(Closed) Feeling lost in my RCIA class

posted 6 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
4336 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

awww, don’t feel bad! I think that’s totally great that you are trying to learn more about your faith with the help of your BF! You have to start learning from *somewhere.*

I don’t know which prayers you didn’t know, but I know the most common ones are the Hail Mary, Glory Be, and Our Father. I think if they pray any other prayer in the class then it’s ok if you dont know it. If you don’t know the ones I listed, you could just google them and learn them. Like your Boyfriend or Best Friend says, it WILL get better!

Post # 5
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

It’s *TOTALLY* okay, and completely normal, to feel lost at this point in your journey! Catholics have a ton of traditions that we often do without thinking, but there are so many that some of them are unfamiliar even to lifelong Catholics, and it is totally to be expected that they would be confusing to someone who is new to it all.

If you start with the Hail Mary and the Glory Be, that will go a long way. Those are two of the prayers (along with the Our Father) that Catholics frequently default to. There are others, but they don’t come up nearly as often.

You might also enjoy the book “Why Do Catholics Do That?” by Kevin Orlin Johnson. I’ve been a Catholic my entire life, and I learned a lot from it – your boyfriend might, too!

Post # 6
Member
993 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@amberdk:  I know its hard and confusing!  I’m also in the RCIA program right now.  Even having grown up in a Protestant church, I’m completely lost with the prayers and things.  That’s totally normal – why would we know them if we havent been taught?  You are there because you want to be, this isn’t school and there aren’t any tests.  Talk to Fiance about it, or maybe one of his family members.  Its nice to have a go-to person who can answer questions for you.  I always ask a TON of questions in my RCIA sessions, at first I thought it might be annoying but then I realized noone else knows the answers either because we’re there to learn about the faith!  FI bugs me and says he learned this when he was a kid but he also asks tons of questions… when you’re a kid you just accept it and as an adult you wonder why and where it comes from.

I think after a little while it will become more natural.  I feel confused and lost through mass (I always try to follow with the Missal and spend then entire time flipping around pages – Fiance thinks its funny.  Most of the standard things that are said in mass are in the Missal – spend some time going through one maybe next time you’re sitting in church?

Your RCIA leader should be able to help you – it might make you feel better if you sit down with them and have coffee or something and tell them how you’re feeling.

Honestly, I used to get super nervous until last session the leaders of our group just said how happy they are that we are there.  It made me feel worth their time, and that they weren’t judging me.  Its exciting for them to share their faith.  It seems like a private club a bit at first, but you are accepted and loved right into it!

I will be thinking of and praying for you!! If you want an RCIA buddy, feel free to PM me… I have noone in real life sharing my experience and always looking for friends πŸ™‚

Post # 7
Member
901 posts
Busy bee

@amberdk:  I am also in RCIA and feel a bit lost! Don’t feel bad! 

One of the things I struggle with is participating in gestures, like crossing yourself. I have never done that in my entire life and feel very awkward doing it. Well, I have yet to do it, so I guess I can just assume I feel awkward, lol

Don’t worry! There’s a lot of ritual and customs in Catholicism. No one should expect you to know all of it right away.

Did they give you a prayer book? I was given one called Catholic Book of Prayers. It’s small and brown and will fit in your purse!

Even if you were converting for your Boyfriend or Best Friend, so what? I’m converting mainly because my SO is Catholic and we’re planning on getting married and raising our kids Catholic. I think it would be very awkward for me to be the odd woman out, so I’m converting. I want us all to be of the same faith. I’ll always have my own relationship with God that isn’t dictated by any religion, so this isn’t a big deal to me. I was baptised Lutheran anyway, so not that different.

Post # 8
Member
1060 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Some additional encouragement – Last year there was a new interpretation/translation of many prayers and responses within the catholic church so there are many catholics who feel exactly as you do for forgetting the changes. (example: Priest Says “Peace be with you” traditional response was “and also with you” has been changed to “and with your spirit”. I still hear people saying both responses because they forget/ it can be hard to change habit)

It is a lot of information/rituals to take in and rememeber. For many catholics, these prayers and rituals are practiced so frequently throughout their lives (similar to way the national anthem is played daily in school, and sporting events, and many other times – you would never forget it) however to learn it now is a lot more challenging (such as learning the anthem to a different country will take a lot of repetition before you can memorize it).

Similarly, growing up I went to catholic school, where there was religion class every single day from the time I was 5 until 18. There is SO much to learn about Catholicism, there is still so much that I don’t know! It is a constant journey, I will never know everything, but will continue to practice my faith and learn and grow as a Catholic. Just because you are starting your journey at a later point in your life doesn’t mean you need to play ‘catch up’ and learn everything asap. It is a journey, and all that matters is that you have decided to start πŸ™‚

I went through the RCIA program as a sponsor for my best friend and it was an incredible learning experience for me. And trust me, the idea that some people were there simply for their SO never ever crossed my mind!

 

Good luck on your journey!

Post # 10
Member
993 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@RedAngelDreamer:  I also feel weird about signing the cross… like I’m going to do it wrong or something.  Yesterday I went for a blessing when everyone got communion and I didn’t really know what to do… so I just awkwardly smiled at the priest.  

@amberdk:  we’ll get through it!  And its a fun, happy journey.

So glad I’m not the only one!

Post # 12
Member
7992 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

It strikes me that Cathollicism stresses community participation which is not always the most relevant thing to some people. If you are not responding to participation and repetition then perhaps solo meditation and study will help you feel more at home within the faith.

I realise that I am coming at this from a non-conformist perspective, but at the end of the day what matters is your relationship with God, not you relationship with the other people in your class. Sod what they think. What do YOU think?

I know it’s not as easy as all that though. But there is no one path to God. You just have to find your own path, like everyone else! Good luck.

 

Post # 13
Member
901 posts
Busy bee

@Rachel631:  I have always felt that my relationship with God is an intensely personal thing. Catholicism does in fact stress community involvement and this is a major shift for me.

 

Post # 14
Member
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

You have to remember that at mass, everyone knows what to do because most have been doing it since they were babies!!!!!! πŸ™‚ I could recite things at a young age just because I had been surrounded by it my entire life! Just coming into the faith is hard and definitely a transition…my bf is confused all the time, though he is not converting or anything. He likes to participates and always does the sign of the cross funny and other gestures. 

Just gve yourself time πŸ™‚ then it will become a habit. The best thing about converts to the faith, is that they usually understand catholic teachings MUCH better than those of us who were born into it and therefore become much stronger catholics! God will know that you are trying and doing all you can! You just need time!

Post # 15
Member
1310 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

pp is correct about lifelong Catholics being in the same boat as you! Every Sunday at Mass I mess up on the responses. It’s a huge joke now between me and my husband. I was just so used to the other way. πŸ™‚

Post # 16
Member
435 posts
Helper bee

@amberdk:  

 

I’ve been Catholic since birth and I still have to use the little book to say some of the prayers because they do change them every once in while, plus I don’t attend Mass regularly any more so when I do go I forget even though I should know them all easily.  Look around next time you’re in Mass, half the people there are probably mumbling the wrong words or not even saying it aloud.  Nothing to feel bad about, it’s the thought that counts. You don’t have to do everything perfectly.

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