It is common for Christian families to attend a Mass every Sunday. Countries, where Catholics are dominant, have churches in almost every place, where locals can pray together and listen to their priest. Therefore, there are some rules to be followed, especially during the liturgy. People should sit in silence and avoid chatting with others during this event. Some are even not aware that they are showing disrespect that way.
In that matter, you should learn more about Catholic Mass to know how to act there and what to expect. It is not a rare case that people who are not Catholics would be interested in attending this event. However, it is important to learn more about the etiquette of this Mass, which can help you to act properly while being there. If you live in the United Kingdom or Ireland, you can visit www.catholicdirectory.org to find local churches, religious schools, organizations, and more.
It is common for these people to accept people who are not Catholics to be present during this event. In that matter, it can be important to learn about proper behavior that is expected from attendants. Here are some of the most important things to know about Catholic Mass Etiquette.
Put Your Phone on Silent Mode
It is one of the most common mistakes that people forget to turn off their phones or at least activate silent or airplane mode. You don’t want to feel embarrassed if your phone suddenly starts ringing during the ceremony. All people will start looking at you and it can be an unpleasant experience. That is especially important for non-Catholics since other people might find it disrespectful to their religion. Therefore, keep your phone in the pocket the whole time.
Never Bring Food and Drinks Inside
There are no rules that forbid people from bringing food or beverages inside the church. However, eating during the liturgy can annoy other people, especially when it comes to snacks. In that matter, you should wait until the ceremony is over and you get outside.
Follow the Acts During the Pray
The Mass is divided into different parts, such as the entrance song, rite, opening prayer, reading, gospel, and more. Most of the time, people will sit still until it ends. However, there is one part where people will sit, stand, kneel, and repeat the process several times. If you are not sure about the proper composition of these actions, just follow other people.
There is a Dress Code
Another important thing to focus on is your dress-code. Visiting a God’s house requires proper clothes. In that matter, avoid short, yoga pants, inappropriate shirts, and other casual pieces of clothes that are too open. You will have to show respect to this place, and dressing properly is very important. Therefore, avoid striking colors as well, and wear comfortable but appropriate outfits.
Avoid Speaking With People
You might feel the need to say hi to someone around you, or start talking with people next to you. Whatever the reason is for you to start a conversation at that moment, you should wait until the Mass is over. People go to this event to pray, and the ceremony requires silence and respect. That is especially important for non-Catholics because they might be full of questions about this event. You should wait until it ends and there will be many people interested in speaking to you about the liturgy.
Come Forward for Blessing
There is a part of the ceremony where people will step up in the front for a blessing and Communion. Every attendant will be called to come in the front for blessing. However, it is very important to avoid receiving Communion if you are not Christian. They believe in the strong connection between communion and faith in Jesus Christ, where it symbolizes his body, blood, and soul.
Use the Book for Prayers
If you don’t know the songs and prayers that everyone will be singing together, every church has a library where you can lend one that can help you to follow the whole event properly. That will help you to keep up with every part of the event.
Pay Attention to your Children
Kids are also welcome to be a part of this event. However, we all know that it might be difficult for them to stay calm and focused for a longer time, which might lead to unpredicted behavior that might disturb others. You should explain to the kids the importance of remaining calm until the liturgy is over since that is a way of showing expect to the Church and people there.
Never Leave Before the Priest
Another rule is related to the moment when you can leave the Mass, and that is only after the priest finishes the whole ceremony. Even if you notice that some people are living after the blessing, you should wait until the end and show respect to the priest and the whole community that came here to pray. According to the order, people should leave the church only after the priest, and leaving before that can be recognized as disrespect.
The Bottom Line
Most of the things related to the Catholic Mass Etiquette are related to proper behavior and expression of respect to people, priests, and church. People of other religions are always welcome to be present at this event, except for the rule that they should not receive the commission since it is reserved only to Catholics. Also, you can expect that many people will be interested to speak about the religion and explain more about this event, but only after it ends.
If you are not sure how to act during the whole time, see what other people are doing and follow their actions. Also, avoid talking to anyone during the ceremony. People came here to pray in silence and follow the proper form of this ritual. That means that you should avoid disturbing them in any way, which means that you should never eat snacks, open bottles of drinks, let your kids roam around and be loud, and more.