What To Do And What Not To Do During Mass
Genuflect Towards the Tabernacle When We Enter And Leave The Church
During the preparation of the Holy Mass, Christ is already present for our sake. It is expected that when we pass in front of the altar or tabernacle, we kneel in reverence. By kneeling, we acknowledge his presence as Lord. A bow is sufficient if someone is physically unable to kneel
Fast Before The Holy Mass
It is the Church’s Law that one fasts for at least an hour before receiving the holy communion. Water and Medications can be taken. The purpose is to help us prepare to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.
Be Quiet While In Church
Once you enter the sanctuary, it is not the time or place to visit with those around you or exchange pleasantries. If it is necessary that you must talk, do so as quietly and briefly as possible. It is important that you note that your noise might be disturbing someone who is in prayer.
Do Not Bring In Food And Drinks In Church
Bringing a snack to Church is not appropriate, because the church is a place of prayer and reflection. The exceptions would be a drink for small children, water for the priest or choir (if discreet) and water for those who are sick.
As Catholics, we believe that God is present at the Holy Mass. So, can’t you dress properly? Wear your favorite Sunday dress and acknowledge him!
Men Take Your Hearts Off
For men, It is not polite to wear a hat into a church. It is a cultural norm that needs to be followed closely. Just as you take off hats for a pledge of allegiance we should do so in Church too as a sign of respect.
Arrive A Few Minutes Earlier
If for some reasons you can not be on time, then try as much as possible to sit in the back so as not to disturb others. Arriving at Mass early, helps you to pray and prepare yourself better before Mass begins.
Do Not Sleep During Mass
Why sleep if you know you have come before God and that He comes down to meet us at every Mass? This is a sign of disrespect and it is as good as staying back at your home and sleep!
No Bulletin Reading During Mass
This is another form of disrespect. Imagine that you invited a guest to your house and he decides to read a magazine instead of listening to what you have to say, How would you feel?
When we come to God’s presence, we must do what we have come for – to reverence Him. Otherwise, what is the essence of leaving your house in the first place?
Respect the Boundaries Of Others
You might decide to hold hands and pray, they might not. They might be ill and would not want to shake hands during the sign of peace. These are all ok. Do not pass judgments on them because they choose to worship differently.
Bow/Kneel Before Receiving
Show your respect with a bow. this is an ancient practice that has been continued till this day.
If You Feel Called To Do So, Pray AfTer Mass
Although it is not required to offer a prayer of thanksgiving after mass is over, it is a good thing.
Do Not Make Noise
Noisy children should be taken to the end of the pew or if you can, take the baby to the back. Every parent knows that some times the baby might have a bad day. Don’t make everyone else’s day bad as well. Do not wait too long or be shy to take the baby out. It is better to leave to silence your baby than to create noise at Mass.
Do Not Chew Gum
Chewing gum at Mass breaks your fast and it does not help us pray better. Can you imagine the Priest popping gum during the Mass? It is a form of distraction and it’s considered impolite in formal settings. So don’t chew gum during the Mass.
Prepare Your Offerings Before Mass
Christ tells us not to let our left hand know what your right hand is doing when you make an offering. Avoid publicity and show off. You are giving an offering to the Lord and not men.
Sprinkle Holy Water On Yourself On Entering And Living The Church
Doing this is a reminder of our Baptism, which makes us members of Christs Church. When you do so, try to be mindful of what is happening and do not do it without a prayer.
Never Use Cell Phones In Mass Either For Calls Or For Texting
If you are to make an emergency call (a serious one), please walk out of the church to do so. Note that if you are using the phone for readings or prayers, it is appropriate, but try to be discreet.
Do Not Receive From The Chalice If You Are Sick
Do not receive communion from the chalice if you are sick. This is an act of charity. Bishops of some diocese have also asked parishes to refrain from offering the cup of communion during flu and other communicable diseases.
Do Not Leave Before The End Of The Mass
We should stay till the end of the mass and the hymn that accompanies it if there is any. Although there are exceptions to this guideline, those that leave early do not need to and ought not to. If you must leave, do it quietly