Skip to comments.Can a Catholic receive communion in a Protestant church?
Posted on 10/18/2011 2:09:05 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Should you pass on communion at a Lutheran church or participate fully?
You are at the wedding of a beloved family member or friend, which is taking place at a Lutheran church. You gladly accepted the invitation to celebrate this happy day with the bride and groom. But then there is a call to come to the table of the Lords Supper, to receive communion. This is the awkward moment you knew was coming. Can you, and should you, a practicing Catholic, accept the invitation?
According to the Code of Canon Law, receiving communion in a Protestant church is generally not permissible. According to canon 844, Catholic ministers may licitly administer the sacraments to Catholic members of the Christian faithful only and, likewise, the latter may licitly receive the sacraments only from Catholic ministers. The key term here is licit. If a Catholic receives communion from a Protestant minister, it is generally considered illicit or unlawful.
The reason for the Catholic Churchs general rule against sharing in the Eucharist with other churches is that a person can only be in full communion with one church. As a Catholic, the core of ones union with Christ is union with the church. The center of this union lies in the reception of the sacrament of the Eucharist during Mass, which is both a confession and embodiment of unity with the Roman Catholic Church.
But canon 844 includes an exception to the rule whenever necessity requires or general spiritual advantage suggests, and provided that the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided.
The Second Vatican Councils Decree on Ecumenism said that, as a general rule, common worship and eucharistic and other sacramental sharing should signify the unity of the church. But it acknowledges that such sharing can also be seen as advancing unity. In fact, according to the decree, the gaining of a needed grace sometimes commends it.
Still, within the confines of canon law, the exceptions to the rule are rather limited, and receiving communion from a Lutheran pastor during a wedding would normally be seen as illicit for Catholic wedding guests. At the same time, some Catholics would like to, and do, receive communion on these rare occasions.
These Catholics, after a careful examination of their conscience, find compelling reasons to gain a needed grace by receiving communion in a Protestant church. And it is also true that eucharistic sharing has occurred at the highest levels of the church. Even Jesus occasionally broke the religious law of his day, though he did so to fulfill the spirit of the law.
So it is possible that one could follow Jesus lead. In our example a compelling reason might be to demonstrate ones deep love and commitment to nurturing the relationship of the newly married couple. Intercommunion could be a yes to God by witnessing to Gods presence in the marriage and committing to Gods work of salvation in their lives.
In the end, this may be fulfilling the spirit of canon law while going against the letter.
-- Kevin Considine, a Ph.D. candidate in theology at Loyola University in Chicago. This article appears in the October 2011 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 76, No. 10, page 46).
I’m pretty certain protestants have no problem with a catholic taking communion in a protestant church.
But it is NOT a sacrament in protestant churches. They do not believe in transubstantiation, so why deny them of doing it in “remembrance of me [Christ]”?
I would say no. For that matter, if a family member was in a Catholic Church and, for one reason or another, was not prepared to receive communion (for instance, serious sin without a chance to go to confession), then he should not go to communion either.
Communion is about receiving the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ, it is not about pleasing your family or making a polite social gesture. That should be the governing consideration.
In a congregation where the Lord's Supper is thought to be a quaint remembrance of an event from long ago, open communion would likely be practiced. In a congregation where the Lord's Supper is a Sacrament, and the Lord is known to be truly present, probably not.
All took communion as seriously as Christ himself intended for it to be taken, and non would've batted an eye if a catholic present took the sacrament along with everyone else.
We were guests in the country and Japan was a good friend and ally of our country. I told them to watch what the Prime Minister of Japan did when he was visiting the United States and out flag was presented and national anthem was played. Or what the president of the United States did in the same situation (sadly, this wouldn't apply today because our imposter in chief has no love or respect for this country).
They did exactly what I suggested to my kids-- stand respectfully with their hosts while the anthem is played but don't join the singing or salutes.
I'd follow the same rule with communion when I am a guest at other church services-- it shows respect for your hosts, including the other members who might feel resentful about your taking communion service which is reserved for those who are members.
What part of the New Testament makes people think Jesus gives a flip where/when/if they take communion?
If he’s washed in the Blood.
As I understand who may it is up to the person to decide. Understanding what it means to do so.
1 Corinthians 11
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lords death until he comes.
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.
If one belief is correct, the other is incorrect.
Nicely ripped to shreds by Father Zuhlsdorf over at What Does The Prayer Really Say.
The author neglects one tiny little word in Canon 844. In some limited circumstances a Catholic may receive from a non-Catholic minister of a church that has VALID sacraments. Canon 844 has to do with reception from Orthodox, Polish National Catholics etc. The example Considine uses, Lutherans, have nothing to do with Canon 844 since they lack valid sacraments.
The article is junk.
The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament in the Presbyterian Church. We believe that the Holy Spirit is present in the elements but do not believe in transubstantiation. Communion is open.
As for Catholics in Protestant churches, communion there is open to all including small children who see it as snacks(inappropriate in my view)
It is up to the Catholic if he can believe in the same eucharistic transformation in that environment of different believers, without a priest, and coming from a server who doesn't believe as he does. If I was Catholic I would not
meh, what do I know, just a churchless methodist who goes to mass and hasn't taken commnunion in 3 years
Can you elaborate as to why?
“Im pretty certain protestants have no problem with a catholic taking communion in a protestant church.”
I’m pretty sure they do.
the part where the disciples are told to accept the gentiles and convert them maybe?
Were there gentiles at the last Supper? I think not
people have this flip view that Jesus was cool with anyone’s beliefs and never judged anyone... but he made it clear he came to warn folks his Father would be doing some judging
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