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Renee Ludlam wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am currently attending RCIA classes and plan to join the Catholic church this Easter.
The church I am attending does not have traditional Masses.

  • Is it OK for me to attend the non-traditional Masses?
  • Also, is it OK to receive Holy Communion distributed by women altar servers?

I am an American and have a Protestant background.


  { Being new, am I permitted to attend the non-Traditional Mass and receive from women servers? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Renee —

First, Welcome to the Church! If we can be of any help just tell us.

You said:

  • Is it OK for me to attend the non-traditional Masses?

Of course it is! As Catholic Christians we trust the Church to tell us what is, and is not, a valid Mass. Because we believe the Holy Spirit, through St. Peter and his successors, is guiding our Church, we can always be assured that what the Church officially teaches on faith and morals is correct. The prime issue of faith for the Catholic is how we worship, so attending either a Novus Ordo or Latin Mass is fine.

There can be confusion among the faithful on this issue by some who don't trust the Church on this topic. This posting gives you an example of the issues involved:

You said:

  • Also, is it OK to receive Holy Communion distributed by women altar servers?

Only a priest, deacon or Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist may distribute Holy Communion.
The question is whether the woman altar server is:

  • of age, and
  • serving as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist as well as an altar server

Seeing that you have started RCIA classes, I would encourage you to consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as faithful Catholics.

Hope this helps,


Eric replied:


If anyone tells you that you should not attend the "non-Traditional Mass" (that is, the Ordinary Form of Mass), I would distance myself from them because that idea is not in the mainstream of Catholic thought. All are free, of course, to attend the Extraordinary Form (what some call the Traditional Mass), and even to prefer it to the Ordinary Form, so long as we recognize that the Ordinary Form is, well, the ordinary way Mass is celebrated throughout the whole Church, and is equally valid (per se) as the Extraordinary Form.

Of course, there are those who abuse it, which encourages those who want to be faithful to go to the Extraordinary Form Masses, where such abuses are not typically found at this stage of history.

The key is the distinction between abuse and proper use: The Ordinary Form can be celebrated reverently and validly, even in Latin, even facing East (I am familiar with people who confused a reverent Ordinary Form celebrated in Latin with an Extraordinary Form Mass!)

We must not judge it by the people who misuse it.


Renee replied:

Thank you very much for your answers.

They were very helpful and I am now at ease about attending either Mass.

I have probably been still thinking "like a Protestant" and must continue learn to trust in the authority of the Church.

Thanks again.


Mike replied:

Your welcome,

You have a great attitude for someone new to the Church.

If more Catholics trusted the authority of the Church, we would be a much stronger Church.

Take care,


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