualify for communion because I don't understand it. My husband thinks it is akin to cannibalism.

I visited another non-Catholic church and they insisted my husband and I both get up and receive communion. This felt really weird to me. I was amazed they do this every Sunday? I didn't like it. We stopped going. Also they were always talking about needing more money.

We registered at the Catholic Church to let them know who we were. The priest wants us to start RCIA classes. He said our questions could be answered during classes. I told him I wasn't a person who joined anything quickly. He said that it could take a year. I said that was too soon. I don't like joining religions because they are impossible to quit. This has been my experience.

I asked God in my prayers which church was his? I really wanted to know. The answer came into my thoughts that all churches/temples dedicated to Him were His.

I am not mad at anyone because I don't qualify as a baptized Christian to receive Communion. That is for the church members only who are practicing good Catholics.

I see a lot of people, something like 25 percent, on Sundays who are not receiving Communion. I was surprised at how many of us do not qualify for whatever reasons.

One thing I know is that I attend Catholic Mass because I want to. I am free to attend any faith I want or not go at all. I feel very blessed. I do not expect anything more.

By anon933356 — On Feb 15, 2014

Read the Bible and understand what it ways. If you eat and drink unworthily, you eat and drink damnation unto your soul.

By anon346016 — On Aug 24, 2013

"If a sinning priest gives Communion, is it valid?" Yes! A thousand times yes! Sacraments do not depend on the holiness of the minister, but rather on the power of God. To say that a sinning priest renders the Eucharist (or Absolution, Confirmation, Holy Orders or the Anointing of the Sick) invalid is the heresy of Donatism.

By anon345553 — On Aug 20, 2013

@anon36992: I join you in this.

In my case, I'm a born Catholic who walked away from it not wanting to be a hypocrite. I have been divorced and am remarried. Neither was a Catholic ceremony. My husband, previously married as well, is not Catholic. I've explored returning to Catholicism, but to do so formally would require an annulment.

I refuse to have letters go out to people safely tucked away in the past, heralding the fact that the marriages are annulled. Why dredge stuff up with people we have no contact with? Why offend them after all this time? I think it's mean, and can't see why God would expect me to do such a thing in order for me to be in good standing as a Catholic.

I have been tempted to literally just start attending Mass and going up to take Communion anyway, just not formally join the local parish on paper, and maybe even float around to different churches too. Not that this makes it right per se, but let's face it, as far as the US goes anyway, there are Catholics in "good standing" on paper who miss Mass all the time and still go up and take Communion even though they shouldn't, let alone all the "Cafeteria Catholics" who go to Mass every Sunday yet pick and choose what part of church dogma they actually believe and basically go to Mass on "auto pilot" versus someone like me who actually wants to get something out of it, but am excluded from full participation.

And yes, I'm cafeteria, so I would be fine in a liberal Protestant denomination, but tried that and found the church service just missing something that I can't quite describe-maybe something on the mystic side? The Church has dwindled in numbers here in the US so why they wouldn't want to find a way to have people get on board without obstacles that men long ago created. This lends itself to question, though. And yes, the true devout of Catholics will still defend it, but I'm open-minded enough to take feedback on all sides.

By Trev — On May 15, 2013

Just got myself into a right mess by volunteering to be a school governor at the Catholic school. It is OK for me to be a parent governor, but then they had an idea to move me across to be a Foundation Governor (Practising Catholic Governor) because there is a shortage of foundation governors and parent governors are easy to sign up.

I told the Catholic Father after the meeting that I am baptized Church of England, but I receive communion at the Catholic church as I'm a Christian. He then told me it is a sacrilege and an insult to receive communion in a Catholic church even though I'm still a baptized Christian if it was not done in a Catholic church, but he said I can be converted.

I feel awful because I have been receiving the communion (bread and wine) in good faith without realizing it was wrong for about seven years since we went to the Gosport Catholic Church. We started going because my Filipino wife could meet more Philippine people there. So now if we go to church, I have to walk up with my hands across my chest and just receive a blessing. How embarrassing after all this time and also I'm thinking what's the use of going there if I have offended everyone, and just about to show them the truth, but if I don't go, what will my five year old son think? If I get converted will that make me more of a believer or more of a fraud and just doing it so as not to offend anyone. Difficult one, isn't it?

By anon330107 — On Apr 14, 2013

The reason a Catholic can take communion at a Presbyterian church is not because of their belief in the transubstantiation of the bread and wine! They are not worthy of Communion because of their beliefs; none are "worthy" of Communion.

It is because Presbyterians accept all to the table who have been baptized in a trinitarian format (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We accept all Christians to the table of Christ. All of us come unworthy but are accepted by God's grace.

By russell2355 — On Apr 06, 2013

I attend First United Methodist Church in Salt Lake City, Utah. I set up the communion table and from time to time, I serve communion. We recite not only the Nicene Creed but the Apostle's Creed as well. We practice open Communion, and we invite everyone regardless of denomination. I don't like seeing people being left out from receiving Communion. My Grandparents' church served open Communion.

By anon311701 — On Jan 03, 2013

Each one of us has the power to break from the thinking of this world and enter His. "Do this in memory of me." No further requirements.

By anon301523 — On Nov 04, 2012

I am a Lutheran (Lutheran Church Canada). We do believe that the Eucharist is Christ's true Body and Blood because He says it is. We also have Private Confession and Absolution as well as General Confession and Absolution in the Service. We also do not allow just anyone to partake, but only those who are baptized, have examined themselves, are repentant, and discern the Real Presence of Christ's true Body and Blood in the Eucharist for the forgiveness of sins. We do not normally allow those of other denominations to partake, but will allow at the pastor's discretion if they have the correct understanding.

By anon290352 — On Sep 09, 2012

Why would any of our separated brethren want to tell the Church Jesus started, and who told Peter he had the keys to his Kingdom on Earth, who can or can't receive the body and blood of Jesus? That person needs to argue with Jesus on this one. If that person listens closely, Jesus might tell him/her, "I gave you a Church that was the pillar of truth, and you have decided that because you personally did not agree with me that I was wrong." What would Jesus say if he came today and saw 35,000 churches that man created and the one Church he created that still exists today more than 2,000 years later?

By anon262972 — On Apr 22, 2012

I was born and raised in to the Catholic faith. I was baptized and confirmed as a young kid. I find it disgusting that anyone is told that they cannot receive communion from any church.

Jesus Christ told his disciples, "Do this in memory of me." He did not say, "Do this in memory of me if you're Catholic." He didn't say, "Do this in memory of me if you believe communion is really my body." Church is a place of worship. It is not a club. What a crock.

By anon260037 — On Apr 09, 2012

Since only Catholics believe that we receive the physical Body of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, only those who are in communion with that belief are allowed to receive the Eucharist.

To the poster who said that we, as Roman Catholics, have no right to exclude anyone, I can argue that if you do the research, the Mormon church would not allow Romney wife's family to attend their Mormon Temple wedding.

By anon236813 — On Dec 26, 2011

No, anyone who is not baptized, of one of the valid christian rites in communion with the the Bishop of Rome and properly disposed (having confessed all mortal sins to a priest and done penance) also acknowledging that the bread and wine is, post consecration, the said same body, blood, soul and divinity of our lord must not take communion- this has always been the law of the true church- as a matter of fact until a few centuries ago the church had the good sense to excuse catechumens from the mass prior to the mass of the faithful.

By anon227765 — On Nov 06, 2011

This is just nuts. The body of Christ squabbling over communion and who's the real church. God is not a god of confusion. Satan just loves it when we don't stand united.

By anon188996 — On Jun 22, 2011

exactly, anon2138. that really makes sense.

By anon172367 — On May 03, 2011

My most memorable communion was in the army - a real loaf of bread from the cookhouse and grape juice. No Roman Catholics, no Methodists, no Anglicans, no denominations. Just Christians who happened to be soldiers in the same camp and free on that evening. Respect the rules of the church community that you are in (usually printed in the bulletin) but the real communion is that of believers with each other and with Christ.

By anon171234 — On Apr 29, 2011

I was baptized and confirmed Episcopalian but since I am conservative, I lean towards Anglicanism, but see too much hypocrisy in the Catholic Church. On the one hand, priests take a vow of celibacy, but the facts are, they are not in many cases.

Thus, and think about this, if a sinning priest gives communion, is it valid? No. Therefore, the act is not valid, and any Christian can receive invalid communion. Also, Christ taught acceptance and forgiveness, so I am sure he knows that non-Catholics who receive communion from priests who fall prey to their hormones, or from any priest are worthy Christians. In short, Catholicism has plenty of those who receive communion who are Catholic and not in full communion, so we're all heretics.

By the same token, I am having trouble with the Episcopal Church, which is almost like a perverse circus. The assistant rector is a practicing homosexual, the church had a female assistant rector, and honestly, I can't agree. At least Anglicans, especially those returning to Rome, don't pretend to be celibate, or that they don't get abortions. They do.

As far as I know, homosexuals are not welcome in the church unless they are actively seeking to repudiate homosexuality. Further, women cannot be priests because they then violate apostolic succession. So imagine in the Catholic Church receiving communion from a gay priest who is not celibate, and receives confession. That is breathtaking hypocrisy.

Anyway, I am a conservative Anglican in thought, with sympathy towards Rome, which I believe is the true Church (in pure form).

By anon170232 — On Apr 25, 2011

Anyone complaining that the church is denying them a seat at the table of Christ, or any such similar thing, is being plain ridiculous.

By anon170018 — On Apr 24, 2011

I was at Catholic Easter Mass today with relatives of mine and they specifically told me that I shouldn't take communion unless I truly believe that is the body and blood of Christ.

I didn't go up because I cannot, as a reasonable and scientific human being, believe that the host/bread undergoes an actual transformation into the body of Christ. The same goes for the wine.

Science tells me that if I were to take that host after it has undergone transubstantiation by a priest and have it analyzed for DNA, we would find no DNA present in that host. Therefore, because no DNA is present we know that the host/bread is and never was living, hence it cannot be the body of Christ and hence it has undergone no transformation.

Essentially, I was rejected from partaking in Communion because being Christian isn't good enough. I am unworthy of sitting at Christ's table and dining with him. I am the individual who has to stand in the shadows and stay in the corner. The Catholic Church's message is: "You may worship with us but you are unworthy to sit at Christ's table." My faith teaches me that all are worthy of partaking in Communion, regardless.

By anon167937 — On Apr 14, 2011

the church should be open for all. jesus wouldn't turn away anyone. for me, i love the methodist church and its type of services and the lords supper.

By anon166745 — On Apr 10, 2011

All Christians believe in the Nicene Creed. Therefore, they should participate in the ritual of Holy Communion. End of story. The Catholics are just trying to be 'special'. Jesus wasn't a Catholic.

By anon162178 — On Mar 22, 2011

I really can't believe how Catholics exclude others who believe in Christ and his teachings from taking communion. When Jesus was with his disciples at the Last Supper, why didn't he exclude them? They didn't know at the time he was talking about the bread and wine actually turning into His body and His blood.

Jesus would never exclude anyone from taking communion. I think He made it quite clear that we need to be set apart from the "law" and live in His grace and mercy. The Catholic church acts like they have the inside track to heaven just like the Pharisees.

By anon152323 — On Feb 13, 2011

I am Catholic, not Jewish, therefore if someone were writing an article about the Jewish faith and were to refer to me as "non-Jewish", it would *not* be offensive, merely descriptive. Like stating that a lion is a "non-human" (I just can't imagine old Leo getting his mane in a bunch over that one).

In early church practice, the Mass was divided into the Mass of the Catechumens and the Mass of the Faithful. Any attendees who were not fully initiated into the Church were dismissed after the Mass of the Catechumens part, and were not even in attendance when communion was received. The apostles pointed out that there were those who sickened and died from receiving the Eucharist unworthily (how scandalously uninclusive!) Somehow, I can't imagine complaints about Catholic exclusivity being made if, instead of communion of bread and wine, our primary sacrament was male and female circumcision.

I have never heard anyone complain that they wanted the Jews to open up their ceremonial circumcisions to non-Jews. Holy Communion (theologically) is to a Catholic what the marital act is to a husband and wife. In order for Holy Communion to be fruitful and holy, it must be received by one who not only knows what it is, but lives in commitment and union with Christ and His Church.

Please, all of you who yearn for the Eucharist - He calls you to join His bride, the Church. Come to the Barque of Peter- there is room for all (and instructions in the faith at every Catholic parish). St. Dominic Savio, ora pro nobis.

By anon142840 — On Jan 14, 2011

my husband attends the roman catholic but i do not believe and i do not follow most of the things they believe in and do.

i do attend mass and most of the time when I am alone i try to be with God as much as i can. what do i do? at times i feel so trapped. i grew up in a pentecostal church and the difference is too much for me. However, i won't lose my faith in God.

By anon141406 — On Jan 10, 2011

If the bread really becomes the body of Christ, how come it doesn't takes like flesh? And how come the wine doesn't taste like blood?

By anon138716 — On Jan 02, 2011

Catholics believe that in the bread and wine, there is the act of transubstantiation. However, in other denominations, their beliefs are not as extreme, or strong, so that is the reason why a Roman Catholic can take the Eucharist in a Methodist Church, but a Methodist's beliefs with the bread are too weak for them to take the Eucharist in a Roman Catholic Church.

By anon138288 — On Dec 30, 2010

Try to avoid the use of the term "non-Catholic". Other religions find it exclusionary and offensive. would Catholics want to be referred to as "Non-Jews"? Probably not. Treat others with respect as you expect from others.

By anon138265 — On Dec 30, 2010

Don't worry about all that dogma. If you want to take communion, take it. They won't know and no harm will be done. No matter what any religion says, it's just bread and watered down wine. It won't hurt you. I promise the sky won't fall if you take it.

By anon136919 — On Dec 24, 2010

"Do this in memory of me". The rest of it is a bunch excuses of people trying to monopolize the faith. I wouldn't want to be standing in judgment trying to explain why I denied communion to other baptized Christians just because we did not believe everything the same way.

By anon136741 — On Dec 23, 2010

It is a great misconception towards the Catholic Church that we are not accepting of other religions or hold the belief that non-Catholics are going to Hell. Sadly, some members of the Catholic faith do not fully understand their faith and perpetuate this misconception.

It is not our job to judge. That is up to God. We do believe our Catholic Church is the true Church of God, but that is really no different than any other denomination believes of their own faith. We are all One Body in Christ and live to serve Him as His Body here on earth. Christ is the Head of our united body while the Holy Spirit is its Heart and Soul. We are all children of God and all have hope of salvation. That hope comes through Jesus Christ.

So, although there are some Catholics who have a mindset that they are superior to those of other religions, that is not the teaching of the Catholic Church. I honestly often feel as a Catholic that I cannot listen to Christian radio or have spiritual conversations with other Christians without then expressing a negative opinion of Catholicism or as we often call it, without "Catholic bashing."

If you are a member of a non-Catholic denomination of Christianity and feel that you are being judged by Catholics, I ask that you please not turn around and judge all Catholics and the Catholic faith as a whole based on your experience with individuals. No one is perfect, and thankfully, we have God's grace and love to offer us the hope of salvation.

By anon122267 — On Oct 27, 2010

I am a baptized (at birth) Anglican and went through confirmation. I am in agreement with the holiness of the sacrifice of communion and that it is indeed the body and blood of Christ.

Where I think we differ is on at which point it becomes the body and blood. I don't think we are as hung up on the moment it transfigures, just that it is a Holy Mystery. I feel like I should be able to take Communion at a local Roman Catholic Church.

By anon116930 — On Oct 08, 2010

I am an Anglican. Recently I attended a Catholic funeral. At the funeral the priest invited anyone of Christian faith to accept Communion, so I did.

At our Anglican Church, every Sunday, our priest prefaces Communion by inviting all baptized Christians to participate, regardless of the Church they attend.

Consequently, I was rather amazed to read comments here about not taking Communion in another Church.

I live in Australia, so maybe it is different here. We do tend to be a lot more relaxed.

By anon85440 — On May 20, 2010

I am in a difficult situation. For years i have grown in my understanding re: the roman catholic church and do desire to convert. However, my husband is an anglican priest.

I do believe in authority and cannot see going out of the headship of my husband to go under the headship of the roman catholic church- even though my heart is really there. I make the best of it by attending the mass during the week and receiving a blessing, but i do pray for the day we both enter in together.

I have spoken to a priest regarding this. He basically said that if i am being called and think the church was founded by jesus i need to convert even if my husband does not agree. I am really torn and would appreciate prayers and any advice from a catholic priest.

By anon83340 — On May 10, 2010

To #46: where did they teach you that Protestant has anything to do with protest? The word means "for witness" which is a belief system that the church is more than worship. It should encompass our lives down to the smallest detail.

I was raised in the Baptist church, but left because of my belief in women's ability to pastor a church (even though I am male.) For the past 10 years, I've been very active in a United Methodist church, and now visit the Episcopal church quite frequently.

All my Roman Catholic friends say I'm getting closer, but saying the Nicene or Apostle's creed with firm conviction and knowing in my heart and soul that Jesus death on the cross paid everyone's penalty, I've been catholic my whole life.

If you don't believe all that, maybe a lot of Catholics aren't catholic.

The unfortunate truth is that most Protestants, especially mainline, regard Roman Catholics as equal children of God. I just wish they felt the same way about us. Sad.

By anon82572 — On May 06, 2010

No priest has the power to turn a host into the actual body of Christ by saying a blessing over it. 1 Corinthians 11:26-30 does not say anything about Sacrament of Penance. What it does say is that you must examine yourself and recognize that the bread is the body.

This is a metaphor. The bread they ate at the last supper was bread. It isn't an act of turning bread into flesh; it is what the bread represents. You might as well also believe what the Watchtower sells about not having blood transfusions.

By anon79879 — On Apr 25, 2010

The canon Law states that "under no circumstances" is it allowed for a Roman Catholic to receive communion from ministers who are not of the Roman Catholic faith.

The reason is : Can someone of another faith (religion) receive communion while attending a Roman Catholic service? Only those who belong to Rites that are in communion with the Roman Catholic Church can receive communion within the Catholic Church.

This excludes the Orthodox and Protestant Churches because they do not hold the Catholic belief that Jesus is truly present in the Holy Eucharist. The presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist (consecrated host) is often referred to as the “Real Presence.”

Why does the Roman Catholic Church have this law in place? When a Roman Catholic believer receives the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (communion), he is making a statement that he is “in full communion” (“in full communion” means “in full agreement, without exception, with all the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.”) with those who are present and who are also partaking in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

By anon77067 — On Apr 13, 2010

People, this discussion is a huge hurdle for most non-practicing Catholic Christians. Jesus founded one church, not many. There was one church for 1517 years before Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and others broke away in protest, and what did they protest? The Mass, Eucharist (communion), priestly roles in performing the sacred sacraments, role the Pope (Peter's successor). There *is* still one church, the Catholic (universal) Christian church.

If you find yourself outside of full union with the Catholic church (except other Catholic denominations and all Orthodox) you are a protesting Christian usually in a denomination of some sort (baptist, methodist, non-denominational). This fact means that you do not accept the full teachings of the One, Holy Apostolic, and Universal (catholic) Church.

The dogmas (truths) of this church were given by Jesus to the Apostles, and passed on to other good and true men,(all the bishops through the ages) so that we know what the Catholic Church teaches in terms of faith and morals it can not teach falsely, Jesus said as much in scripture, the Holy Spirit prevents it.

Jesus said to the Apostles after His resurrection, "He breathed on them and said, go and preach the gospel to all nations (everyone), as the Father has sent me I send you, whose sin you forgive it is forgiven, whose sin you do not forgiven it is not forgiven."

Time nor space allows a full blown explanation, but the Eucharist is the most important sacrament of the Church, the source and summit of our faith, it is Jesus, body, blood, soul, and divinity, in his heavenly form, here on earth for our blessing.

This is important: If you are not in full communion with the church that Jesus founded on Peter you may not approach the body and blood of Christ, being outside of the church. St Paul in 1 COR 11 states this clearly.

The Church protects the soul of the person not in the state of grace fit to receive the eucharist.

This view that all are the same is not true, when protestants approach God outside of the state of grace they can harm themselves spiritually. Imagine going to receive Jesus in the Eucharist and yet you deny Him. Yes you deny His teaching, and the teaching of the Apostles. If you are saying I love Jesus, but only on my terms, you are not in the good graces of Jesus.

Oh you say, who says the Catholic Church can even say this? Jesus did, He gave the church the power to bind and loose because she is the authority of Christ on earth after His resurrection.

Did He not pray in John fervently that we all be one as He and the Father are one? They are in agreement on everything.

If you seek the truth, then seek it, why are you not Catholic? This is the road to Emmaus, where the disciples recognized Jesus not in the explanation of the scriptures He gave them, but in the breaking of the bread.

God bless all of you believers, no one can say Jesus is Lord without the Holy Spirit so we are close, please come home to His church, you will never regret it.

By anon75172 — On Apr 05, 2010

I am a Christian. I must say that I did not know until recently that Catholics did not allow protestants to receive communion with them in their church. This was really surprising to me.

For years I defended my Catholic brethren as having the same relationship with God as any Protestant. Now I am not sure after reading the many comments that seem to indicate that the Protestant communion experience is less than that of a Catholic. Just so I understand, do Catholics believe that protestants are a part of the Kingdom of God? --Voice

By anon74935 — On Apr 04, 2010

As I can see this is a great debate, I need not tell you what church I attend, because in the bible, Catholic or not, we are all the Children of God. There is only one church.

We as christians need to realize that no church is greater or holier than another. God sees our hearts, not the church we show up to every week. He suffered and died for all of our sins.

Being respectful of a certain practice and belief is one thing, but God has asked all christians to come to his table, not just a certain denomination of his church.

A good shepherd tends his flock and would never turn a lamb away. Have a Blessed Easter!

By anon74744 — On Apr 03, 2010

Taking communion during mass for those who attend mass (must be adult) could be permissible if the Priest allowed by saying: to those adult who attend this mass with respect and believe this holy bread is a symbol of body of Jesus and believe that Jesus is a God who releases the sins in the world, please come forward and receive this holy bread by saying amen! from Djoko (Indonesia)

By anon74686 — On Apr 03, 2010

Dear Catholic friends, please know that the communion the Catholic church practices is a sacrifice, "the sacrifice of the mass". There is only one sacrifice: Jesus' perfect sinless life and his becoming sin for us on the cross. His perfect sacrifice is all that is needed - once and for all - it is done, it is finished!

By anon74319 — On Apr 01, 2010

First - let's use the correct terminology you do not "take" communion you receive it - you do not take a gift from someone do you? The Holy Eucharist is a gift from God, you do not take things from God.

Second, please read 1 Corinthians 11:26-30, it tells you that if you do not discern that the bread and wine are truly the body and blood, then you will be guilty of His blood. There is a huge difference between what Catholics believe and Protestants believe when it comes to the Holy Eucharist.

Even as a Catholic, if you are in a state of sin you cannot receive. The only way to not be in a state of sin is to receive the Sacrament of Penance, and I don't think any protestant church practices this Sacrament. So double whammy, not having received the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Communion and in a state of sin. So if you have received the body and blood of our Lord unworthily, best of luck to you on that one.

Yes we Catholics are a bit snobby when it comes to rules, regulations and traditions, but they are there for a reason.

The pope does not stand between anyone and God -- did Peter stand between anyone and God? No. The pope is a successor to Peter, no different than each president is the successor of George Washington.

Please answer this question honestly: who founded your church and when? Now tell me who founded the Catholic Church and when?

The purpose of the Mass is the perfect prayer offered to God, in union with the prayers seven times a day (as commanded in the bible) from the Liturgy of the Hours.

By anon73068 — On Mar 25, 2010

God looks at our hearts. He does not look at our skin color,beauty, job title or what umbrella of religion we are under. He looks at our heart and if we believe and have a relationship with him. He loves each and every one of us and would not turn anyone away.

I respect the Catholic church, so therefore would never take communion at their church, but I have to say I think it goes against what the bible teaches.

I understand what the catholic priest said in the above post about unity but when excluding people from communion, it makes me think you are doing the opposite.

By anon71797 — On Mar 19, 2010

I invite all who believe to attend a Methodist church of your choice and partake of communion. Christ died on the cross for all of us--not just one religion.

By anon71796 — On Mar 19, 2010

I belong to a United Methodist church and I am so glad I do after reading this. As Rev. Mike said in #17, all may partake in communion (and we also believe it is the body and blood Christ).

I attended a funeral a couple of years back in a Catholic church and had absolutely no idea I "was not allowed" to partake in communion and I did. I am not ashamed that I did and I am sorry Catholics feel this way.

I wonder what God will have to say about this one day.

By anon71614 — On Mar 19, 2010

This site is a tremendous service to the understanding of Catholicism and the other Christian churches. The subject is not easy. "The Church is so much bigger on the inside," as G.K. Chesterton said.

By anon70985 — On Mar 16, 2010

we have been going to the Catholic church two years now. Have not taken communion, both have been baptized. I have to say as much as I love this church, I do not understand why we cannot take communion. We both do believe it is the Lord's blood and body. Help someone!

By anon64360 — On Feb 06, 2010

@5: Anglicans observe communion and as far as I know, the majority do believe in transubstantiation. You could look into it and see if that particular denomination would work for you.

By anon64359 — On Feb 06, 2010

@24: Thank you for your informative comments and valuable perspective. Although I am not a Catholic and do not believe in transubstantiation, I appreciate the value of that belief and the powerful and unifying symbolic meaning of communion.

Whether or not you believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation, it is possible to see the benefit for those involved. It serves as a reminder of the spirit of Christ, which is with us always. People are able to pause and reflect upon what it means to be one with Christ.

It also provides a sense of community, and togetherness in a profoundly spiritual way.

I am an Anglican, and we do observe the ritual and I would never tell someone not to believe or not to participate in their spiritual or religious practices (barring those that are of harm to others or promote hatred or xenophobia). On that note, if you are not a Catholic and decide to attend a Catholic Mass, it would be wise and in good spirit of you to respect their beliefs by not taking communion regardless of whether or not you can do so without detection. It is, after all, common courtesy.

By anon60034 — On Jan 11, 2010

Hello, I was baptized Church of England and I am now half way through RCIA classes to become Catholic at Easter. Then I will be able to receive the Eucharist for the first time. I completed my Rite of Entry in November and am currently known as a Catechumen. I have my Rite of Election on 21st Feb when I become an Elect.

I have to do my first confession before easter and my confirmation is during the Easter vigil along with full communion. At present, when I attend mass I go up to the priest during communion and put my arm across to my shoulder and I receive a blessing which is just beautiful and I just love the experience I get from this.

By anon55629 — On Dec 08, 2009

Today I took my first communion and I am not Catholic.

By anon53461 — On Nov 21, 2009

For no. 1, yes he may take Communion in the United Methodist Church.

For no 25, the portion concerning the United Methodist Church is untrue.

The United Methodist Church does believe in the Real Presence (although not transubstantiation).

By anon52271 — On Nov 12, 2009

you should not take communion in a catholic church if you are not catholic. that would be a sacrilege.

By anon48384 — On Oct 12, 2009

Jwallace: Your husband is more than welcome to take communion in a Methodist church. The Methodist church practices open communion, on the belief that communion is open to anyone who wants to take it. It's not a secret ritual. Also, for those bantering about whether a non-Catholic should take communion if attending Mass. Folks, even if you don't believe it should make a difference, to Catholics it does, and that's their church. Respect it. You wouldn't eat bacon in a synagogue. By the same token, you don't take communion in a Catholic church if you're not Catholic. What you believe personally has nothing to do with it. It's what the Catholics believe and it's their church.

By anon48365 — On Oct 12, 2009

I believe if one believes in the body and blood given as Christ's body it is acceptable in any church, because after all the church isn't the fact. it is God, not any mediator between.

By anon45664 — On Sep 18, 2009

If you are not catholic, go up for communion with your arms crossed over your shoulders, and the priest will give you a blessing instead. I just had to add that, sorry.

By blessedlife — On Aug 29, 2009

The United Methodist Church does not believe in the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist. However, the Lutheran Church does. The Lutheran Church of the E.L.C.A. Synod allows open communion. This means you do not have to be a member to receive the Eucharist. The Missouri Synod Lutheran Church has closed communion just like the Catholic Church. May God bless.

By anon39954 — On Aug 05, 2009

I am a Catholic priest and would like to add something to this conversation. The issue of who should and should not receive Holy Communion is the same as in the Missouri Synod Lutherans, Wisconsin Synod Lutherans nd Orthodox Christians. It is not simply a matter of doctrinal assent, i.e. what I personally believe. It is a matter of communion. It is a holy communion shared between the people receiving it and Jesus. An individual may be in full communion with Jesus and not with a particular church. In our Eucharistic Prayer we pray, "in union with Benedict our pope, x our bishop..." When we say "amen" to "the body of Christ" we mean that I believe in everything that was prayed during the Eucharistic Prayer.

We do not make a personal judgment as to the worthiness of a non-Catholic Christian, it is simply acknowledging that communion does not yet exist between us and so we cannot authentically celebrate what does not exist. Catholics come at salvation from a much more communal origin. It not just about Jesus and me, but Jesus and us.

By anon36992 — On Jul 16, 2009

So what I think I am reading is: if you are a Lutheran and believe that the blessed Eucharist is the real presence of our Lord's body and blood, it is OK to receive Communion at a Catholic Church. What other Catholic Sacraments can Lutherans partake of without being confirmed in the Catholic faith? Confession.....etc? I bring this point up because of a serious issue on this between my Lutheran (ELCA) husband and I (Catholic). I have recently returned to the Catholic faith and am "really" learning what my faith teaches. If this is so then I ask myself why am I going through all the restrictions of an anullment when it doesn't matter?

By anon31663 — On May 09, 2009

Don't Anglo catholic churches accept transubstantiation?

By anon31367 — On May 04, 2009

"I can not join the Catholic church, because I do not accept that any other human beings-( the Pope or a priest) stands between me and God."

anon 3115,

This is a common misunderstanding of the Pope and priests spread by years of misinformation. I'd encourage you to make an appointment and actually speak openly with a priest, who will help you. These men are not obstacles or walls between you and God. Far from it, they are here to help. As a priest myself, I pray for the day when we will all be truly one in faith - share in the real presence of communion - body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus - and worship the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Union in faith, not just symbolically, but actually, is what Christ calls us to. - In Christ, A Passing Priest

By anon30612 — On Apr 21, 2009

In my opinion it is quite simple. Unless you have received your first Eucharist in the *Catholic* church(when the priest recognizes you as mature and educated to receive). Then simply ask for a blessing instead. If you want to become a Catholic ask your local priest and he will be glad to receive you at Easter where he will Baptize, Administer the Eucharist and confirm you.

By jwallace — On Apr 03, 2009

My husband is not catholic - we were married in the catholic church and he goes to church weekly with me. He did make his first holy communion and confirmation in the Methodist church. He would really like to receive communion with me, but is not sure this is acceptable.

By anon16011 — On Jul 27, 2008

The Episcopal Church (Anglican/Church of England) has foundation in transubstantiation during the Eucharist sacrament. It is taught that Christ is actually present in the transubstantiated bread (body) and wine (blood). The poster who is looking for a good spiritual fit outside the Catholic Church should investigate Episcopalian churches (just a recommendation).

By anon14304 — On Jun 13, 2008

I am a United Methodist Pastor, ALL are welcomed to the Lords table (communion) that believe, or seek to believe in Jesus, even if you do not believe in the doctrine of the Methodist church. Its Gods gift to ALL, not the Methodists gift.

Rev. Mike

Friendship United Methodist Church.

By WGwriter — On Jun 01, 2008

Hi Azmason,

I think the key difference is in your statement, unless I am misreading you.

Believing the bread "represents" the body of Christ is different than believing that the bread "is" the body of Christ (or the wine his blood). Catholics believe that the blessing said over simple bread transforms it, so that it is part of Christ's body you are consuming. That is the reason why Catholics do not tend to welcome those who are non-Catholics into taking communion. It is about the reverence to the sacrament, and the sharing of beliefs on the nature of this transformation, or the communion of Catholics as well as receiving the Eucharist. Taking the Eucharist only as symbol would dishonor what Catholics believe it is.

However, I don't think that the average Catholic church wishes you to feel unwelcome. It is merely in the details of what a sacrament is that the church differs on this from what you may believe. I am perhaps off mark here, because I am not sure what the Methodist teaching is on the nature of communion in their church.

By azmason — On May 30, 2008

As a baptized Methodist I find to disheartening that I cannot take communion in the Catholic Church that I attend with my best girl friend. We as Methodist believe that the the bread represents the body of Christ and the wine is the Blood of Christ. We have open communion for all in our Church and the Catholics need to realize that Christianity is all of us together. We are not in competition against each other but are in competition with each other as Christians!

By WGwriter — On Apr 09, 2008

Anon11042 - If you took communion at a Catholic church, don't worry about it. If you're considering joining a Catholic church, you may want to talk to your local church about their programs for adults.

It's just important in the future to avoid it in deference to the Catholic belief that you really must believe the Eucharist is the body of Christ after it has been blessed. As for communion at other churches, even if you accept transubstatiation there's nothing wrong, as long as the sect doesn't object, with taking what is considered a symbol of Christ's body. Catholics attending a service at another church might accept communion, but they would conclude that this is a symbol not a sacrament. Sacrament is defined as the symbol of a thing and the thing itself.

By anon11042 — On Apr 07, 2008

I am not catholic, I have taken the communion already, what should I do?

By anon6691 — On Jan 06, 2008

if you have come to accept transubstantiation, then please do take a serious look at the views of the church. perhaps you will see that we aren't that disagreeable. in any case, hear the story from the horse's mouth. peace be with you.

By anon5224 — On Nov 17, 2007

The Lutheran church does not accept transubstantiation. I think they accept sub-substantiation, which is different.

By anon4895 — On Nov 05, 2007

The Lutheran church accepts transubstantiation.

By anon3319 — On Aug 23, 2007

According to the catholic church, how frequently should we attend mass?

By anon3130 — On Aug 12, 2007

I was just inquiring, according to the Catholic Church, how often should we attend mass? Is it necessary to attend every week?

Also, where should mass be held?

And lastly, what is the significance of the mass? According to the Catholic Church, of course.

If anyone has an answer to any of these questions it would be greatly appreciated.

By anon3115 — On Aug 12, 2007

I was born, raised, and baptized in a protestant denomination that maintains a Calvinist position on communion-i.e., that transubstantiation does not occur. However, in my spiritual growth, I have come to believe in and accept the concept of transubstantiation. This puts me in a very difficult position. I can not join the Catholic church, because I do not accept that any other human being-( the Pope or a priest) stands between me and God. But I feel it is a lie to take communion in a church that does not consider communion a sacrament. Is there any protestant denomination that accepts transubtantiation?

By anon2138 — On Jun 29, 2007

I believe it should also be noted that non-Catholic Christians are discouraged from taking Communion at a Catholic church. This is because Catholics believe that the bread and wine really is the Body and Blood of Christ, while non-Catholic Christians just believe that it is a symbol. So not taking Communion in a Catholic church is standard for non-Christians and even Christians who are non-Catholic.

I hope that makes sense.

Have a blessed day.

By Dayton — On May 07, 2007

Though I'm not clergy, I believe that Methodists practice what is called "open communion." That means that anyone who wants to can take communion.

In this case, I think the church leaders would say that it's not membership in the church but belief in the tenants of the faith that qualify you to take communion.

By lrranch — On May 05, 2007

My husband is not a member of a church. We go to the Methodist church because I am a menber. He is a christian man who believes in god and lives by the book. What I want to know is it proper for him to take communion with me at the Methodist church?

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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