| None Catholics
|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 Communion Host to practicing
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 Communion is literally the body and blood of Christ, transformed from bread and wine by the priest presiding over the Mass. For Catholics, to accept the body and blood of Christ when not believing it is sacrilegious and heretical.
If non-Catholics are thinking about becoming Catholics, accepting Communion is still not appropriate. Taking oneís first Communion, 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 Communion unless they are part 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 Communion section of the service if they truly believe in Christ, and believe that Communion is the symbol of the body of Christ.
If you enjoy attending church services but are not Christian, itís 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 Communion is regarded in a specific church.