Protestant and Catholic Sacraments

“Lord’s Supper”

Just Be God’s: A Call to Continuing Conversion is a series of blog posts. You might want to start reading it from the beginning: Here.

February 20

Something weird happened to me the other day. My buddy, who was/is Catholic, not sure, kind of annoyed me. It was a weird feeling because I felt defensive of the Catholic church. I felt like an annoyed/offended Catholic. I felt kind of judged and maybe even attacked and maybe even silly for some of the choices that I make. Now, my buddy would feel so bad if he knew any of this. He doesn’t want to annoy me or offend me, and when he thinks he does, he feels so bad.

I was talking about the paperwork that goes into Catholicy wedding things, and he said something along the lines of “Maybe just not do any of that bs.” Essentially, a Catholic wedding. Maybe I sounded like I was annoyed at all the paperwork and he was trying to empathize? That actually makes more sense. But the fact is, wedding planning is a lot of paperwork no matter where/how you do it. Sure, there are ways around it, like, don’t invite anyone, but otherwise, it’s a serious ordeal. And no doubt, when/if he gets married, it will be a serious ordeal for him.

Even though he says, “Maybe not do any of that bs.” I know his present girlfriend will be all about a super liturgy. She doesn’t want a Catholic wedding, and that’s fine, but she wants a wedding in a church, and any church wedding requires “that bs.” I felt a little caught off guard because Steve wants a Catholic wedding (because he’s Catholic), and I’m perfectly fine with a Catholic wedding (maybe even also want it), and I didn’t like my decision to be okay with a Catholic wedding to constitute as any more BSy than any other type of church wedding.

Again, I don’t really think my friend meant any harm by it, he just says those things sometimes as a way of empathizing with a potentially crappy process. Like confirmation!

Marriage is a sacrament, and like confirmation, there are all these rites and rules, and there is no bending any of it to be “officially sanctioned” somehow by the Church as a-okay! Now you’re married and can have sex and babies. Just like confirmation (kind of), you get “officially sanctioned” as a-okay by the church to, I don’t know, take communion? Be fully in grace? I have no idea.

If you’re an adult you get all the sacraments at once: baptism, confirmation, [confession], communion. And if you’re raised Catholic it’s baptism, confession, communion, confirmation, all spread out over about 13 years.

Anyway, I just needed to get this Catholic defensive feeling off my chest, because I didn’t really like it.

June 8, 2016

I barely remember this day, and this day seems like I was very annoyed. There were a couple things going on. First, I had just recently become engaged, and the the first couple months of wedding planning are the worst. It is exhausting, and I wasn’t Catholic, planning a Catholic wedding. Looking back, it probably was a lot of bs. The paperwork is ridiculous. On the other hand, this meticulous record keeping is part of what keeps the Catholic church in business. In that sense, I get it.

But the part of this entry that got to me was the part about the rites and rules and steps that a person must take in order to par-take in something in the church. I know it’s all holy and sacramental and all that, and no one is perfect, but I still don’t get confirmation. I get these things on a very trivial level. Let me explain the sacraments in Protestanty terms: 

  1. Catholic Baptism—For Protestants this is like a baby-dedication. We’re initiating this child into the community and committing to training this child in Catholicy things.
  2. Catholic Communion—Protestant Cracker and juice. Think about Jesus.
  3. Catholic Confession—Protestant Feel sorry for your sins, confess them to someone.
  4. Catholic Confirmation—That member training/teaching that some Protestant churches do before you place membership. Confirmation and confession in the Catholic church are kind of like baptism in some protestant churches— at this point, you know you’re sinful, and you know what the church is about, so commit with baptism.
  5. Catholic/Protestant Marriage—Now you can have sex.
  6. Catholic Ordination—Protestant Process of becoming a church leader.
  7. Catholic Healing the sick—Protestant Caring for others.

All that to say, I still don’t get confirmation, and I do get why people don’t want to do it. It is extreme.

Author: Paige

Explorer. Healer. Eater. School counselor, teacher, party planner. Personal passions are holistic healthcare education, spirituality, food, and writing.

One thought on “Protestant and Catholic Sacraments”

  1. I do not get to comment often, but I really love reading along. You are on quite a journey. This post held particular interest for me as the person who has the lovely job of often “hounding” people for their sacramental paperwork… everything from godparent certificates that “state”someone is a “Catholic in good standing” to all the other things. It is the least favorite part of my job, but I find myself defensive about it also.

    Anyway, prayers for the journey. Some day I would love to go down to FL and have some coffee (roasted by you!) with you, talking church, camino, and more. Peace.

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