Fast before Mass. It is Church law that one fasts for at least 1 hour before receiving Holy Communion. Water and medicine can be consumed, of course. (no gum) The purpose is to help us prepare to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.
***MAINTAIN PRAYERFUL AND REVERENTIAL SILENCE INSIDE THE CHURCH. It is not the time to visit. If you must talk, do so quietly and briefly. You are in GOD’s house!***
No Food and Drink in Church. The exceptions would be a drink for small children, water for the priest or for those who are ill.
Men remove hats in the Gathering Area. We do so as a sign of respect. It is impolite for a man to wear a hat into a church.
Don’t chew gum in church. It breaks your fast, it’s distracting, it is considered impolite in a formal setting, and it doesn’t help us pray better.
Cross yourself with Holy Water upon entering and leaving the church. This is a reminder of our Baptism, which made us members of Christ’s Church.
Dress modestly and appropriately. As Catholics we believe that God comes down to meet us at every Mass.
Show up at least a few minutes early. If for some reason you can’t be on time, then try to sit in the back so you don’t disturb others. Getting to Mass early allows you to pray and prepare yourself better for Mass.
When you happen to come late and the readings are being proclaimed
- Stay in the Gathering Area; Do not seat yourselves during the readings and the Homily
- You may seat yourselves:
- during the Responsorial Psalm
- during the Alleluia
- after the Gospel reading
- before the Homily
- after the Homily
***Switch off Cell phones***
When we enter and leave Church, genuflect toward the Tabernacle. Christ is present for our sake. During Mass, if you pass in front of the altar or tabernacle, bow reverently.
**PARTICIPATE FULLY IN THE MASS. Full, Active and Conscious Participation should be the norm.
Take loud children to the Gathering Area. Every parent knows that sometimes a child is going to have a bad day. There is no reason to be embarrassed about having to quiet your child in the church. It is worse to allow them to disturb Mass continually. If your child is old enough to attend Catechism classes, he/she is old enough to be taught to act accordingly during the Mass.
Childrens Liturgy at 12:30 Mass is specifically for young children who have not yet received First Holy Communion. All others should remain in the pews and taught how to participate in the Mass.
Prepare your offering before Mass. Keeping the basket waiting while you get your wallet out can sometimes cause quite a scene.
Respect Boundaries others may have. You might want to hold hands to pray, they may not. They might be sick and not want to shake during the sign of peace. These are all OK. Do not make any unnecessary judgment because they worship differently.
Bow before receiving Holy Communion. It is GOD, show your respect with a bow of the head. This is an ancient practice that has continued until this day. It is not necessary to make the sign of the cross.
Do not receive from the chalice if you are sick. This is an act of charity and it is not necessary to receive in order to receive the entirety of Jesus’ body, blood, soul, and divinity.
**Allow the Priest to reach the Gathering Area before you go out.**
Pray after Mass, if you feel called to do so. It is a good custom, though not required, to offer a prayer of thanksgiving after Mass is over.
Leave quietly. We encourage you to visit with others, but only once you are outside of the main sanctuary of the church so you won’t disturb others who want to stay and pray. So, please leave quietly and then have a visit afterward.
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.
***THINK OF THE CHURCH, ALWAYS AND AT ALL TIMES, AS A SACRED SPACE AND A SACRED PLACE. The church is first, and foremost, 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.***