As a general rule, it is advisable to refrain from speaking during Mass; doing so hinders others’ ability to focus and pray effectively.
Follow your bulletin or missal readings closely in order to be best prepared to listen during Mass. It may also help if you read them beforehand so you can be ready for what comes up during worship service.
Entering the Church
Many people overlook the importance of how they enter Mass, but it should not be underestimated. Mass is a time for reflection and it should be approached in the appropriate spirit; one way is through dressing appropriately: flip flops and beachwear should remain at home when coming for Mass.
Avoid wearing clothing that is too tight or flashy in order to honor God, particularly women. Although not everyone can afford high-end designer dresses, you should aim to wear clothing that does not expose too much skin or is too short. This rule is particularly pertinent to female wearers.
Cell phones should always be switched off or set to silent mode when entering a Church as their ringing or buzzing can be highly disruptive to those nearby which might interrupt your game of online poker on websites reviewed on described at https://centiment.io and so, plan accordingly.
Similar to eating during Mass, chewing gum or eating food during Mass is highly inappropriate and distracting to both those sitting nearby and to the priest who must keep everyone focused during services. Also having snacks or drinks in your hands during Mass may cause disruption for other parishioners; so if Communion is not planned it is best to wait until after it has ended before partaking.
Unless it is imperative, it is advisable that those running late attend Mass quietly wait in the narthex before entering. This is particularly relevant if the priest is praying an ectenia during Little and Great Entrances or giving a sermon.
At Mass it is essential to dress in accordance with the sacredness of the occasion and with appropriate attire that demonstrates respect. While times have changed and some churches may allow more casual attire than others, generally speaking it is acceptable to dress modestly for church. This means no spaghetti straps, nothing too tight or flashy clothing and shoes in a modest style where possible – no hats should also be worn inside church!
At every liturgy it is vital to pay close attention to both readings and the homily, in order to deepen your faith and gain a better understanding of God’s word. Furthermore, this time can serve as an opportunity for prayerful meditation and personal growth.
Bring along a missal or book that allows you to follow along with the readings and prayers, in order to engage more fully in Mass and make it more meaningful for yourself. This will enable you to fully participate in its celebration.
If you bring children with you, please take care in keeping them quiet and engaged during Mass. While most worshipers appreciate baby noises and cries, their shrieks and crying can become quite distracting for other worshipers. Furthermore, try not to play too much with children during Mass and limit toys such as books or toys which could distract others.
If you decide not to receive Communion, it is advisable that you remain in your pew until the end of Mass when the priest delivers his closing prayer and parish announcements before singing a recessional hymn. Departure before this occurs shows disrespect to both the celebrant and other worshippers; additionally it indicates that you may not yet be truly prepared to receive Eucharist.
Listening to the Readings
Readings provide the core of mass, so it is vital that you listen carefully. Most people rely on bulletins or missals for tracking readings, but listening quietly as the priest reads from Holy Bible may also provide meaning. If listening is difficult for you, try not to chat among yourselves or glance at your watch – these will only distract from listening properly and the mass itself.
At certain moments in a mass service, there may be opportunities to stand or kneel in prayerful reflection – including during readings, Gospel and song time, as well as the homily. If this is impossible for you to do, just remain seated until these portions have completed their presentations.
As soon as the priest approaches the altar to begin the Eucharistic Prayer, it is tradition for everyone present to rise. Many churches also include special songs during this part of Mass; also customary is for him to bow and genuflect towards the tabernacle where Jesus’ Body and Blood are kept for worshippers unable to make Mass and for those that can’t make Mass themselves. This part of Mass is particularly meaningful; make sure your focus remains fixed on keeping eyes fixed on this part and not shifting away from what the Lord is asking of you during Mass!
Once the homily is complete, it is customary to stand for the recessional hymn. To show proper consideration to all involved and ensure a proper exit of the altar for priest, concelebrant, and assistants; let back rowers leave first before you and give everyone time to exit together – this avoids anyone being crushed underfoot due to everyone leaving at once!
At Communion time, Catholics should approach the priest and altar servers to receive. Those who do not accept Communion, or do not identify with Catholicism, should remain in their pews – this is not an occasion for displaying religious preferences but an opportunity to honor other’s faith.
Receivers should hold out their hands, palms facing up. On receiving, as a sign of humility and reverence, they should bow upon receiving. When leaving the line and returning to their seat afterwards, those unable to bow, such as those with physical limitations or impairments, should stand instead of bowing.
Before Mass begins, cell phones should be set on silent. Any ringing or buzzing of a phone could be highly disruptive to those around you and particularly distracting during sermons and other prayerful parts of the service.
Catholics receiving Communion should refrain from chewing gum prior to or during Mass; doing so would be considered rude and would violate the Eucharistic fast. If in doubt as to their eligibility to take communion, they should inquire of their priest before trying it themselves.
Also important for non-Catholics who attend Mass are detailed explanations of do’s and don’ts to them prior to arriving at Mass so they can avoid embarrassing behavior while aiding Catholic brothers and sisters in keeping Mass sacred. Furthermore, it would be prudent to give them copies of this list so they know what constitutes appropriate conduct within a Church environment.
Leaving the Church
After attending Eucharist, it is essential to leave in an orderly and polite fashion. Making a scene or being rude as you depart can only cause embarrassment; remembering that members will likely see each other again at events, funerals and open houses etc. Trying to maintain any special friendships within the church if any exist would also help; leaving without saying goodbye can be rude and inconsiderate.
If you are an active member of a church, it is advisable to inform its leaders of your intention to leave. Do so directly and let them know why, giving them enough time to find replacements for any ministry roles you filled.
At all costs, it is critical not to speak negatively of the church or its members as this could alienate newcomers who may consider joining. Furthermore, gossiping about pastors or members of leadership teams of churches should also be avoided.
Before leaving church, take a moment to give thanks to God for all He has done in your life through your experience at that church. Reminding yourself of how important church attendance can be in developing spiritually is always beneficial; be sure to thank the pastor and church staff as well. Remember also to turn off your cell phone as it would be impolite to have it ring or buzz during Mass – that will add another step of respectability!