Mass Etiquette

IMG_1541_638How we worship, praise, and give thanks to God at Mass as members of His Community of believers, is reflective of the depth, or shallowness, of our individual Catholic Christian Faith.

  1. THINK OF THE CHURCH, ALWAYS AND AT ALL TIMES, AS SACRED SPACE AND A SACRED PLACE. The church is a place of worship. It is not an auditorium, convention center, or meeting hall. The church is the primary place we come to spend time with and be intimate with GOD.
  2. MASS IS HOLY. It is that most special and sacred of times that we encounter our Creator-Redeemer-Sustainer GOD in a most intimate and awesome way and receive Him in the most real way possible, in The Eucharist – if we are properly disposed.
  3. DRESS APPROPRIATELY. One should always wear clothes that are modest, and, if at all possible, all things being equal, clean and the nicest clothes one has. Shorts, skirts above the knee, sweats, leggings, halter tops, low cut blouses, tee shirts, and the like are a distraction and diminish the reverential aspect of the Mass.
  4. BE ON TIME. It is extremely distracting when people arrive late to Mass. One should do everything in one’s power to arrive on time – better yet, early, so as to avoid disturbing one’s fellow worshippers and their focus on the Mass.
  5. TURN CELL PHONES AND ELECTRONICS OFF. The reasons for this should be obvious.
  6. PUT A HOST IN THE CEBORIUM. On Sunday, Vigil, and Holy Day Masses if you plan on receiving communion you should put an unconsecrated host in the ceborium on the table when you enter the church.
  7. KNEEL REVERENTLY TOWARD THE TABERNACLE/ALTAR BEFORE SITTING IN THE PEW. Kneel when you enter through the glass doors into the nave of the church.  If one is physically incapable of kneeling a simpler form of genuflection is preferred,  a profound bow or at least pause will suffice. The purpose of this is show respect and reverence for our King and to acknowledge His Real Presence in the tabernacle.
  8. KNEEL OR SIT QUIETLY. We do this so that we can pray, meditate, and properly prepare ourselves for the beauty and splendor of the Mass, and to be considerate of those around us, who are also in contemplation of this awesome Reality.
  9. PARTICIPATE FULLY IN THE MASS. We do this by immersing ourselves totally in the Mass by diligently listening to GOD’s Word, participating in the prayers, and being properly disposed to receive The King of the Universe Himself in The Eucharist.
  10. STAY UNTIL THE END OF MASS. Mass is not concluded until the final prayer and dismissal, and it is the polite thing to do to remain in the pew until the end of the recessional song, since it is, after all, a sung prayer.
  11. REVERENTLY, GENTLY, & SILENTLY LEAVE THE CHURCH. Again these actions by the congregation demonstrate due respect for our Lord in The Blessed Sacrament. There is plenty of time to share camaraderie and conviviality once we have left the worship space of the Church, and, furthermore, we avoid the possibility of disturbing those who wish to remain behind in the church for contemplation and prayer.