Some people wonder about the differences between Episcopal and Catholic services or masses. In fact, they are much the same and, yet, vary in some aspects. Learn the facts about two important religions and what they do not have in common.

Notice the liturgy (the words that the churchgoers, or parishioners, and church leaders recite) are very much alike, even if the order varies a bit. Some differences may include the versions of the prayer book that the Episcopalians use. The book is very contemporary and feminist versions are available. A church sometimes experiments with these. Notice that The Lord's Prayer ends with one extra long sentence.

Listen to the music. Older Anglican (Episcopalian) music tends to go back 400 years and is heavy on the organ and classical borrowings. Catholic music, especially in contemporary services, incorporates more guitar and modern hymns which may be more melodic and easier to understand in terms of language. Individuals in each group have their favorites, and indeed, some songs are found in both hymn books.

Behold the woman priest who may be offering communion in the Episcopal service, as well as the acolytes (altar boys), who in fact may be altar girls. This is allowed in the Episcopal religion. Not only that, but priests of either gender may be married (same sex marriage included).

Go ahead and take communion even if you are divorced, not baptized or without your First Communion in the Episcopal service. There is no First Communion, only Confirmation in the teenage years. All are invited and included to partake in the Body and Blood. The Catholics are more stringent regarding communion.

Realize that the Episcopalians are not officially against abortion, while the Catholics are. They also don't have a problem with gay rights.