Q&A: In Interfaith Marriages, What Religion Are the Kids?
Plus: What women should wear to a mosque; visiting an Orthodox church; and pork for Jehovah's Witnesses
Like most Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses are allowed to eat pork. Poor Babe.
Members Helping Members
As part of Beliefnet's "Religion Etiquette Q&A" column, we occasionally include useful posts by our members. On the Catholicism boards, member Ithaca asked how to behave when visiting a Roman Catholic Mass.
Member cajunrick responds:
"The only restriction is that you should not receive the Eucharist. You can sing the songs; stand, sit and kneel when others do, make the sign of the cross and share the sign of peace as you feel comfortable doing.
"Roman Catholics typically place a holy water font near each door. We dip our fingers in the water and make the sign of the cross on ourselves as a reminder of our baptism, and a sign that we are leaving the world and entering sacred ground. As we enter the pew, we genuflect to the Blessed Sacrament if present (it is usually indicated by a lighted candle which is most often red), or bow to the altar if the Blessed Sacrament is not present. We kneel in personal prayer as a way of putting ourselves in God's presence."
Member Hilaria responds:
"Although you can do anything the Catholics do except take communion, you don't HAVE to do anything. You can march right in, skip the holy water and the genuflecting, sit down in a pew and stay the whole time. Everyone else will be sitting, standing, and kneeling at prescribed times, but you are not obligated to do any of these things, and nobody will think badly of you for just sitting there.
"You should be prepared, however, that at a certain point after the sermon, the priest will say 'Let us offer each other a sign of peace.' At this point, everyone turns to the people standing near them, shakes hands, and says 'Peace be with you' or perhaps 'The peace of Christ be with you.' Don't be worried about doing something wrong--lots of people come to visit our church, so we are accustomed to seeing visitors."