Mass Etiquette; Dos and Don’ts while at Mass


It doesn’t even really feel like a fast anymore since its just an hour. The Church requires every communicant to begin preparing to receive Jesus by observing an hour fast (from food) unless they’re aged or sick. Won’t really cost much to give this little to receive God into your soul would it?

Come early, recollect yourself:

Sometime ago i asked on our Facebook page “When is one late for Mass” some said with confidence “When they come later than the Sign of the Cross”. I disappointed them by reminding them that the Mass actually begins with the procession. I usually advise people to make effort to be in Church at least 10-15 minutes before the actual time in order to have some time to pray and recollect; to begin the Mass in the right spirit. When it becomes a habit to arrive late, it ceases to be a real celebration for the person, and if it becomes a habit (especially Sundays) it begins to become sinful.


It is inappropriate to find a grown person snacking or chewing gum in Church. We want to show God some seriousness and show our devotion by setting aside a perfect “God-time”. This means we’d try to devote all our attention to the act of worship, to make it as perfect as possible. The house of God is a place of prayer, let us try to keep it so. For Children? I still don’t buy the idea of snacks. If it can be discreet, and if the child is really troublesome, then its okay.


Be modest, don’t attract too much attention by putting on something open. We also love to think Sunday as a real celebration, keep this in mind and put on the best you have. God is holy, your body is his Temple, cover it, and adorn it moderately.

No Phones:

No cell phones; texting, chatting, calls etc. I have seen a number of people chatting over Facebook while at Mass. Then i wonder: So we really cannot give God little time anymore? What will it take to turn off our phones for an hour or two (Depending on where you live, some are as fast as 45 mins). The only justifiable case is big emergencies though, whatever it be, let it be serious and be discreet while attending to it. It is usually better to quietly leave the Church to attend to the emergency than text or receive calls inside.


Upon entering the Church, every informed Catholic remembers that Jesus is present in the Tabernacle (usually indicated by some light beside it). The problem usually is that only few remember to show some respect. Genuflecting (such that your knee hits the ground) is a sign of devotion and reverence to the Lord who for love waits for us in the Tabernacle with blessing and peace.

Active participation:

Some find it hard to follow all the routines over and over again; to stand, sit, speak when needed etc. However, active participation means exactly this. In order to be really part of a praying community, we must join the Body of Christ in its movements. We are supposed to try as much as possible to join in singing, praying, and in performing all appropriate gestures while at Mass for our participation to be perfect.

Receiving Communion:

It is customary to show some reverence before, during and after communion. Before receiving, one must recollect, pray and prepare themselves. Receiving, it is advised to bow or kneel (depending on what’s customary in your area). After receiving, kneel and pray to Jesus, don’t be in a hurry, he might also have a word or two for you. It shouldn’t be heard, it could be simple movements in your soul, inspirations etc. But pray and keep still for a while. Remember to be joyful as well, when you leave mass, share this joy with everyone !

Be Charitable:

If you’re sick, be sure not to receive from the chalice. Remember to respect people close to you, do not consider yourself alone. Your neighbor might not like to be held while at mass, or even be talked to, respect it. If your child is noisy either take them outside (if crying) or to be back. Do to others what you’d want done to you.

Don’t be in a hurry:

Do not leave the Church before the Presider (the minister), the Mass ends officially when the priest leaves the Church. Even then, it is usually advised you sit/kneel in silent prayer of thanksgiving or simply gaze at Jesus in the Tabernacle, smile at him and just be joyful. After which you should leave quietly in order not to distract others.

You should add any more you remember in the comment section, and do not forget to share.
God bless you !


This article was inspired by Marcel LeJeune’s post on the same subject.

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  1. A lot of couples, mostly teenage to early thirties, do PDA inside the church wile Mass is ongoing. I mean, is at least an hour of not smooching or necking or “touching” too much? Not only is it distracting to other church-goers, it is disrespectful of the sacrament and the ceremony. I’ve been taught that in Mass, a true Catholic forgets the outside world. For those few minutes of ones day, all of us are supposed to be “married” to Christ

    • In my parish, I have seen these young adults doing this. It does bother me but what can you do? Politely tell them, please do it outside.

          • That’s ok, it’s a term that came about in the early ’80’s, I think. At least that’s when I first heard of it from my daughter, when she was in high school. School rules: No PDA, as in holding hands. You’re thinking of terms used in today’s tech world. 🙂


      • Instead of manhandling them and physically removing from the building, why not obey Matthew 18 on this issue?

        • In my church (Bugonga Catholic Parish, Entebbe) the priest always moves out of the the church through the same exit with parishioners to meet and greet us. The unfortunate bit is some people crowd the exit along with him i find that to be so rude and impatient.

      • \I see you have learned a lot by going to church all of these years. Throw them out? Yeah, I suppose in your world that’s the way Jesus would have handled it. I might ask you to leave for being a jerk.

      • Robert, I have never seen this. The Mass is a re-presentation of the Passion and Death of Our Lord. I try to imagine I am in the upper room…then at the Cross. Why do they have announcements about selling cookies or raffle tickets before Mass and after Communion? Or they have someone come up and talk about buying ads in the bulletin? Then the Priests will complain about people leaving Mass before it is over…My take is that it is over when these announcements start. I feel I am disrespecting Jesus by staying…it’s not a good choice either way.

        • The mass is only one aspect of the church community. Parishioners don’t only need to be present at mass but should also be active participants in the church community and you should be giving of your time, talent and treasure. Sunday mass is a time to gather as a community, one of the reasons we have baptisms during mass: so we can share in each other’s joys and pains. Don’t be an “island”, God wants you to be a part of the community and to help evangelize!

        • I see your point, I do. But, I try to look at it as this is God’s house but it is also a community that we share with our other parishioners and God himself. I think it’s ok to make announcements at the very very end when all the parts of the Mass are complete. I just don’t think God would be angry or feel disrespected because the priest is informing the community of upcoming events or causes that we could benefit from or that could benefit a need. Or, to announce special things going on that we can spend time with others outside of the mass, but still under God’s guiding hand. I think people forget to understand that God doesn’t get angry for things like that because He knows the intent of their heart. Give God some credit, he knows why your doing something and wether He should be angry or not. AND, HE can take of it without our judgement or input. Think about this IF it’s something that truly offends God in His house don’t you think HE will take care of it the way HE sees fit with that individual? Do you really think He’ll just let it slide until John Doe in the back pew steps up? Give God some credit, He’ll take care of those He needs to.

      • Besides inappropriate hoochie momma dress, Talking in church is the worst disrespect. Appalled that older women generation are the worst and when hard of hearing RIDICULOUS.

    • I have never seen anyone necking at Mass. I would have to say that is very inappropriate. However, I politely disagree about affection. My husband puts his arm around me and we listen to the homily together. It is just our way. What I have seen over the years is that our parish has become more loving and supportive of growing strong, sacramental marriages. I think that some forms of affection are appropriate, and can even be encouraging or inspiring to others.
      One thing that I teach as a catechist, and by example, is to remember to bow to my Lord whenever I pass in front of the tabernacle. Jesus is present there, and a lot of people (of all ages) are unaware of this sign of adoration and reverence for His true presence. It may be from a couple of generations of poor/questionable catechesis.
      I like to work on it gradually by setting a loving example for others and reminding my kids (when they were young), “Bow to your Lord as you pass before the tabernacle, honey…” A loving example is better than anger in my opinion. I want my family to be drawn to Christ, not in fear of bodily harm if they do not “act” drawn to Christ.
      I think that we do a good job of teaching others when to stand, and when to kneel, and when to bless ourselves with the sign of the cross – now we just have to quietly, and lovingly remember to take moment to explain the purpose of these actions of bodily worship, and promote a loving environment that is filled not only with actions of adoration, but one where the people know why we do this, and it moves their hearts when they do this. Without love, they are just actions. With love, they are pathways to deeper intimacy with God.
      I agree with the article about kneeling until your knee touches the ground (for all those who are physically able to do so). My kids used to ask me why we genuflect before we sit down in the pew. With a loving smile I would explain – “Oh honey, that’s because there isn’t room for all of us to prostrate (get down on our faces), but Jesus is worthy of that and so much more.” Now, when we genuflect, my kids often come back and tell me they kneel with their body, and prostrate their should before God when they greet Him in the tabernacle. That is the kind of formation we want to encourage – where people really understand why they are doing what they are doing. It isn’t a big gold box. It really is a throne and we must be aware of that at all times, lest we offend Him is all good, and deserving of all of our love. Would you agree?

      • I was always taught that you should kneel when passing the tabernacle, unless I was physically unable to do so. I have however noticed more fit people bowing instead, was never sure why this teaching was changed. Its the same with genuflecting. I was taught to do so when entering and leaving the pew, but also before exiting the door, I still do and feel bad if I don’t even if its busy at the exit and it mean I hold people up for the nanosecond it takes to do, nobody has ever to my knowledge had a problem with this and it is a final act of respect and thanks for the gift of the Mass

        • How do you know that they are actually fit? Maybe they have bad knees, bad back, Severe Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis or Fibromyalgia. For the most part these people look very healthy. However they may be considered disabled. So please please do not look at how healthy someone looks for they can fool you. Thats why you see these people leaving these harsh messages about people parking in Disabled parking spaces. They are truly disabled but look very healthy.

      • Well, you seem to be missing the whole point: it is not about you and your husband. Its is about Christ and the others.
        Your public display of affection in the church can become a serious distraction for other or even cause other to entertain sinful thoughts, even if it would appears normal or harmless to you. Your husband and you have plenty of chances and time for showing love and attention to each other at home. It would be wise to avoid anything that could cause other to stumble or be distracted inside the church.
        The center of one’s attention inside the church should be the Lord alone.

    • My husband and I hold hands when we pray together at home. We feel it is only natural to hold hands while praying during Mass.

    • I follow the Mass on an IMIssal app. I am older and my eyesight is not like it nice was. However, I feel more engaged. I read along with the readings either in Magnificat or the Imissal. There are so many more tools available to engage oneself in the Catholic faith. I am very grateful. The Facebook feeds are absolutely wonderful reminders and on point discussions of what we need on a daily basis.

    • Talking before Mass people are there to pray, mediate connect with God. Show done respect when you enter the house of the Lord it’s not d home week!

  2. Let me also add that one should not leave the church if the choir/congregation is still singing the sending hymn. Even if the priest has already processed out, it is extremely rude to leave before the singing stops!!!

      • I like quiet to pray at church and our Parish has the choir laughing and practicing and people greeting and talking loudly over the choir…hard to say the rosary but as St Terese said it is a challenge that can bring me closer to God. I still wish it was quiet in church!

    • At St. Thomas Aquinas in new Port Richey Florida, many leave before the priest by exiting immediately after taking communion. Others leave during singing in the last hymn ahead of the priest. The priest has pleaded many times but to no avail. The only excuse is they want to get out a head of traffic. Disgracful!

      • Lets pray for them that they may understand the importance of the mass.i.e The root and center of our interior life.Also that they may respect the those who God has placed in our midst to serve us, i.e the priest.

        • Yes it is. If you were visiting the White House to receive a medal would you leave before you were told you could go? You are visiting the home of the King of Kings. the house of God, and receiving His body and Blood, His salvation. and yet you think it’s funny that someone races out of the door as soon as they receive His Gifts. How would you feel if a friend came round because they knew you had a gift for them and they grabbed the gift and ran out without even saying goodbye?

        • please be more respectful to those dont act the way they should, we all make mistakes, “may the one who has never sinned be the first one to throw the stone” . and God told us to judge the sin not the sinner only He should, can, and will.

          • I was responding to his thinking it a Joke, Mick as though showing respect for Jesus Christ and the Priest who has led the Mass is something comical, not for the mistake in thinking it is ok to leave before the end of the Mass, to be honest, people that do just make me sad at the thought that they are in such a hurry to leave rather than angry.

      • So much pettiness here, I think. Instead, try worshiping in truth and spirit. I know that this is voluntary but surely it is a wonderful gesture of togetherness in the Lord by holding hands during the Our Father. These days, I only “habitually” hold hands with my family members (We taught our children and grandchildren early) but will gratefully accept a stranger’s hands if they are offered to me. When I’m with friends, we also hold hands. In the sign-of-peace offering, I will definitely turn 360° to smile, shake hands and/or bow in acknowledgment of my fellow Christians. At times, I will even wave at someone if necessary. My pastor (not the vicar priest though) is also so wonderful to tell everyone to greet each other (meaning, turn around, smile and say hello) before the beginning of the Mass. During Holy Communion, he instructs non-Catholics and children who have not received their first HC to come forward with arms crossed to receive a blessing in a spirit of inclusiveness. I wish this practice is more widespread. I traveled around the country recently. At Immaculate Conception Church in Albuquerque, it was so wonderful for the congregation to greet all visitors and newcomers at the beginning of the Mass. In El Paso at St. Pius X Church, a throng of warm good Christian people (unlike the obligatory “hospitality ministry” at some parishes) were there to greet and welcome everyone to Mass. My heart burn within (Lk 24:32).
        Mind you, everything is always done in a very dignified and orderly way. I think that those who think that everything should be introverted and unemotional in church to rethink what a church is in its essence. Can one imagine going to a wedding banquet but then refusing to smile and exchange some pleasantries with friends and other guests? Or to refuse to “eat and sup” with one another? BTW, while on the way out of church, also don’t forget to purposefully “seek out” some of the lonely elderly people. These are the widows and widowers or the forgotten ones whose grown children no longer Mass together with them. They are usually sitting silently in their pews. Stop to smile and say hello. Make some new friendship, and may be you can also help with transfer and transportation for those who are weak and disabled. The church cannot be just an austere and cold place. There’s much to be done. Yes, God knows and alone judges the hearts of those who hurried to leave the church before the conclusion rite … but we all know who also left hurriedly before the end of the Last Supper in the Upper Room.

          • My husband and I hold hands when we pray together at home. We feel it is only natural to hold hands and pray during Mass.

          • I don’t have a spouse. I don’t have children. My parents don’t like to do it either. Why must I hold hands when I’m praying to God? I very much resent it when people reach over and grab my hand as though I’m praying the “wrong” way. And yes, strangers can give you warts, colds, flus, and God knows what else. So can friends. I never held hands till my twenties and never needed to. I don’t need to now.

        • Thank you! excellent reply and suggestions, especially to seek out and greet the elders or someone who is alone, or new to your church.

        • Some people are naturally introverted and turned off by all the hand holding. They believe that the Mass is an extremely solemn occasion where an encounter with God takes place so their priority will be on the prayer and worship aspect. They also come to contemplate our Lord being sacrificed on the altar and socializing really distracts them. It doesn’t mean they are cold and heartless, they just have a different spirituality type. We should respect them and not judge them for being different than us.

          • Thank you for saying this. It reflects how I feel and my personality exactly. I was baptized last year and at first, I was very involved in my new congregation. I socialized and went to many activities. However, it caused me to be burned out in my new faith. I converted from a cult, where everyone’s social life revolved around the church. It had left me exhausted and really bothered me. I started to have those same feelings because it was so social in my new Catholic faith, with so many extroverts and extrovert activities. Once I realized what was happening and that it was causing me to lose my joy in attending Mass, I cut out the extra church activities and just attended Mass for the sake of Mass and coming unto Christ. I felt at peace again and was able to find joy in my new faith again. My spirituality and connection to God and Jesus Christ is very quiet and introspective for me. I like to remain quiet and peaceful. I don’t like to socialize before, during or after Mass. I try to just keep it between God and myself. I know this sounds selfish, but it’s just how I’m at peace spirtually.

          • It is like that for a lot of people spiritually. I usually socialize before or after Mass and hate it when attention is put on me during Mass.

          • RaeMarie and Camille, thank you both for saying this! I’m actually one of those people who’s very active and who enjoys many of the social aspects of my community in the Archdiocese of Chicago (yet I do still consider myself an introvert). Our parish has spent the past six months in a period of transformation, attempting as a group to listen to the Spirit and make changes that will make our community a more welcoming place and bring more Catholics back to Mass on a weekly basis. Overall, I’m happy with the work we have done, but I now see that we also need to remember that just because someone doesn’t want to participate in other activities and ministries our parish offers (scripture study, food pantry, homeless shelter, choir, and the like) doesn’t mean they aren’t completely fulfilled as a member of our parish simply by worshiping with us on Sundays. Thank you for the reminder, and God bless you both.

          • Right on, RaeMarie. As an introvert from a family of introverts, I personally find it all disgusting and distracting. And, like I said, unhealthy. Keep your germs to yourself and let me focus on God.

          • I agree with you. I am a quiet introvert. I come to mass to worship God and find it extremely distracting to have conversations going on all around me when I’m trying to pray. I know introverts are in the minority, but I do think mass attendees should be more reverent. Sometimes it seems like a circus to me.

        • Good observations and practices, Francis. I have trouble with those churches that expect everyone to be silent and solemn-faced before and after Mass and not recognize our fellow worshippers.

        • Some people can not concentrate on the most important prayer that Jesus taught us to pray when they are holding hands with someone who has sweaty or cold or small or large or hairy or frail……etc. I hold my hands in the praying position even sitting next to my wife because it would be harder to explain holding hands with her and not the other person next to us. I have no germaphobe sensations and am enthusiastic when shaking hands during the kiss of peace, and after mass but the Lord’s Prayer is for me and Him only IMHO.

          • Good for you. Holding hands through the Our Father is not in the rubrics for the Mass and should not be done. There’s far too much of that nonsense.

        • Please don’t judge. For years my family always left when the Mass was over. Now my parents are in their old age and often leave after communion. Sometimes they don’t last that long. They have osteoperosis and have broken bones several times. Yes, there are too many people who leave early anymore, but sometimes I blame that on the carnival atmosphere of church anymore.

      • Chuck, I used to hold your view on this topic until it was pointed out to me that many people may have babysitter’s, elderly parents, work schedules that cannot be avoided, or a myriad other reason for needing to leave early. Not everyone that leaves early is just looking to skip the last part of mass. Where I once was angry, I now pray so they may receive the final blessing that they so often miss regardless of the reason.
        I hope this helps you to find a new perspective, and remember …none of us is perfect.
        God bless you.

        • Peggy, it does not take 10 minutes to finish the Mass at that point. I’m sure this will not create a big problem. Besides if one really intends to attend Mass, then he/she must prepare all circumstances for Him/Her to finish the mass meaning to say arrange for everything in advance. The Lord deserves more than our excuses for He did not excuse himself when he took up the cross. Im sure the saying goes if there’s a will there’s a way. I can only think of super emergency situation which suddenly occcured in the middle of the Mass that will justify such action. Nonetheless, the best is o pray for one another that we may grown in love for the Lord that we are able to go that extra mile to finish the Mass.

          • Manny, the parish creates the Mass schedule. It is not always convenient for our lives. School starts at 8:00. Teachers must be there by 7:00. The first Mass is concluded at 6:30. Now what can I do?

        • The bishops and priests normally have their residences in the same compound where the place of worship is. And they don’t have to worry about what to cook and what not to cook for lunch as they have their meals in time prepared by lay servants… So it is easy for them to ridicule the faithful for arriving late or leaving early….. Everyone does not live very near the place of worship…. Most have to travel quite a distance… And the ordinary people who travel by bus or take a train (in developing countries – just waiting for hours to catch a bus and travelling in packed buses is no joke…. And the bus stand is not necessarily at their doorstep…) do spend a good amount of time in travelling… There are places where people do not have water supply 24 hours a day…. Water is supplied at specific times for an hour or two in the mornings…. Plus the needs of children may be urgent…. All those who find fault with people need to understand the many difficulties and chores that ordinary folks have to face unlike the priests and the well-to-do who have everything at their finger tips and enjoy the best of comforts…. The Lord understands all this and He looks at our hearts and is least bothered with outward pretence and empty words…. Like the Lord Himself says: “These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me…” I believe we (bishops, priests, nuns and all the faithful) need to be more understanting and considerate with the problems that people face instead of simply finding fault with them and crucifying them for not following certain rules….. One must also remember that man (we humans) are not made for the Sabbath (or for Mass) but Sabbath has been made for us…. Which should be very obvious to one and all as to what and who is more precious/dear to the Lord…..

          • And one must not forget that in this heartless, selfish and unjust world there are millions who work long hours for tyrants and many have to work on Sundays as well…(so they have reasons to rush to work to avoid getting a pasting from their rotten employers).. I know of several institutions run by missionaries where the lay workers have to work on Sundays and are not allowed to go for Mass with their family….

          • I feel sorry for so many commenters. Trying to find reasons why it’s OK to leave early or come late. How can you count the minutes you don’t have to be in church? You can’t spend even an hour with the Lord of the Universe? I know everyone is busy, but it is God…and, if you go to Church, pay attention; it centers your entire day.

          • Just as a point of clarification, not all clergy have cooks, housekeepers or even live on property. That all depends on the particular parish’s financial position. The priests at my parish cook their own meals and do not live on property (the rectory is miles away).
            On the subject of discussion, although there are always extenuating circumstances to anything in life, there is most always a way to allow prudent travel time or to make prior arrangements for whatever else is necessary, so that one can properly and fully attend Mass. I am not here to be critical or judgemental of anyone. All I can do is set an example for others, particularly the young, in how I dress, how I behave in church during the celebration of the Mass (and outside of the Mass), my posture, active participation, gestures, etc. As a very visible member of my parish (I am involved in many public ministries), I am always aware of the example I am setting for others and have found that some have come to imitate me. Everything is duplicatable so be careful of the example you set for others – especially the impressionable. Peace!

      • Chuck, I was one of the guilty ones who wanted to leave early and get ahead of the traffic. Four years ago I joined our Church choir and understood for the first time what it means to stay until Mass is finished and the singing is over. It is so wonderful to glorify the Lord in song. I regret it terribly that I was always in such a hurry.

      • The previous priest at my Byzantine parish announced that if he saw anyone do this he would stop and call them out by name. Yes, he did know everyone’s name as communion is given by name there. This did stop people from doing it.

      • Chuck, you might ask your pastor to remind people who leave Mass early that Judas was the first to leave Mass early. Do they really want to be in that company?

      • I agree that that’s no reason at all but sometimes people do have legitimate reasons. As my parents have grown older, they have often left early whereas they never did so when younger.

      • Oh no Chuck? These people do not fully understand Mass, why should they leave before the final blessing from the priest? Good candidates for catechism lessons!!!

    • that’s very true… Sir Larry….. Because in our Cathedral – in San Isidro in Malaybalay City, even if we are not yet through with the recessional song, the parishioners are already leaving the church….. how i wish they will also sing with the choir or even respect by just waiting after the song has ended. 🙂

    • I agree but I notice at some churches the women carry there purses up when they receive communion then go right out of church.

    • After the choir stops singing, after the Priest processes out, after one kneels to give one last prayer of thanksgiving and/or the Prayer to St. Michael, the parking lot is generally empty enough to drive out with no waiting.

    • In some Parishes, it is the tradition for the congregants to leave after the second verse of the sending Hymn…. the choir expects it. At our last Parish, our choir had such joy that they sometimes sang extra songs.

    • Actually, Larry, as someone who is part of the music ministry in our church, I have been taught that what you call the sending hymn is for all to process out of the church. I certainly don’t feel that it’s rude for people to make up a procession behind the priest while I am singing them out of the church.

      • I agree with Bev. As a Music Director of one of the most friendly churches ever, I actually continue playing instrumentally after the choir is finished singing, to encourage people who are leaving, to do so quietly, as others prefer to stay awile and pray. Otherwise, people are talking the whole way out! ? Oh these people are so full of joy and happy to see each other, that sometimes they forget they are still inside the church where others are praying. ❤

    • How do you know why they are leaving? Maybe they have an emergency. Maybe one ofthem has to get to a job and could not make any other Mass. Maybe one of them is suddenly ill. Yes, too many people do leave who shouldn’t, but there are times when I have left because I had too. And frankly, there’s no reason to sing six or seven verses of the recessional hymn. I’m in the choir and I sasy that.

  3. When does the congregation stand up, when the procession comes out of the sachristee or when it proceeds along the aisle to the alter?

    • This is exactly what I was going to add! With young children it is almost impossible, even periodically with my teenagers I need to remind them to grab a book or follow the reading. But my it’s distracting families leaning over each other and looking all around or turning around smiling and waving at others when they come in of during the sign of peace! Stop! Just stop!!! We are so close to Communion! Anytime time right before the Consecration until the priest sits down, please be respectful, first to OUR LORD and then the priest, then threat of the parish or people who don’t want their concentration broke! DO NOT talk to people when you come in, I had a lady come in and sit in front of me and start talking to me when I was kneeling and praying before Mass! I will make a point to look down until I’m done so hopefully that gives the clue not to bother me! I’m tired of the Church being used as just a regular space to use to talk in just as they would outside, or in the back, or the grocery store! Our new Priest moved the tabernacle back to the center of the alter, thank the Lord, but people have lost all respect for it, and we are not teaching our children to have respect anymore.

  4. Are we supposed to hold hands when praying the Lords prayer ? and shaking hands when saying PEACE BE WITH YOU? Thanks. .

    • No holding hands during the Lord’s prayer…this is a protestant practice that has crept into our Catholic liturgies by people who don’t really know any better because they don’t really understand their faith…if they did, they would have the proper posture of prayer for the Catholic…hands together with fingers pointed up like a church steeple and thumbs crossed like a crucifix.

          • What does that even mean? The United States Council of Catholic Bishops is certainly a credible source….

        • I agree with maume2014. Sorry, Jeff. We hold hands together as a symbol of unity in prayer to God. As his people, we are many but one in spirit. When we all come together in prayer, God is moved to answer our petitions. The other gesture of lifting our hands in prayer (as opposed to hands together with fingers pointed up like a church steeple and thumbs crossed like like a crucifix) is a symbol of offering our weakness (the palm of the hands) to God so he may strengthen us through them.

          • Neither of these “symbols” has anything to do with the Catholic Liturgical action of saying the Lord’s Prayer. The Celebrant is instructed to use the “orans” posture while the Deacon is forbidden from imitating the Celebrant. Why would you think that you are better than the Deacon who is Ordained and assisting at Mass? The arguments you offer are the reasons given by only some modern “liturgists” and certain priests who have, on their own, decided that these postures by the congregation are appropriate. Their actions have made hand-holding virtually proscribed in their parishes, even though (as pointed out already) there is no proscribed posture specified by the Church. Therefore, people who are visiting, or who differ from these private opinions, are made to feel uncomfortable if they do not join in the hand-holdin – even to the point of stigmatization in some parishes. “Unity in prayer to God” is what we all came together to do during the whole Mass. Within the Mass, the words are of supreme importance. This hand-holding, wherever it came from, crept into the Liturgy of the Catholic Church just like receiving Communion in the hand and under both species did.

          • Thank you for this info on holding hands when reciting The Our Father prayer. I look forward to this as I feel like we are sharing something very spiritual when touching each other in prayer.

          • Holding hands came in during the 60s… some sort of Charasmatic movement, I think my Mom said. I was a child, but remember it starting. I also remember our Priest about a decade ago (one of two US Priests ordained by Pope John Paul II) telling us at a Parish Council meeting that it was inappropriate.

          • The temptation and distraction here is for the faithful to believe that unity comes about by holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer; it is not a Sacrament and therefore not efficacious (unable to bring about what it supposedly signifies). Instead, it becomes an artificial feel-good high point moments before the true summit of receiving the Lord in the most holy Eucharist, which Sacramentally and efficaciously truly unites us in the one mystical body; holding hands is a cheap substitute and has no place during the Eucharistic Liturgy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

        • That means that there is no prescribed assembly (congregation) posture, so the posture is that each individual folds their hands in prayer.

      • respectfully holding hands shows unity and shred prayer and sharing of faith. how much do you really know jeff. posturing and over embellishment of liturgical actions is fake and too showy. get over yourself when you say people don’t know better or don’t understand their faith. who the #$%! are you to judge peoples faith.

        • Maryanne Jeff is only stating what the Catholic Church has said. I am almost 80 and holding of the hands was done after Vatican II. Some changes came about to welcome Protestants into the church by including some of their practices which backfired. As a result of Vatican II, more people left the Catholic Church. There was a time when every Catholic Church had the same posture during Mass, now it all depends on what the pastor has set forth for the people. In the summer I go to Mass out of my area and they continue to stand at the wrong time. This change came about 10years ago. I mentioned this to the pastor and he said ” I don’t worry about their posture”. This attitude is wrong because our church should be the same no matter where you go. The bit about fasting, I always knew that because I go to very orthodox churches. the priests need to announce these changes from the pulpit not in the church bulletin which most people don’t even read.
          the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (Girm) keeps current changes.

        • Maume2014 and Maryanne, while there are no instructions in the GIRM on this specific prayer (the Lords Prayer), tradition that has gone on until the time of Vatican II, and those that re-wrote the intent of the Vatican II Council to meet their personal needs, has held that the “attitude of prayer consist of holding hands together, with fingers pointed up like a church steeple thumbs crossed like a crucifix, with head slightly bowed”. The changes in many Churches today are an attempt to make it more “friendly” which in its own is OK, but takes away, according to many, a sense of holiness in the prayer process. Being IN Mass shows unity, shared prayer, and sharing of faith, holding hands just distracts from focusing your prayer on God and the intentions of the prayer from my vantage point. Br. Don – Diocesan Hermit

          • thank you Brother Don for your explanation on holding of hands. When people take their children up, or an adult that is not receiving, goes to the priest for a blessing. We receive so many blessings from the celebrant at Mass. This is a time of reception of the Eucharist not a blessing this too has gotten out of hand

          • Lorraine Schwartz, actually those coming up for a blessing during Communion are in fact doing the right thing, both Liturgically and by Canon.. All of Mass, and all of the parts of Mass are a blessing. If a person is not in communion with the Church due to sin or other reasons, coming forward for a blessing instead of receiving the Host is the right thing to do, for two reasons. One, first and foremost is to present one’s self before God and receive His blessing through the Priest, and second so as not to cause a “burp” (so to say) in the process of the others in their pew from going up or coming back to the pew. In Christ, Br. Don – Diocesan Hermit

          • Sorry to disagree, Br. Don. But there is nothing in the GIRM that in any way encourages everyone to come forward at Communion time – to receive something, either Communion or a “blessing”. Indeed, the blessing they might get is of no more value grace-wise than the final blessing to all present. It has two negative side-effects: 1) it makes distribution of Holy Communion take longer, and 2) it totally invites those who are, for whatever reason, not worthy to receive Christ in Communion to come forward to do so. No, it is not a good idea. It was one pushed forward by popular opinion back in the 1970s, and should be included in things needing to be reformed now.

          • I can’t see how those receiving a blessing makes things any more time consuming than if they were receiving communion, and if this brings them a feeling of closeness to God then it should always be encouraged. Even if giving a blessing at communion did lengthen the time of the mass do we as Catholics begrudge the time spent in the presence of Our Lord. In My mind a lengthy communion is a great advantage during Mass as it gives my longer to enjoy the gift He has given. Remember by taking the Host you are encountering Christ in a very special way, Pray and Listen, at that time He may have a message for you. Don’t be in such a hurry to ‘eat and run’ and show compassion for those who are unable to accept the Gift of the real presence of Christ in their body at that time.

        • I found maryanne’s response to be rather rude and uncharitable. Disagree if you like, but leave the “veiled expletives” out of it. And Br. Don’s response is correct and charitable.

        • Some mouth you got there. Another reason why I don’t believe in church anymore because of people like you. Hypocrites everywhere.

          • on judgment day you will not be able to use that as an excuse why you don’t go to church. What people say or think is none of your business. you are going to Mass in thanksgiving to the Lord. Nothing to do with the priests or lay people. Because we are human we make mistakes. We will all be accountable and ignorance is never an excuse.

          • Nice excuse you have for not going to church. You don’t go to church to show off or to greet your friends, you go to worship God. You are the Hypocrite Bekiry, you can’t give the Lord of the Universe one hour of your week because a bunch of people you don’t like go to church…get over yourself.

          • People at my church do not talk to me or my family at all..i don’t care..we go there to Praise God…not to make friends…not to socialize. .just to give God his due and to try to bring our 4 sons up as good catholics….hypocrites or not–what they do or how they live their lives no don’t care about
            .as long as the Lord knows I am trying. .that’s all any of us should care about

          • Bekiry, would you only be a member of the Church, or any church, if all the members were perfect all the time? Church is where we learn how to strive for holiness and perfection, but any church is made up of imperfect human beings. Not all have the same imperfections. But God welcomes all to His Church.

          • Poor excuse for not going to church. You can’t go because everyone isn’t perfect? Makes no sense. I’ve heard it all, including “I don’t like the priest”. So what? Go to another church. Even the priest is human.

          • Bekiry, I saw a response once to someone who felt as you did – they stopped attending Mass because of the people they saw whom they felt were hypocritical – and this response really stuck with me. Think about this the next time you tell yourself you won’t go because of the people; we don’t abandon Christ because of Judas. It’s a simple statement but profound I think. I pray that the Holy Spirit will touch you and inspire you to go back to Mass. God bless you and keep you.

          • Brother don’t forsake your own salvation on the merits and actions of other people, for all have sinned and will always disappoint you. Only Christ is perfect. If we were perfect we wouldn’t need church or salvation. I feel your pain. However, this is not a flaw of the church or of the Catholic faith.
            – Respectfully and humbly
            – Jorge

          • Thats right Lorraine Schwartz. We go to church to pray and give thanks to the Lord for the blessings. Not to watch other people around.

        • Only the priest is supposed to raise his hands. He presides over the mass. Even the deacon does not raise his hands. Praying while holding hands does not really show a sign of unity. What is a sign of unity is the whole congregation praying the words our heavenly Father taught us, and of course knowing what the words mean as we say them. Holding hands actually creates a distraction. It is unnecessary, and you can ask your priest. If your priest tells you otherwise, he is wrong. Holding hands is not an act of unity. Being a servant for God to one another is an act of unity because we recognize God in His creation. Because we are made in the image and likeness of God, we are all one in spirit. This is unity. Jesus Christ makes this clear by carrying out God’s will in serving others. And really Maryanne? I am a young student checking out this website, and I really don’t think you should be commenting with vulgarity. Even if you put special characters, it doesn’t change the meaning.

        • I’ve never seen anyone holding hands and I have only ever attended Catholic Mass. I seem to remember a friend who said they as a family hold hands. Can’t see it as a major issue either way as long as you are thinking about what you are saying. All in the Church are saying the Prayer and we are told when 2 or more are gathered together, not if they are joined by the hand. I don’t need to hold my families hand (biological or spiritual) to feel we are together in our prayer.

      • Actually, it was introduced into the Catholic Mass as a liturgy for a children’s Mass. From there it really got out of hand — no pun intended. Although I agree that we should not hold hands.

      • “Attend Mass” is an unfortunate phrase. So very many Catholics think that just being present at Mass fulfills the Sunday Obligation. I would suggest “Join in Mass.” Under “Active Participation” in the above article, it uses the very words “… join in …”
        I recall one very crowded Midnight Mass where a large group of teenagers were in the center aisle, about three quarters towards the back of the nave. They were loudly talking about what they received for Christmas and challenged the ushers when they tried to quiet them. It was a con-celebrated Mass and I kept hoping that one of the Celebrants would address the group from the alter or go back to them, but no one did! I was in the middle of a packed pew or I would have gone back to them. I probably should have anyway.
        My point is that those teenagers disrupting Christmas Mass surely though that they had met their obligation to “attend Mass! “

      • Jeff. I find your comment ‘this is a protestant practice that has crept onto our Catholic…’ to be totally over-the-top, unfriendly and rather un-Christian! So what if people hold hands when saying a prayer that unites Christians. You seem to be rigid,
        declamatory and pedantic. 🙁 I am very disappointed with your attitude. It reminds me of the inquisition.

        • Holding hands during the Our Father prayer is not in the rubric, so no one is obligated to and it actually did come from the Protestant religion. My Husband doesn’t like to, I don’t mind if my children want to, but the part that bothers me is we are so close to Communion and this turns into a distraction and people start chatting and focusing more on holding hands and turning around to hold someone’s hand, just pray, have common sense if someone doesn’t want to hold hands and doesn’t extend their hand take note. It’s not a have to.

      • Personally, I love holding hands with my family during the Lord’s prayer. I truly feel the connection and power of God when we do that as a family. I don’t think it is wrong, especially in church.

      • That’s kind of how I hold my hands during the Our Father and when I receive communion (I won’t take the host in my hand).

      • Jeff, you are correct about no holding hands. Several years ago an Edict came from Pope John Paul II that there is to be NO more holding hands in the church during the Lords prayer. It was announced by our priests, or was suppose to be. That was an order that was suppose to come from our Bishops to their diocesan priests. It all happened just before our words were changed back to what I think I remember them being when I was a child. The more concise translation closer to the English language. I have noticed in a number of churches we visit that holding hands is still being done. The pope said this was a tradition that started in America and is to be no stopped. When I talk to people about it, they say, “oh yea, I remember hearing something about it but we still do it here.” WRONG.

    • No, a priest explained that the Lord’s prayer at Mass is not a horizontal prayer but a vertical one. When we hold hands as a congregation during this prayer we are no longer focusing on sending our prayers up to God but instead are focusing more on those around us. Mass is not about us or our fellow parishioners it is about God, giving all glory, praise and thanksgiving to God. It is actually not an acceptable action at Mass. In other places like prayer groups that is different as we are praying for each other but that is not the purpose of the Mass. There are designated parts of the Mass where we acknowledge each other at the sign of peace and pray for each other after the Creed. You can also note that the U.S. is the only place people dare to do this.

  5. And don’t take communion in the hand…it is not a reverent practice….the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ…not a potato chip.

      • Jeff, you are being silly! Hardened people like you drive many would-be Catholics from Catholicism. Get a life..start enjoying having a relationship with your Lord and Saviour and not being stuck with a bunch of autocratic rules that have nothing to do with Jesus!!

        • The Church has relaxed the rules and does now allow communion to be taken on the Hand. Personally I don’t like taking it on my hand. As Jeff points out the Eucharist is the Body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. I was brought up to accept the host on the tongue, and although I have at times tried taking it on the hand, so that I don’t stand out at ‘weird’ or attempting to put on a holier than thou attitude in Mass , I don’t feel comfortable with it, always feel like I will leave some crumb of the host on my hand, or that my hand may not be clean enough, then there is the should I accept it on the right hand and place it in my mouth with the left or the other way round. very distracting and for me a great way for me to allow the Devil to poison the experience by disturbing my focus on Christ.

          • A rather large and scary Sister still lives in my head threatening all sorts of horrible things if I were ever to touch the Host with my hands or chew it. Needless to say, at 52, I still receive Communion by mouth.

        • Jeff is right, Louis….. it is simply a matter of respect. I respect the Lord enough to know that my hands are not immaculate enough at the time of the Eucharist, after touching the door, pew, missalette, other’s hands, etc…… it is simply respect. And THAT is what is lacking in and out of Mass these days.

    • When jesus broke the bread at the last supper he didnt put it on the tongues of the deciples so its a matter of preference wat way u recive the lord s long as ur in th state of grace

      • Initially it was taken on the tongue, so that parishioners were less likely to accidentally dishonour the host by having dirty hands, or drop it on the floor (the reason for the plate) I remember my priest refusing to give my niece communion on the hand quite rightly because her hands were ‘grubby’. However we accept communion the important thing to remember is that IT IS the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ sacrificing himself for Our sins and ensure that we give suitable respect, that we satisfy the Churches teaching with regard to being in a state of Grace.

    • Communion in the hand used to bother me too, until I realized I am holding the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ in my hand. Sometime, when I’m at adoration, I wonder what it will be like to hug Jesus…well, I think, receiving in my hand is a little like that. I always kiss the spot where the host was placed…he was there, for just a second, and I actually did touch him. Not sure why the comparison to a potato chip, but I know a lot of mouths that should not have our Lord anywhere them as they go out of church “f’ing this and that. I also used to do all possible to avoid Eucharist Ministers…I wanted to receive from the Priest only, until I woke up and realized it was Jesus I was receiving, and not Jesus and the hand of a Priest. I’m now an Eucharist Minister, and there is nothing I do that is more rewarding…to hand another parishioner the body and blood of my lord and savior is just overwhelming. Maybe some day, there will be enough Priests and they won’t need Eucharist Ministers, and when that happens I will sadly give up the ministry. I would do anything for my beautiful Catholic Faith.

          • Lindarcooper, not very charitable there. And DaveW was intelligently defending his position based on valid data from a web site that supported his stand. This is one way of doing so. He could have used that data without using the web link, but either way he gets the data he wanted out out. Many have defended the position of “by mouth only” as well directly and without links…
            As a side note, if you are avoiding Eucharistic Ministers, you are avoiding the Priest/Deacon, as they are the Eucharistic Ministers. Lay people that serve are Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, as the Ordinary Minsters/Eucharistic Ministers are only those that have been Ordained as Priest or Deacon. Those, including Priest, that use the title of Eucharistic Minister for the lay are incorrect in the naming of such people. Be it in an attempt to shorten the correct title or otherwise.
            We Lay People, those not Ordained in the Orders of Deacon or Priest, are Extraordinary, and not Ordinary, Ministers.
            In Christ, Br. Don – Diocesan Hermit

          • Linda, I am not an expert and the web site provides an expert overview on the topic, based on facts, not the heresies of the last 40 or 50 years, which I thought you might enjoy watching, to know and better understand the truth. From your response, I gather you did not take the time. I strongly recommend you take the time and view the free programming that is available on this web site. Your eyes will be opened.
            God Bless.

    • If you read the fathers of the Church you will learn as I did that receiving Communion in the hand is the original way of doing so St. Cyril of Jerusalem in 350 wrote, “In approaching, therefore, do not come up with your wrists apart or with your fingers spread, but make of your left hand a throne for the right, since you are about to receive into it a King. And having hallowed your palm, receive the
      Body of Christ saying over it the Amen. Then, after cautiously sanctifying your eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, partake, being careful lest you lose anything of it.”

      • I like your post Donatella. This entire receive on the tongue, receive in hand thing is odd to me. Why is the tongue more sacred…it is a part of the same body. I understand the host can be desecrated more easily when received in hand, but when someone receives on the tongue with gum in their mouth (I’ve seen it happen) or when someone receives on the tongue and then f’s everyone on the way home…nothing scare there IMHO.

        • “By the Hand of God I am fed, not by my own.” I stopped receiving communion by my own hands and started to receive directly in my mouth as a form of a physical prayer of Trusting God, to rely on God and not my own doing. He is in control not me.

    • Actually Jeff has a point sort of. I spent two weeks in Europe and think the communion in the hand thing is just in the US. The Priest with us said when he is cocelebrating a mass, you might be expected to take communion by mouth.

    • People have have been taking communion by the had since the early days of the church, starting with Jesus and the Apostles at the Last Supper, the First Mass. On the tongue was a later invention which became the norm. Both are acceptable but by the hand is the original deal.

  6. I do the best I can to come and love Jesus in the Sacrament and in the celebration of the Mass. From the time my babies could sit by themselves, we sat in the front row. Sometimes they were unruly but we did not leave early. They learned the prayers and the Love of Jesus day by day and week by week. There were years when one would think Mass started at ten past the hour in the Shelley family. But our church family knew who they could rely on to pick up the midnight masses serving at alter, only to return for choir hours later. STOP making up all these silly pretentious rules! not one of my daughters friends have attended weekly mass since the day they were confirmed! I did not send the girls to the group confirmation classes which were run by other prior year students…they found a confirmation program and became confirmed…they took standing up and professing confirmation of what they believe and will try to live their life by. They are now married and continue to practice their faith. One with two babies in tow….who are sometimes unruly and often a little late. BUT they are learning to love their Father God and His Son Jesus, and His Holy Spirit!

    • Amen, Liz! It sounds like you did a good job. I am trying to do the same with my sons, but I do meet many pockets of resistance. Jesus said to let the little ones come to me, but apparently some still feel they should get no further than the room provided to keep them out of mass. Unbending adherence to structure and rules and judgmental souls (whether or not well meaning) have driven people from the Catholic Church; Jesus came across the same in his time.

  7. Kneel before while the Eucharist is out of the tabernacle, not just after receiving but before as well. That is Christ and deserving of all respect.

  8. I like all the answers which I abide by but it should be noted that only the priest uses the orans position during the saying of the Our Father. (orans) arms extended Note not even the deacon does that.

    • Our congregation was taught to do that , as well as to stand and not kneel before and after communion. Why are there so many different teachings in different areas? Im in the mid-atlantic.

      • I went to Mass close to my home and everyone remained standing till everyone received. I asked the Pastor why they do that he said he got a letter from the Cardinal and that was the new way. I have been only one other church that they do that. I bet it would be said its up to the pastor to make that decision. I would not want to stand that long, I would be waiting impatiently so I could kneel down. The outstretched arms, was never practiced at any of the churches that I go to. I like to say it’s a conservative parish, but my priest friend said call it orthodox. I agree with you there should be one way only, but as long as priests think differently, their practices will be different. I like to tell people to watch the Mass on EWTN see what they do. In the beginning even the priest would hold hands with the altar servers and go down and shake hands with people in the pews, but that stopped years ago too. We can shake hands with the people immediately around you. I also learned that we should not say Merry Christmas or Happy Easter, it is always Peace Be With You. How often do people genuflect before they enter the pew. How about all the talking before Mass? Some priests encourage it. The few that I go to , you could hear a pin drop.
        Just keep attending Mass since only 30% attend weekly, how sad.

        • The standing at communion, which was announced to our parish a few years back, was presented that you do not sit until everyone was fed. It is a sign of respect I will then kneel when all are done receiving, and then enter a private prayer time until the tabernacle is closed. We were instructed that private prayer should not take place while others are still receiving.

  9. in preping our selves for mas lets remember why were here les crist enter our hourts so we can hear what he wants to teach us im trying to prepare my life to serve him cant do it if im not ready to lisen to his words amen

  10. I am privilege that my family gave me the above teachings and I continue to share the same with others. Praise be Jesus Christ Everyone

  11. I really appreciate this post and would like to add that some people fail to b observant during the celebration and that is why a catholic would not be able to explain what really goes on at mass. If after the homily one cannot remember what the readings for the day is all about and especially how it was explained by the priest he should know that he didn’t participate in the liturgy of the word. Again, during consecration/offertory when d priest offers the bread and the chalice most people do not observe that whereas this is the peak of the celebration

  12. Remain kneeling until the body is placed back into the Tabernacle. Not only wait for this, but wait for the chalice and bowls to be cleaned before sitting back down. Christ is still present until the remaining host is placed back in the Tabernacle and cleaned from the chalice and bowl.

    • Amen Lauren ,,that is what our priest says; only we do not kneel any more just stand ,until the Host is back in the Tabernacle.. Some of my fellow parisheners think it is when the priest sits but he explained to my RCIA class that it is not until the Host is in the Tabernacle then we can sit…Also in an earlier post some one asked about leaving the church wat the end of Mass , when the Choir is finished the last hymn as we are still singing with the choir May God Bless you all!!

    • My former Pastor, who’s now a Bishop, said you don’t have to sit down when the Priest does after communion. You sit down when you are ready to. Me personally I stay kneeling until the announcements start and that’s my choice.

      • Can’t say it disturbs me when people sit after communion, I’m usually still on my knees deep in thought about the Grace I have received when the priest stands for the dismissal and need a nudge. The receipt of this sacrament is so special why would anyone want to rush it. you have the Body Blood, soul and divinity of Christ, inside you. WOW!!!! I mean how cool is that! God there inside ME!! He can do anything, and he is right here with ME!!!! Now that’s something that never gets old!

  13. It is not against the Catholic Church to take communion in the hand. No one should be made to feel that they aren’t being reverent by doing this, and no one should consider themselves more reverent by receiving on the tongue. This is dictated by the church, not opinion.

    • JenniH, while it is not against the Church “rules” to receive in the hand, it is HIGHLY recommended from the Vatican, for the past four Popes for sure, and prior to 1960, ALL Popes, that Communion should be received in the mouth only. Initially the taking in the hand was to be done for special reasons only, but through various … processes…, and initially only in the US and three Dioceses, was begrudgingly approved. Other people and Dioceses just kind of followed along and did it, without permission from Rome, becoming in the US, and later abroad, the de-facto way for many to receive. Our Holy Father the Pope has stated that he would like to see all return to receiving by the mouth. Br. Don – Diocesan Hermit

      • there are many abuses because of receiving in the hand. A Host was found in the pew at my church, another church it was used as a book marker in the hymnal. I do prefer to receive in my hand, but because I know this is not the preferred way, I do receive on the tongue.

        • Dbell if th pope wants everyone 2 recive in th hand why does he not send out a papal bulliton 2 all the parishes the world over people who dont carry out th specific wishes of the holy father r disobeying christ himselfhimself since the pope is his vicor on earth and cannot ere while he is teaching the church

          • Hello Sarah, while I haven’t seen anything from Pope Francis on this issue yet, other than how he actually serves communion, the past three Popes DID send out to all Bishops the recommendation that communion be received by the tongue unless there were extenuating circumstances to the contrary. It was not mandated but highly recommended… Most Bishops, in the States anyway, decided to leave it as it was in the US. In Christ, Br. Don – Diocesan Hermit

      • I have returned to the Church after many years away. I was raised Catholic but rifed away as an adult. I was amased at all the changes. Sometimes it fells wrong to be doing some of the things that happen now. At the one I go to most all recieve Communion in their hand however I can’t do this. I was taught that only thePriest is to touch it. I also do not feel comfortable taking the host from anyone that is not the priest and always try for it to be that way. All theses other people doing the Priest job is just hard for me. Some have mentioned other things that I also have problems with. We only kneel 1 time during Mass and after Communion everyone stands then sit not kneel and pray. Do not remember the holding of hands and really don’t like it. It reminds me of Southern Babtists where they are all yelling Amen, and swinging there arms all around. I am learning these new things but am not comfortable with a lot of them. Oh and I can’t forget the cry room that no one uses and all the toys and snacks that are brought for unruly children. I wonder why some even bother to come when they spend the entire Mass playing with or reading kids books to them feeding them and so on. This one family at ours only participate in Communion because the rest of the Mass is spent entertaining their kids. Very distracting and irritating to others. I go to Mass to get peace. Why does someone in authority not speak to people about these things? Sorry to rant but there are certain manners that need to be respected and addressed if not.

        • Nina, I am 100% with you. The majority of the church today is what is called the “church of nice”. It’s all about the me, feel good thing, rather than the True Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Fortunately, I have found a few churches that still do things the “old fashioned” way and have not followed the modernization program, and even celebrate the Latin Mass. Thank God.

        • I had a similar experience to you Nina when I came back to the church after many years, I am blessed with a very traditional priest, I used to use the ‘happy clappy’ Mass experience as an excuse not to go, and probably would have had a real struggle returning if my local priest wasn’t more traditional than most but the truth is I just didn’t get it when I was a teenager and that was just an excuse to make me feel better about drifting away from my faith, initially the kids toys and the use of pews as climbing frames was a great distraction, But as I grew closer to God and became more focused on His word, and His presence, none of that mattered, I think now if the whole congregation started swinging from the lamp shades I’d barely notice.(though I am called to remember the two year old who climbed over the back of the pew in front of me and onto my lap one time which makes me smile… particularly the look of horror on her mums face when she realised what had happened) If the kids are really a problem though might I suggest a mass that isn’t a ‘family’ mass. In my parish I guess we are spoilt. there is the Saturday ‘vigil’ mass that is very much an adults domain (I personally can’t get my head round going to mass on Saturday instead of Sunday) we have the family (Kid friendly) mass on a Sunday morning then a Latin mass Sunday evening after benediction for the seriously traditionalist. I like going to that one even though I was very young when the Latin mass disappeared, it kind of feels like it did as a kid, but the sense of community I get from the family mass, kids and all is kind of special. reminds me that we are a family, and ok we can irritate each other and sometimes actively dislike each other, but we are ‘together’ in an unspoken unity, with our faith and as part of the body of our Lord.

      • Although baptized in the Catholic faith, I was not confirmed until last year and a year of RCIA. I spent most of my life in the Episcopal faith. All of your rules and church etiquette is somewhat silly and totally against what I was taught. There is a difference between Eastern and Western etiquette. One receives in the mouth; the other in the hand. The rest of it is a matter of practice in the local church. Br. Don, you should know better.

        • Nina, I hate to say it, but it seems your training in RCIA may not have been accurate… If you go overseas (from the US) the majority of the Churches I have been to have received the Host by mouth not by hand, under the Roman Rite. It is mainly in the US that it is by hand, and it started by hand here in the US in the early 70s roughly. In what way is the rules and Church etiquette silly? Br. Don – Diocesan Hermit

          • You, of curse, missed my meaning entirely. Yes, I received instruction in The United States. In the United States, it is absolutely customary to receive the Host in the hand. You are making absolute answers for a Church who has Catechism in numerous languages and numerous ways of practicing faith in a Universal Church. I assure, as a leader this year in RCIA this year, I learned, read many other sources and talked with our priests and nun. There are many variations of practice around the world, but the liturgies and Mass stay the same. Only individual practices change from parish to parish. I believe you need to learn more rather than telling a fellow Catholic she wasted her time in religious training.

          • @Nina, I continue to say that your training was not complete or fully accurate. If you follow the WRITTEN doctrine of the Church, and the Tradition and Customs of the Church, Communion is to be received by mouth unless there is reason to receive by hand due to health, etc. The US was the first to receive that written acceptance of by hand instead of by mouth, but in that writing which is still current, by mouth is the preferred and “Norm” for receiving Communion. SO I stand by what I posted earlier. If you follow current, liberal/left leaning teachings of the US, by hand is OK and preferred, but the Church as the provider of our doctrine, and the Pope recommend and teach by mouth unless there is a medical reason to receive by hand. In Christ, Brother Don – Diocesan Hermit

    • The true, real, and substantial presence of Christ is exposed until the tabernacles is closed — see also Lauren’s 10/10/14, 6:36 PM post — sometimes by a sacristan while the celebrant remains standing. It is Christ for whom we kneel and not the priest.

      • May we not show respect for his ‘servant’ as well? I remain kneeling until the Priest or Deacon removes everything from the altar.

  14. How sad to see what sometimes occurs at Mass. All I can say is that we have lost so much of the reverence and the decorum we once had since Vatican II. Communion in the had has to go too!!!

    • I agree with you John. I go to old Polish churches so they look like cathedral in Europe. When the decor is so much like an auditorium, its difficult to be reverent or deep in prayer. We humans do need some reminders and sometimes a priest that is not afraid say something from the pulpit. Many priests want it to be more people friendly and encourage to speak to your neighbor in church. If I walk into a church and people are talking, I will not be returning. I was at a Mass and there was so much talking behind me, I turned around a few times hoping they would get the message, then finally I said Shut Up. I came to pray and they came to socialize. In this day and age people do not have to stay at a particular church, I left my parish that was 7 blocks from my house 35 years ago.

  15. I find it a bit frustrating when leaving the pew after Mass others just standing looking at me waiting for me to hurry up and leave, or in the way or blocking the aisles.
    I would like to genuflect toward the tabernacle and not the person who sat in front of me or just hurry and go so they can rush out.

      • 40 Mins!!! Our Sunday Mass is ‘always’ an hour. then with socialising over coffee afterwards it’s usually at least 2 hours before I get away. As for at the end of Mass I like to stay for a few minutes in silent prayer, and don’t like to feel pressured to hurry, If others are ‘wanting to get past, I will move to let them out then return to pray if I’m going to be more than a minute or two. When I was a kid I was always taught to genuflect on entering and leaving the pew and again before exiting the door. In my church, genuflecting entering and leaving the pew is the norm, but not before exiting and when I first ‘returned’ I followed this practice, but never felt comfortable missing this sign of respect as I left the church, some months ago I started genuflecting before exiting too and was surprised to find that others have followed either by genuflecting or a simple bow towards the tabernacle. What others do or don’t do during Mass doesn’t really bother me much, when I feel some action by another parishioner starting to irritate me, I close my eyes and focus on the Lord, The Devil would very much like to disturb us and distract us during this holy time, he wants us to become dissatisfied with our worship of God, wants mothers to stop bringing their kids because they are ‘disturbing’ others, wants people to fall out with their brothers and sisters in Christ about who gives more or less respect to the presence of Jesus Christ, wants us to feel pressurised into not praying at the end of mass when we are closest to Him. Ask “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Grant us peace” It’s that inner peace where the battle between good and evil takes place, don’t let him win over trivialities like becoming irritated by someone else’s behaviour in Church not living up to your ideals.

    • My advise is to spend just a few extra moments in prayer AFTER Mass allowing the aisles to mostly clear and giving the recipient time for thanksgiving and/or the St. Michael Prayer.

    • Some people cannot completely genuflect. I for one have difficulty getting back up. I either don’t genuflect or do a little bending of the knee..

      • Then you should not kneel completely. What is important Paula is to love Christ and to let your heart move in love whenever you see him in the Eucharist. The physical manifestation of this love and devotion is Genuflection, but when you’re sick or have a problem like this, you should take care not to hurt yourself. Be well !

  16. There are a number of things that are slightly out of whack here. Yes, fast for an hour before Mass (capital M) – respect and preparation for receiving the body of Christ. Yes, You should be in church before the Mass starts. Yes, you should remain kneeling until the remaining consecrated hosts are placed in the tabernacle. Yes, do not leave till the priest leaves the altar/church. You do not need to stay through the recessional hymn. That’s why it’s the ‘recessional’ hymn silly. You can choose to raise your hands during the Lords Prayer if you wish. I personally think it looks silly and overly self-righteous to raise them, but whatever. Not a big deal people. If some minor non-important items occur, in order to welcome Protestants into our celebration, again, really not a big deal. Don’t we all pray the Christians unite? Give and take people. Is it disrespectful for someone to consumer food or beverage at Mass. For an adult, yes, for a toddler, absolutely not. Remember ‘suffer the children’. Will God refuse you the grace of Mass if you help your toddler, or very young child, to be calm during Mass? I don’t think so. By 5 or 6 at the latest, you should be able to help your child be quiet during Mass with a book. Preferably a religious themed book. Food should no longer be considered. Goodness they should be able to sit still for the length of a Mass by then. They are in school and sitting for class, they will watch movies that are most likely an hour or more. They can sit through Mass. By 7 they are receiving First Communion. There should be absolutely no need now at all!. Before Vatican II we all knelt at the communion rail. There is no rule that you must kneel or bow before receiving communion. Everyone is putting too much emphasis on these minor details and totally loosing focus of the meaning of the Celebration of Mass. Picky I say. Go to Mass, praise God, thank God, ask for His assistance, share in the Eucharist. Let God work in His mysterious way to guide you on the right path.
    And really, wipe your lipstick off before receiving Communion? Really people? I don’t wear lipstick, but really. Like God cares if you have lipstick on? Really nit-picky I’ll bet the world that He cares more that you are there and celebrating with Him. That you took the time to show Him you love Him than if you have lipstick on. These things? Man-made rules trying to control others.
    It’s good that some things changed after Vatican II, some things it would have been nice if they remained. But all in all, think about Jesus’ time on earth. He was not caught up in protocol, He’s more of a rebel if you ask me. He shook up the Jewish church, and shook up the Gentiles and Pagans. Get over yourselves and back to basics. I’m a life-long born and raised Catholic. Put God first in all things says the First Commandment. Jesus accepted all sinners into his fold. Who are we to say different. He did not shove people away or condemn them for these silly little nonsensical man-made rules.

    • Jean, It is not only disrespectful for adults (and I mean only adults, and not children under 5 0 6) to eat and drink during Mass, but against Canon and Liturgical rules unless they are ill or older… An adult should not be eating or drinking for 1 hour before Mass, and that covers the time of Mass prior to Communion, and for 15 minutes after Communion is consumed.
      As to the lipstick and receiving the Blood of Christ, remember that others come behind you and receive from that same cup. I have seen men walk away with lipstick on their lips from the person before them not wiping it off before Mass, so it could be an issue. Even as a Hermit, I am the Sacristan at my Hermitage (which is on Church grounds, and I spend about 11 hours a day in that Church) I have had to really work on getting lipstick off of the Chalice on more than one occasion. While it is not improper to have lipstick on, it is a nice thing to consider in not having it on when you go into Mass…
      As to the rules of the Church, how do we know that some of them were not set down upon us by God through Jesus or His early leaders He gave us to follow?
      That said, most of what you wrote I agree with!! In Christ, Br. Don – Diocesan Hermit

      • Br. Don. I do agree on adults not eating in church. I’m not sure if you thought I said differently. Thanks for stating its against Canon and Liturgical rules. Just wanted to clarify that. Thank you for bringing up the lipstick on the chalice. I never thought of that. Very good point. Though not a rule, certainly consideration for others is a valid point. You’re right , some rules of the church of the church were set by Jesus and the apostles. It’s some of the later things that can sometimes have you going ‘hmmmm’. I’m not a theologian so I know there are a lot of things I don’t know or understand. Sometimes it seems like some rules are contrary to what Jesus taught. I can’t be specific at this time because I’m honestly blank. Things come up in conversations at times though. Then I wish I had a in-house theologian to explain. Sometimes there are so many varying opinions that it becomes misleading to a lay person to someone looking for clarification and answers. My daughter questioned some things on this comment thread which prompted me to check it out. Thank you for your feedback and clarification. Have a great day. Jean

        • About the lipstick – the euchAristic minister has a purificator which should be used to wipe the cup after each communicant receives the blood of Christ. As a eucharistic minister myself, I have not seen any problem with lipstick remaining on the chalice after being wiped with the purificator. I also clean the chalices and other dishes after mass and have not noticed a problem with lipstick.

          • Jill, I would tend to agree, but that is not always the case, in many cases I have seen where there is still lipstick inside the cup, as many Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (proper name by the way, not Eucharistic Minister as the Eucharistic Minister is the Priest or Deacon, we lay/religious folks are Extra Ordinary not Ordinary) do not clean the inside but only the outside from my observance. I pray you are only doing a last cleaning and not the actual purification of the Vessels? Br. Don – Diocesan Hermit

        • Another issue is with the lipstick is the cleaning of the cloths that are used to wipe the lipstick off. Not easy to get tbe lipstick out. And If I remember correctly from my fellow church members there is a certain way the clothes need to be cleaned and handled. Just let me know if I’m wrong. Always ready to learn something new.

          • @Rose, to clean the purificators, one is to rinse with water over the ground or sink that empties into the ground instead of the sewer system until all host content is removed. Then it may be washed in a washing machine. You are very correct with the issue of getting the lipstick off of the purificators though, it can be a REAL pain, and technically if it isn’t able to be removed completely, that purificator should be removed from service… In Christ, Brother Don – Diocesan Hermit

      • I dont agree with eating or drinking at mass either 4 a toddler or anyone else when u go 2 holy mass it is 2 partisapate in the lords banqutet of food 4 the soul god forgive all those pagans who call themselves catholics if they want 2 eat and drink they shud stay at home

      • Br. Don
        In our church, and some others, the responses have changed. Instead of, “Peace be with you”;”And also with you”… the response is now, “And with your spirit”… I still find this very hard to get used to. Please explain. Thank you.

        • Hello Debbie, if you go back before Vatican II when using either the Latin or vernacular, and even after VII in most foreign nations (to the US), the response was “and your spirit”. The wording was changed with VII. It current translation/wording is closer to what has been done throughout Tradition. It seems strange to many now because of familiarity but liturgically it is better now. In Christ, Br. Don – Hermit

  17. When standing in line for Confession or while leaving Mass after saying your prayers of thanksgiving, the Tabernacle will occasionally need to be opened for someone who needs to take Holy Communion to the sick or to make certain there are enough Sacred Hosts for Mass. It is appropriate to kneel, even in an aisle, until the door are closed again. Jesus exposed, as in a Monstrance, is to be venerated by the bent knee.

  18. Jeff,
    I and others were taught in catechism to receive the eucharist in our hand. That’s how I’ve been receiving since I was 13 and I am now 36. If it’s wrong why was it taught like that? By the way I know it’s not a potato chip as you say we think it is.

  19. I have to say I hate it that the only “acceptable” means of passing the peace seems to be a handshake or a hug. Seriously, people can not be at peace unless they touch a total stranger? And that stranger is not “welcoming” or is “rude” not to allow it? What about the feelings of those who don’t wish to be touched? I really wish someone in the Church Hierarchy would address the issue of the many ways to pass the peace – and not all of them need to involve touching a stranger. But I suspect this will be an unpopular opinion.

  20. May I just say that I’m a Filipino and proud to say we are the only nation in Asia with an overwhelming majority of Catholics. And we produce a record number of priests and nuns that get sent to the birthplace of Catholicism (Europe) because the faith is dying in the West. And people in this comments section deride holding hands while praying or singing the Lord’s Prayer and other post-Vatican II gestures that they say take away from the holiness and sanctity of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. It really saddens me and makes me question why it is such a big deal. It’s not as if it you’re seducing the person you’re holding or shaking hands with. The next thing we hear are Catholics wanting to segregate males from females…because wasn’t that how Mass was celebrated pre-Vatican II? Please, brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, you want your nations to remain in the Catholic faith? Don’t shackle them with pointless arguments about how one gesture is more acceptable than the other. A Mass is a celebration with Christ at the center…an opportunity to feast and be merry in spirit with your neighbor. It’s not a military exercise. I imagine when Jesus had the Last Supper, He and the rest of the apostles were seated. Maybe let’s all sit down-who eats standing or kneeling down anyway?!–every time during the breaking of the bread. That would be more appropriate, if Jesus Himself had done it, following the logic of most of the people here…

  21. Hi Fritzie. Just wanted to say that males and females were not segregated during Mass before Vatican II. I’m a product of pre-Vatican II and can say that for sure. I don’t remember ever hearing of that before. Maybe in the dark ages

  22. Ii attended Mass at another church this weekend and saw two YOUNG adults, not children playing with their cell phones. Why they even came is something I wonder about.

  23. I. It’s not as if it you’re seducing the person you’re holding or shaking hands with” For many it has nothing to do with being seduced. There are a good many good and cogent reasons for not wanting to hold or shake hands- none of them have anything to do with seduction.
    For some it could be they have arthritis or fibromyalgia and it hurts to do this, others may have PTSD from abuse or other experiences, others might be autistic or have aspberger’s, still others may have sensory integration issues, others may be immunocompromised, they may simply not want to be touched…but it’s their body and they do have the right to decline. If it’s pointless to you—thank God your life never brought any issues to you that make it not pointless. For some being able to enforce “no touching” is the difference between being able to attend Mass and having to watch it onTV.

  24. Hi Fritzie. Just wanted to say that males and females were not segregated during Mass before Vatican II. I’m a product of pre-Vatican II and can say that for sure. I don’t remember ever hearing of that before. Maybe in the dark ages

  25. I HIGHLY recommend that all visit the Michael Voris, the founder, is very knowledgeable about all church matters and presents answers to questions that many of us have about the modern day Catholic Church. You will learn much, as I have, as well as have confirmation of what is correct, and more importantly, why. I have felt much was missing as I was brought up in an old eastern European culture which has stuck by old True Catholic ways.

    • thank you Dave I just listened and then joined the premium membership for Church Militant. Wow I learned a lot in 15 min. this is the site to go on to see the truth about the changes.

  26. (CNS/Paul Haring)
    By Carol Glatz
    Catholic News Service
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — God’s laws are meant to lead all people to Christ and his glory, and if they do not, then they are obsolete, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.
    In fact, the scholars of the law in Jesus’ day were so wrapped up in doctrine as an end in itself, they were unable to see that Jesus was leading people down a new and surprising path toward his glory, the pope said Oct. 13 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.
    Jesus did “strange things,” like “walk with sinners, eat with tax collectors” — things the scholars of the law “did not like; doctrine was in danger, that doctrine of the law” that they and the “theologians had created over the centuries,” he said, according to Vatican Radio.
    The scholars were safeguarding the law “out of love, to be faithful to God,” the pope said, but “they were closed up right there,” and forgot all the ways God has acted in history.
    “They forgot that God is the God of the law, but is also the God of surprises,” he said.
    “God is always new; he never denies himself, he never says that what he had said is wrong, but he always surprises us,” the pope said.
    The scholars of the law had forgotten how many times God surprised his people, like when he freed them from slavery in Egypt, he said. They were too wrapped up in their perfect system of laws — “a masterpiece” where everyone knew exactly what he or she was supposed to do; “it was all settled. And they felt very secure there,” he said.
    They couldn’t see beyond “this system made with lots of good will,” and they could not read the “signs of the times,” the pope said.
    They couldn’t see that what Jesus was doing was a sign indicating “that the time was ripe,” he said. This is why in the day’s Gospel reading (Lk 11:29-32) Jesus said, “This generation is an evil generation,” because it sought the wrong kind of sign, the pope said.
    The scholars of the law also forgot that the people of God are a people on a journey, “and when you journey, you always find new things, things you never knew before,” he said. But the journey, like the law, is not an end in itself; they are a path, “a pedagogy,” toward “the ultimate manifestation of the Lord. Life is a journey toward the fullness of Jesus Christ, when he will come again.”
    The law teaches the way to Christ, and “if the law does not lead to Jesus Christ,” he said, “and if it doesn’t get us closer to Jesus Christ, it is dead.”
    Pope Francis asked people to reflect, “Am I attached to my things, my ideas. Am I closed?”
    “Am I at a standstill or am I a person on a journey? Do I believe in Jesus Christ, in what Jesus did,” dying for humanity’s sins and rising again? he asked.
    “Am I able to understand the signs of the times and be faithful to the voice of the Lord that is manifested in them?” he asked.
    Pope Francis urged people to pray to be able to walk “toward maturity, toward the manifestation of the glory of the Lord” and to have a heart “that loves the law, because the law is God’s.”
    But may people also be able to “love God’s surprises and to know that this holy law is not an end in itself,” he said.

    • THANK YOU! While some things (I’m thinking cell phone use) are obviously not reverent, all of the ways Jesus acted make us believe he was not one to let semantics to get in the way of an opportunity to learn and grow in Christ.

  27. Vatican City, Oct 14, 2014 / 08:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily mass on Tuesday Pope Francis warned about the hypocrisy of those who do good in order to be seen, saying that true faith is practiced through acts of charity that go beyond outward rituals.
    “Jesus condemns this cosmetic spirituality, (which attempts to) look good, beautiful – but the truth inside is something else,” the Pope said to those present in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse for his Oct. 14 daily Mass.
    He condemns those who have “good manners but bad habits, those habits that you don’t see, but are hidden.”
    The Roman Pontiff took his cue from the day’s Gospel reading from Luke chapter 11 in which Jesus is invited to the house of a Pharisee for dinner, and surprises his host by not performing the standard washing ritual before meals. He then condemns the false piety of those who desire others to see their good works.

  28. How about people (mostly young adults, teens) who after receiving the eucharist and wine walk back to the pew with hands down to their side and not folded. I teach PSR (Parish School of Religion, formerly CCD) 3rd grade, and I inform my children that it is disrespectful to God if their hands are not folded.

    • Harley, I almoSt agree with this statement. I believe that in our universal Catholic Church, many churches have individual customs. If there are not according to Vatican protocol, the parish priest or bishop will correct practices when it is deemed nevessary. When we gave our profession of faith, the mass etiquette was listed. The TCIA leader taught us what was important to do properly, as in the manner of taking communion. ThT rest, cmon courtesy or paying more attention to worship and prayers and not criticizing others should prevail. We, are, there to wirship in the way Jesus taught us.

  29. I grew up in pre-Vatican II. Back then people had a lot more respect for God’s house then they do today. First of all you would never see anyone coming to mass dressed in shorts, flip flops, sweat suits, jeans, you don’t have to wear tuxes or long gowns and I understand not having money to buy extra clothes or being handicap/older,but seriously people show dress with respect. I do not believe in receiving the host in my hands, nor will I receive the host from anyone but a priest. During mass the priest washes his hands to consecrate them before handling the host. How clean are the hands, (I do not necessarily mean dirt) that the lay people that hand out the host or receive it. I do not understand why people hold their hands up during the Our Father or when the priest says “Peace be with you” people will put their hands towards the priest when they answer. If things are not being done correctly I fail to understand why the priest does not address the issues during the sermon at mass.

    • Mary, the priest does not want to be too critical, and many of the actions described in these posts are neither sins nor disruptions to Mass so much as they are discourtesies. Articles such as this will help people to know better how to join in Mass!
      The priest’s hands were consecrated by the bishop at his ordination. Not at the “washing of hands.”
      All of the parishes in my recollection have the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion — did I put that correctly, Br. Don? — use hand sanitizer as they go up to the alter. The Church affirms that all sacraments act “ex opere operato” and do not depend upon the righteous of the celebrant or the recipient or even those intermediary, extraordinary ministers. I write this not to suggest that you do anything differently, but to assure others that they receive a valid, sanitary sacrament!

  30. “When you have received Holy Communion, Close your Close your bodily eyes so you open the eyes of your soul. Then look upon Jesus in the center of your heart.”(St. Teresa of Avila)

  31. I also have problems with my knees and find it difficult to genuflect before and after mass. When this first started I asked my parish priest what I should do. His answer was that I should bow, from the waist, in a deliberate fashion, with me ending up at least at a 45 degree angle with my head bowed down to show respect for the presence of Christ in the tabernacle.

  32. My main objection to receiving the Eucharist by hand is that it can be stolen. Satanists want the stolen Eucharist for their black mass. Even THEY believe in the Real Presence! They want to ridicule and desecrate our Lord in their black rites. They don’t go to protestant churches to get crackers which are empty.

    • While your attention should be on the Mass and the portion of Mass you are currently in, there is time/space to do personal prayers of penance, petition or thanks, but there really isn’t time to do the full Divine Mercy Chaplet. When in Mass participate in Mass, it is better to do most of your personal prayers or devotional prayers before or after Mass. Come in a half hour or hour early, provided the Church is open early, or stay after Mass and pray… Br. Don – Diocesan Hermit

    • It used 2 b before vatican 2 when people whent 2 hear mass in the latin rite they often just said a fe hail marys on their beads or said some sort of prayer as the people then communite with the priest as some wer poor uneducated people who dident understand all the latin

  33. Br. Don, how would you recommend, maybe in a polite way, telling people to shut up when in church, before or after Mass. In most churches, I have been to, people behave like protestants and come early to chat with others, and then stand around after Mass and gab for a while. This is at the top of my list of most annoying things people do in church.
    Thank you.

    • Hello DaveW, you will probably not like my answer, but the best way to get them to be quite is to genuflect into your pew, put down the kneeller, and begin praying, for them and for your needs, etc. If you can sit with others that want to pray, it will start to become “contagious” and in time, others will follow.
      You can talk with your Priest and ask him to address the need for silence before and after Mass from the Ambo, which many will do. Then you can talk to those you know that come in and talk, outside of course, in a nice way about the need for silence before and after Mass, and that may help and pass it on.
      It is my experience is the best way is to just pray for them, in front of them, so they see you praying, and get others to sit with or near you that do the same, as your group grows, the Church will grow into silence, especially if you include in your prayers a prayer or two for their understanding and following of the proper rubrics of the Church.
      I am down in Florida for official business right now, and due to events going on today, went with a good friend to Mass at the Vigil Mass last night, not my preferred Mass preferring instead to be at the first Sunday morning Mass, and EVERYONE was talking 30 minutes before Mass, including my friend, right up to Mass for most of them. I began my pre-Mass prayers, and those beside me began getting quite, and by Mass the front quarter of the Church was on their knees praying, I think if I came in my hour early to Mass (no car, at the mercy of those around me here…) I would have had more on their knees or behinds praying instead of talking… During Mass, as part of his homily the Priest made comment of “The Brother you see here up front, you know, the one in a religious habit, has shown you how to begin your Mass, let us see if we can all start this practice going forward”. You could have heard a pin drop. Then he went on with his homily like nothing was said. After Mass, on the ride back to where I am staying down here, I talked to my friend about quietness before and after Mass for prayer and asked her to spread it on to others.. She apologized for her and the others actions and said she would work on it, both for herself and talk with others. Br. Don, Diocesan Hermit

      • Br. Don,
        I truly appreciate your advise. Of course, I have and continue to pray for these individuals. Unfortunately, this has been going on for years, about 14 years since we came to this parish, and it only has gotten worse. I have kindly asked the little old ladies to please stop talking because I was praying, not just our church. Their reaction is usually that of someone who thinks they hear something but does not acknowledge you, almost as if you and your praying is somehow interrupting their gabbing. They do not seem to get it that the Holy Sanctuary is to be respected and revered by silence, allowing for ones self to pray as well as others. Also, unfortunately, our priest is one of those “church of nice” kind of guys who does not want to trouble or offend the little old ladies, and others, because he fears they would stop coming and the pot would start to dwindle. As for your experience, I would just say that you have an advantage over me, as you have the habit that projects authority. Unfortunately, I feel that if you return there in a few months, you will probably see the same thing all over again.
        Thank you.
        God Bless.

        • Hello DaveW,
          You are very right about if I leave and come back it will probably be back to the way it was, but I pray that would not happen. Yes, the habit makes it a bit better for me in this case in helping to quiet it down before and after Mass, and the fact that my Priest, while on the edge of the “Church of Nice” crowd, is still a bit traditional, and since he has a Hermit in the midst now, has started talking about quiet times before/after Mass, so that helped.
          All I can say is to continue to pray, work on asking the Lord to show you how to block them out, and to continue to pray even more!! In Christ, Br. Don – Diocesan Hermit

        • I appreciate your position Dave but perhaps your priest is concerned about parishioners stopping attending mass has more to do with the concern that people will loose the grace attendance brings, and encourage them to drift further from the Church. It’s the Priests job to save souls, he can’t do that easily if he doesn’t get them into church to hear the Word, does it better if he actually has a relationship with his parishioners. Please talk to him, perhaps together you can find a way to encourage a greater silence before and after Mass and if a few old ladies that usually sit near you are disturbing you sit somewhere else. You know when people are old they often go days without talking to anyone, perhaps going to Mass on Sunday is the only chance they get to be with others. I know that doesn’t help and Church isn’t the place but please show a little charity and try to find the cause of their need to talk to their friends I’m sure there will be an answer for you if you do a little digging. They are family after all.

  34. Thank you so much, Jeff. I love that you care so deeply about what the Church truly says. I have come from the “anything goes” Liberal Protestant Church, and I hate that they are trying to permeate the Catholic Church. I am a hopeful convert, and I find such joy in the Mass. One thing that others me is the Sign of Peace. I don’t like how it takes my focus off of the Lord and the Eucharist. What do I do to avoid having to stop and chat with the people around me? I’d rather do that after Mass.

    • You don’t need to chat, A smile and a quick handshake, yes I know it can be a bit of a distraction from the service, but ask yourself why is it part of the Mass? Like you I do fall into the trap of the ‘here am I having my own personal encounter with Christ and I suddenly have to relate to all these other people I barely know’ So why is it in the Mass I ask myself, I’m no theologian, so can’t give you the ‘church teaching answer’, perhaps someone here can? The way I see it though is that it reminds us, we are one family, are all part of the one Body of Jesus Christ, Our Saviour through our baptism we all died and rose again in him, we are not having our ‘private encounter with Christ’ we are together, worshiping Him, honouring Him together, as one. When I think like this I open myself up to my brothers and sisters around me, and see Christ in them, as he is in me, and then we return to our worship together and call on His Mercy together, no longer an individual meeting Christ on my own terms but part of a whole fellowship, a family, not just here in my church but across the globe speaking many languages, but all of us calling out together. Wow now that’s something special!

  35. We were also advised that the ushers do not seat parishioners when the Priest says the Gospel and his Homily. It is distracting from
    Listening as everyone is looking at the usher and the late Parishioners.

  36. I get to Church 10 to 15 minutes early to reflect. BUT then the music group is practicing or just performing right up until mass begins. I appreciation their ministry and admire their talent but would really just like a few minutes of quiet before Mass starts.

    • Consider yourself lucky that you hear music, in everyparish I have been in in my diocese I hear folks chatting about eveything from graphic descriptions of where their children have diaper rash to even more graphic discriptions of their”activities” the night before….and loudly enough that I have to say my rosary outloud in order to concentrate.

  37. It seems to me if you all paid less attention to what everybody else is doing your attention would be on Christ and the sacrifice of the Mass. I would like to know from Br. Don where it says the Pope recommends receiving on the tongue.. In the GIRM it clearly states both forms are acceptable.

  38. Br.Don i sincerely appreciate your reply. Thank you so much for bringing this awareness to me. i would also like to know if it is a sin to say any personal prayer during mass and mostly during the time of offertory or after receiving the holy communion.

    • Marietta Maithya, it is NEVER a sin to pray a personal prayer during Mass, and as long as you are not “overstepping” group prayers, readings, or other important parts of the Mass, it is fine. One should pray as they go up to receive, and after they return to the pew after receiving, thanking God for the Sacrament and for all He has given us! In Christ, Br. Don – Diocesan Hermit

  39. Please minimize or better yet, refrain from talking w/ someone esp.when the mass started. Unnecessary gestures can also be avoided for us not to disturb others who are meditating.

  40. We live in a me age that doesn’t want to be told what to do or what is proper & respectful. Most things discussed are addressed in the GIRM & encyclicals & letters of the popes. All are accessible via & quite interesting. In our attendance at Mass, we should always bring our best everything: behavior, manners, dress, focus, attention, & participation. When sitting somewhere disruptive or distracting; quietly get up & change your seat. If don’t want to be touched, keep hand close to chest, wave & softly say peace be with you. My body is in pain when hugged so I do this. Grabbing my hand to raise it up for the Our Father can throw me to the floor, so I don’t sit by those who do this. When praying before or after Mass in a group, silently include praying for those who are drowning out the prayers. Note to Divine Mercy question. I have read that where both are prayed; it is best to do the Rosary before Mass as it is a great preparation for Mass & the Divine Mercy after Mass, as it continues adoring & offering of Christ for the whole world. When kneeling no longer possible, bow & make sign of cross when enter/ exit church or pew or cross in front of the tabernacle. From the moment we enter til we exit, our focus must be that we are blessed to be in the presence of God. When others disturb or distract from that, change your seat. We can’t change what others do, but we can change what we do. Much better than being aggravated through Mass. Had someone loudly insist I stop to talk after starting the Divine Mercy chaplet, because Mass was over so I replied, but God has not left the building, then continued with the prayers. Let’s keep all these things in prayer for these are all temptations to hinder our unity with God & each other.

  41. Let’s keep our feet off of the kneelers. We’ve been walking with the bottom of our shoes touching the ground everywhere we walk with the shoes we wear to mass. That ground may be a sidewalk, a dirt path, the paved parking lot of the church, the street we crossed to get to church, etc. The bottom of our shoes has been in contact with surfaces where people have spit or vomited, animals have urinated or defecated, and any number of substances that are unsanitary, filthy and germ ridden have been deposited. To place the bottom of our shoes on the kneelers where a person’s pants, knees, dress, or skirt comes in contact with is not only irresponsible, but inconsiderate, thoughtless, and uncaring. People touch their clothing with their hands where that clothing comes into contact with kneelers where the unthinking have places their feet. This could be considered sinful, and is sinful. How can we come into the presence of God, and be so unmindful of our neighbor who we are commanded to love. How would you feel if someone got sick because he/she touched their own clothing where they had kneeled where you previously put your foot? Worse yet, what if that person caught a disease that killed them or gave them a chronic illness for the rest of their life?

    • I have to admit this is something that bugs me to. I remember my mother telling me off as a kid during Mass for resting my feet on the kneeler. I think it was the only time she ever did more than give that look in church (the telling off for disrespectful behaviour usually waited until we had left the building) I also lost count of the number of times I imitated my mother’s look with my niece, for putting her feet on the kneeler. Obviously wasn’t as good at it as her as my mum only had to do it once. God rest her soul.

  42. How about those who dont want to be open or accepting just stay home. Churches who welcome crying babies will be grateful to have those babies as parishoners in 20 years. When children are welcomed into the house of God the church is a much happier place.

    • Jack, the issue is with the parents. The parents who take their children, without preparing them, for the Mass, are the issue. My wife and I have two children, who are thirteen months apart, so we had two little ones when going to Mass then. If you ask anyone in our parish, they will tell you that our children were seen but never heard. From the time they were old enough to understand, we spoke to them and told them that we were going to a very special place and that they needed to be quiet. There were a few time when they were a bit cranky and we dealt with that by taking them out side so as not to distract the congregation. I see many parents who just pretty much ignore their children and allow them to do whatever they want, without any regard for the Holy Mass, priest or the others. It appears as though they are at grandmas’ house and can do whatever they want. This all stems from the lack of knowledge and understanding of our faith by many of the adults who attend Mass.
      You are 100% correct, our children are the future. Of course babies will cry, and that is OK. When a baby cries they have a need for something, that the parent should know how to fulfill. They do however need to be taught to respect the Holy Sanctuary and the Mass, as well as others. This should be done at an early age and starts at home.
      God Bless

  43. I have an odd question. I have just started being one of the ladies who clean the church. I don’t do the Sacred Vessels or the linen; I just sweep and vacuum and clean windows. There are a large group of women who assist with this, so I’ll only be doing it about once a year. We work in teams of two. It was a very quiet time; I liked that. The lady I worked with is elderly, and she is one of the pillars of the church. I crossed in front of the tabernacle many times during my work. I prayed/thought about God through the majority of my work. I am concerned about not bowing every time I pass before the tabernacle. Should I be bowing EVERY time? If anyone were to ask me this question, I would respond with “God knows your heart; be at peace,” but for me, it feels wrong, as if I weren’t expressing due reverence. Any teachings on this to guide me. (Jesus WAS in the tabernacle; the candle was lit.)

  44. MAYBE announcement of activity, financial status,etc should be done before and after the mass only and not on the time wherein FINAL BLESSINGS WILL BE DONE? this style or practice interrupts the FINAL BLESSING..

  45. I have not read all 144 comments to this topic of Mass Etiquette, et al, but have not noticed this one thing on the posts I did read. On the practice of genuflecting, nothing was said about genuflecting when leaving Mass. I’m of an age before Vatican II, and I was taught as a child learning Catechism, that we are to genuflect before entering the pew and genuflect when exiting the pew. This is our way of “saying good morning to Jesus in the Tabernacle, and saying goodbye when leaving.” I might add that I don’t ever see anyone genuflecting when leaving Mass. I am so used to doing this that I feel I would be ignoring Christ in the Tabernacle, if I did not genuflect when leaving.

    • Just mentioned it Karen. I genuflect when entering the pew, leaving the pew and leaving the church. Most don’t do it when filing out of the church, and I don’t really have a problem with them not doing so, it can be a bit crowded round the door. I was taught to genuflect before leaving the church after mass, remember being told off for not doing so when I was about 8 and it stuck with me. feel wrong when I don’t so I do, no reflection on anyone else, though I have noticed others also turning to genuflect or bow before leaving too. Like the lady in my church who wears a scarf or mantilla during Mass, I don’t (except during a Latin Mass) but she clearly feels that is something she wants to do to show respect, after all that’s what these little gestures are there for. I would rather someone who felt genuflecting wasn’t necessary for them to respect the presence of the Lord, didn’t do so, than was made to feel forced into a demonstration they were uncomfortable with, or judged simply because they didn’t publicly demonstrate their respect. I don’t know what’s in their heart, but God does.

  46. I’m new to Catholicism, so please consider my thoughts in this light. As I have read the comments, I sense that the concern being raised is that receiving the body of Jesus in ones hand is an irreverent act that denigrates the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
    I completely understand the concern for maintaining complete respect for the Eucharist. It is, after all, the body and blood of our Lord. It deserves our complete reverence. Yet, I do not understand how taking the bread into ones hand is disrespectful or lacking in reverence toward Christ. Throughout the gospels, Jesus walked among the crowds, and, in doing so, invited contact with others. He willingly put his hands on believers and doubters, lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors, and fishermen (one very significant fisherman, in fact). One of the great miracles recorded in sacred Scripture involves Jesus rewarding a sick woman’s courage to reach out and simply touch the hem of his garment. She was healed. After his resurrection, he invited his disciples to touch his hands and feet to show them he was truly alive. One of the graces of the incarnation is the complete accessibility of the God-man to others.
    So, I cannot see touching the bread as an act of irreverence. If it is, then these poignant scenes of Scripture become questionable.
    True reverence (or the lack thereof) is ultimately an issue of the heart. I would rather see a man with a clean, humble, repentant heart take the bread into his own hand, than a man with an unclean proud heart receive it directly into his mouth. Jesus said that it’s not what’s outside a man that makes him unclean but what’s on the inside. It’s in our hearts and minds that we recognize and revere the body and blood of Christ. While I will do my best to be faithful to the teachings of the Church, I will also stay cognizant of the fact that there are many who are faithful in form but not faithful in heart.

    • Scott, when it is consecrated, it is the Body and Blood of Christ, so we are receiving Him, not ‘bread’. I remember receiving on my tongue, kneeling at the altar rail, as a child. I understand the arguments, and my opinion, and it is only my opinion, is that, if both are authorized, use the method you are comfortable with.

    • Excellent, excellent points – and from a new Catholic, who should probably teach the true meaning of our catechism to the rest of the “cradle Catholics” on this post!

  47. I just want to make a comment regarding the cell phones. I have an app on my phone called Laudate (it’s great!) that has each week’s readings. I like to read along to the lector as I have a hard time understanding what’s being said otherwise. If someone has an accent, it’s even more difficult for me. I simply am hard of hearing. In order to fully understand and hear the readings, I need to be able to read along. I don’t know why each reading is no longer included in the Missals in our church and in many other churches I’ve visited. I get that God wants us to be fully engaged and listen to what’s being said, but I find I need to follow along as well in order to keep my attention and fully understand what’s being said. For that, I have to regrettably use my phone (which is on silent). I am very discreet with it and immediately put it away when done with the readings. So for me, I’m not on Facebook or Twitter or emailing, I promise! I’m simply trying to be fully aware of the readings.
    I do have a gripe about Communion and when the choir or music director seems to feel that they have to fill every single second of the procession with music. I like being able to pray and contemplate quietly after receiving Communion and it can be distracting to have to listen to the singer audition for America’s Got Talent. Anyone else feel that way? What’s wrong with finishing the hymn and if the Communion procession isn’t over, remain silent until it is? Don’t get me started on people who then clap afterwards. Ugh. Anyone else get annoyed at clapping? I just feel it’s inappropriate.
    I’m curious as to how others feel about these issues. I have lots of opinions on Mass etiquette. 🙂

    • JAK, I am with you 1000%. The Holy Mass has become one big performance, more on the baptist/protestant level, rather than the Catholic and spiritual level. I too am constantly disrupted and annoyed at all the chit chat and disruptions. I am tired of it all and wish the pastor, in my parish, as well as other parishes I go to, would stop the wishy washy, nice nice, don’t want to offend anyone nonsense. They have a responsibility to lead the flock and preach the truth, not the garbage that the people want to hear because it is more convenient to them.
      Please view the links below of a fantastic web site I have found, and subscribe to, because there is so much wonderful programming/information about the truth. I highly recommend this web site and I am sure you will enjoy this as well, as it provides the truth about our Catholic faith, as we all should understand, and practice, it.
      Losing My Religion – Church Hymns –
      Losing My Religion – Inappropriate Applause –
      Losing My Religion – The Mass –
      One True Faith – The Mass –
      God Bless.

    • I use Universalis on my phone and kindle, and have no embarrassment about getting it out during a mass where there is no mass book, My Priest has a habit of saying an alternative mass than the one on Universalis during the week (saying a votive mass instead) and swaps the Eucharistic prayer round on a regular basis, or throws in the Latin Sanctus just to keep us on our toes, but you know what you are doing and so does God. If others look with disapproval ignore them or tell them what you are doing after Mass, you never know, you might start a trend 🙂

  48. Wow…I’m amazed to read how heated this conversation got! The thing is…Christ wants to meet us where we are…each one of us is at a different place…as different as our fingerprints. No one is tight and no one is wrong. The important thing is we attend Mass, humble ourselves and beg for mercy! Don’t get distracted by the holding of hands, people leaving early, etc. Those things are of NO relevance to the Mass!
    Furthermore, if you all were so concerned about doing the right thing, start by ALWAYS using a capital M everytime you write the word Mass. Doing so gives the Mass it’s true respect as the ultimate sacrifice it is, and not diminish it to merely a mass. Think about it!

  49. What about dancing during the mass to the hymns which is common in Africa and of-course this is stopped during the period of lent and the advent?

  50. Let us remember also that the MASS is the higher form of worship and prayer, thus during the beginning of the celebration one must not pray the rosary or making novena’s prayer.

  51. How I wish choir sing traditional and easy to follow worship songs so we, the mass can sing with them. I attend mass here in Baliwag Bulacan Philippines. Sometimes I feel that the choir wants to sing by themselves as if they perform in a concert. They make the tune/tempo of worship songs hard to follow. For them it is easy because they practice but us the mass, how can we join in the singing when we are not there to practice. I am sure God wants more people sing in praise of Him rather than few member of the choir.

  52. Is it proper to break the holy mass at the offertory session to make donations and other likely activities before continuing with the mass?

    • Hi Joselyn,
      I had the same question as I can’t always hear the reader very clearly. Most people I’ve asked have said that seems ok. I will probably ask my parish priest though to make sure but I don’t see how it’s any different from reading it in the Missal. Sometimes I try to be obvious that it’s the actual Readings I’m looking at, and not something unrelated.
      Obviously, as long as the phone is on silent, hopefully it’s not an issue.

  53. don’t know if this was mentioned, but there is plenty of time to shake hands and hug everyone before mass starts or after it is finished not while you are in line to receive communion.

  54. There are two essential things, rather. one MOST IMPORTANT rule/command/law that we need to follow – which fulfils all other laws… that is to Love God with one’s whole heart, soul, mind and strenght and love one’s fellow being (neighbor) in like manner… How many of us follow that in letter and spirit matters much more than these petty rules of ours or of the Church…. And here we are making such a lot of fuss over so many little things which are not all that essential to obtain salvation or to spread God’s Kingdom….. The Lord himself says: “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'”
    When the Lord asks His disciples to pray, ALL OF THEM GO OFF TO SLEEP…. “And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? “Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again He went away and prayed, saying the same words.…
    So even if our spirit is willing, the flesh of most of us faithful lot is indeed weak…. This we need to admit and not consider ourselves to perfect in every which way…. Peter denied knowing the Lord, three times and the Lord our God did not haul him for that…. On the contrary instead of punishing him, He appoints this very man who denied HIM in open public, not once but three times and that too in one evening – to lead (as Pope if you want) the group!! Can anyone of us beat that? Here we are always trying to find fault with others and haul them up – in spite of we ourselves being tainted with various faults/sins…. Whereas the Lord (the SINLESS ONE) overlooks the fault of Peter and other disciples who deserted HIM and millions of us sinful/unfaithful lot on this earth….. and continues to LOVE US without ceasing…..
    We give so much of importance to man-made rules and give least importance to the Laws/Commands laid down by the Lord… How we sit, how we sing, how we receive Holy Communion, how late we come for Mass etc. etc. – does not fulfil all other laws nor does it bring others closer to God….
    Again the Lord says: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cumin. BUT YOU HAVE NEGLECTED THE MORE IMPORTANT MATTERS OF THE LAW – JUSTICE, MERCY AND FAITHFULNESS. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. And we (Clergy and Laity), very much like the Pharisees are doing the same…. In Amos 5: God specifically tells us that HE is fedup with our music and singing…. and wants JUSTICE FLOW LIKE A RIVER AND RIGHTEOUSNESS LIKE AN EVER-FLOWING STREAM…. Yet we will go on singing with the best of music – whether justice and righteousness prevails in our community/church or not ….

  55. I have downloaded the ‘iMissal” – a wonderful Catholic electronic app on my phone that I use at Mass. I got tired of searching through hundreds of pages of the hard copy missals our church uses to find the right readings – in the five minutes it took to find it, the readings (always too SHORT, in my opinion) were over. I just make it a practice not to do anything else on the phone. And the sound is always OFF.

    • I do too. Often under vexatious looks from the church police. I often stop and share with my pew neighbours. They look abashed and shamed, but grateful to be allowed to understand what they are seeing.

  56. Less than 23% of Catholics practice their faith. We have the eastern and Christmas Catholics who are a wild group, and the every now and then ones. But people who go every week?
    So if we take the gum chewing, chitter chatting ocassional goers as offensive and shower them with disparaging looks (I’m guilty of that on ocassion), why would they stick around to learn more? Also we are very traditional, I receive in my mouth and try and do live a Christian life inside and outside of church. I also like to hold hands during the ‘our father’ and do believe is one of the few things to be kept from Vatican II. It’s a great thing to clasp hands with your little ones and close our eyes in prayer. We have lost a lot of reverence, true. But are we to be Pharisees in that we will love the law more than we love God and each other?
    Let’s be judicious and stand behind our faith with love and charity. Let us be loving and guide through our living, not our judgement. Teach by example. Remain meek, because the devil loves pride and sitting in a pew full of pride and rejection will deliver you to the devil wrapped up in bows. ‘The road to Hell is paved with the bones of priests and monks, and the skulls of bishops are the lamp posts that light the path.” St. John Chrysostom.

  57. As a cradle, devout Catholic married to an Evangelical who regularly attends mass with me, I find most of these “etiquette rules” contrary to the Catholic mission of bringing people back to church. I regularly kiss and hug my wife and children during mass, and even had a priest commend us “for loving one another…EVEN during mass.” God wants us to BOTH, yes simultaneously, to glorify Him and love one another.
    Pope Francis has made it quite clear that he’s tired of sourpusses discouraging others from feeling wecome at the altar of God. Stop with the disapproving looks. Stop lecturing teens because they make the sign of the cross with their left hand occasionally. Stop concentrating so much on peoples’ wardrobes. Stop. Stop. Stop!

  58. I have a few questions about the rosary and other things like divine mercy devotion. Please give a detailed answer for all questions
    1. Why do Catholics stress praying the rosary like the rosary is god.
    2. Can praying the rosary help one overcome temptation, if so how? Jesus said “My power is made perfect in weakness” not “My power is made perfect in the rosary” all power is in the name of Jesus. How does praying the rosary help? And how come the Saints like Saint Pio, recommend it?
    3. What does it mean to contemplate the mysteries of Mary while praying the rosary.
    4. What does it mean to devote yourself to the Sacred Heart Of Jesus. Not meaning to be rude, but how is it possible to devote yourself to an object? Although its very precious, how is it possible to say Sacred Heart Of Jesus Pray For Me. Explain what this devotion means. Will you see Jesus and His Sacred Heart like Mary Margret Alacoque. Do people suffer while doing this devotion??? Is this only done
    5. Also, explain what it means to devote yourself to the Immaculate Heart Of Mary, What does one do during this devotion? Will you see her while doing the devotion
    6. Divine Mercy Devotion question: What is it? Is this devotion only practiced by priests, or can anyone do it. What does the repetition of praying the chaplet mean. I hear people saying, contemplate the mysteries, what does this mean?? When saying the chaplet, do i just say it like the way i pray when i ask for something, Or is there something i need to think about(IS there something specific that needs to be in my mind..??
    Detailed as possible please.
    Thanks a lot 🙂

    • Hi Isaac. I don’t know the answers to all of your questions, but I do know that when I have questions like this, I go to a priest or religious sister I respect and trust. I suggest you do the same. I hope you find what you’re seeking.

      • Paula, I may be wrong but the way you worded your questions sounds more confrontational than inquisitive. You can google the answers or see a priest as previously suggested.

  59. The Mass is over when it is announced that it is over; there is NO quibbling about when that happens, it is obvious. The presence of a presider is not an indicator that the Eucharistic Liturgy is continuing. Reverence is a beautiful thing but we overdo it to the point that claims become ridiculous.

  60. I’d like to know what Catholic churches pretty much demand that we receive Communion in our hands. When my cousin received First Holy Communion, she went up to the priest to receive on her tongue, and he wouldn’t give it to her until she put her hands out. I thought out of respect for the Body of Christ, receiving on the tongue would be more appreciated.

  61. Wow. I’m a protestant. If I were open to visiting a Catholic church before I wouldn’t be after reading this page. You people and your faith are different. Very different. I’d be more detailed but I’m sure many would take offense, and that is not my intent.
    For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God,
    Not of works, lest any man should boast himself.
    Ephesians 2:8-9
    Grace. Faith. Gift.
    It is finished.

    • Hi Steve, I am Catholic, and I agree with you, somewhat. Peoples unreasonable expectations are not what makes the Catholic Faith so special. I am amazed how many Catholics don’t know anything about their faith. I’ve had a parishoner tell me something our pastor said during a homily that I knew was in fact not what he said. People get a bug up their butt, and don’t care who they defame. As I said, whining people are not the Catholic Church. Oh, and the Catholic Church does teach that we are saved by Grace. God’s love is freely given. We are saved by Grace, justified by faith, and redeemed by works…works does not mean “buying our way into heaven.” Matthew 25:31-46 explains works beautify.

  62. In the summer time, I have seen young girls 14-18 years of age wear short shorts and tank tops to church, I feel it is inappropriate to wear to church. Same with a woman which I do not see often wear short shorts as well. Also some do wear low neck shirt and other inappropriate top to church. When I was younger, my mother made all of my sisters to wear dress or skirt with appropriate top. I feel the parish priest should addressed to all and tell them to wear appropriate clothing because we are entering the house of God.

    • You are so right Silvia. It drives me nuts, for the lack of reverence, when the youth come to church dresses in gym shorts and a tee shirt, looking like they slept in them and just rolled out of bed. There was a time when “you wore your Sunday best”, because it was a sign of reverence to God and the Holy Sanctuary you are in.

  63. A missionary priest at my Polish Parish made a comment about crossing legs during mass for women mostly, but some men also cross their legs. Although this seems like such a small, unimportant thing I would have to agree that it is a no-no during mass. Let us all remember we are reliving the crucifixion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Imagine sitting at the foot of his cross with your legs crossed like you’re watching a movie or something…i just wanted to share! God bless

  64. I presume I was brought up in a seperate atmosphere where it was imbibed in us to be at church at least half an hour before to pray for all the deceased and also for the needs of the others. We also had to say our morning prayers. I was an altar boy so just loved the going early part so that I could serve mass and later on when I grew up I worked free for the church in whatever was to be done or organised as that was the attachment we had in those days to work for the Lord. All thanks to my parents for instilling the faith, confidence and guiding us 8 kids in the right direction. We did have to go for confession every saturday,attend sunday school, say the family prayers together every night and pray for all the needs of others also. Growing up also made me a Lectern. Fasting an hour before church, on fridays also was something we did follow meticulously.
    Basically I feel it is within a person to realise that it is only between God and himself/herself on the amount of reverence and sanctity that must be accorded in church/outside to God who sent his son to atone for our sins even before we were born. I do agree that all distractions should be kept aside for the duration of worship whether it is in church or any other place where worship is going on to help concentrate on what is being spoken and try to absorb and implement it in our daily lives.
    Thanks to my parents who are long gone for teaching us all these things. Bless them.

  65. If you can come 15 or 29 minutes before the movie start in your favorite theater and leave when the movie shows ” The End” at the end of the shows. We can do much better at the end of the Mass.

  66. Actual participation is NOT THE SAME as “active participation” One does not need to be jumping up and down or screaming out the prayers or hymns to be participating in actuality. It’s perfectly acceptable to participate “actually” by listening for the Holy Spirit. This is a misunderstanding of the Second Vatican Council

  67. Whew, that was a lot of comments to scan through! I did have one comment about genuflecting: This will vary from parish to parish, because not every church has the Tabernacle in the Nave. Ours is in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, so we do not genuflect before sitting in the pew or when leaving. However if we come down the main aisle to get to our seat, we do bow before the altar and crucifix.

    • Thanks Ellen,
      I was hoping to read somewhere about genuflecting before the tabernacle, and bowing when passing the altar and crucifix . . .
      I even tip my hat when walking in front of our church, and make the sign of the cross when driving past Catholic Churches

  68. Here in the Philippines, parents take their children along with them to mass and most of the time they just allow them to roam around creating hooliganism around the church.

  69. There are things that really shouldn’t shock me anymore; things like the mad rush at the end of Mass; the reception of the Body and Blood of Christ: really have we lost that sense of reverence and awe : The sign of Peace it is not a time to renew friendships but a time to thank Him and our neighbor for the gift of His Peace…”the peace of CHRIST be with you….”

  70. after reading all of these comments i am truly glad Jesus has mercy on me, a sinner. So much debate, how about we just love God and love one another…

  71. I cant believe we are being reminded of this, such simple things. I question what changes to our church let this become a factor. It used to be as original as a baby crying to all sorts of other signs of disrespect. From people that are obviously, spiritually immature.

  72. Never walk into church late and if you are late, never walk in during the reading of the gospel. Allow the priest to read the gospel first. Stand in reverence before proceeding to disturb others to move so you can squeeze into the pew to sit. You distract others who are paying keen attention to the gospel reading and are disrespecting the word.

  73. Please people should understand that it is unacceptable to leave right after they took communion. They leave the church still chewing on Jesus. He isn’t a to go meal.

  74. I use my phone in church in conjunction with my imissal app. Don’t agree with the no phone rule unless you modify the rule to allow reading the missal along with the lector. We have a lot of priests from other countries and it is hard to understand the Gospel because their accents are heavy.

  75. As a former RC priest now independent Catholic Bishop, I have come to see that maybe we don’t know half of what goes on with our neighbors in the pew, may be just maybe they are indeed giving their all at Eucharist. The leaving early arriving late…don’t know what may go on…they may be doing all they can…the attire, maybe that is their best clothes…pda, if it’s ok for husband to kiss wife, the younger ones learn by example…
    I’d rather see you at Eucharist part of the way than not at all…

  76. I would add that the Canon 919 says “A person who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before holy communion from any food and drink, except for only water and medicine.”
    The Fast is not just form food but also liquids besides water.

  77. I got one, when people who haven’t been to church for some time don’t stear like they don’t belong,for example what or why they came to church, eather smile at them or keep praying. DON’T MAKE THEM FEEL OUT OF PLACE OR UNWELCOME!

    • For a number of years I had to take a cup of water into Mass with me and was embarrassed about it because it was a close community and I was known to carry coffee/tea with me about everywhere. Making it worse, we sat in the first row for a couple of reasons: our children were Altar Servers young enough to sometimes need hand signals (we found out later that the Priest thought we were Air Traffic Controllers) and I was a Lector. The water was because I had damaged my vocal cords and would cough uncontrollably if I didn’t sip water every now and then. The condition was exasperated by singing – although I am a terrible singer, it is hard to refrain from singing during Mass.

    • I used to wonder but I don’t know that we should judge. My last pastor, in his final years, always took a cup of water to drink when he was sitting. Irreverent? Not as bad I think as wearing shorts or spaghetti straps to church. Moreover, he was fighting cancer, and who knows what the side effects of all those awful treatments included. Then there’s small churches where a priest may have to do the entire Easter Triduum–from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday–by himself. Easter Vigil is sooo long and he had Laryngitis for days afterwards. I don’t see why he shouldn’t have drunk water–though he never did.

  78. Actually, I heard a Jesuit priest say that the Mass officially ends when everyone says “Thanks be to God” –after the priest presider has said “(Tha mass has ended) Go in peace…”
    — seems that this depends on who you ask…
    PLUS: The mass is not the only place to reflect and listen to God, spending some time with Him in an adoration chapel (for the Blessed Sacrament) is also a good place — if not even better.

    • Hello,
      How exactly do you answer a question for the priest to answer it on this website??
      Guide me through it please
      Thank you,

  79. I really can’t believe how critical most of the comments have been. I know it really makes me want to go to your church.

  80. Hello,
    How exactly do you answer a question for the priest to answer it on this website??
    Guide me through it please
    Thank you,

  81. I do not see anything posted that relates to a personal problem that I have encountered in the last year. When my husband was very sick and dying, we called the priest of our parish, left messages, no reply, no return call, no visit … nothing. The actions or lack of turned my children away from the church, and also stopped a daughter-in-law who was about to join Catholic faith from becoming Catholic. Some of my children have left the church, some have turned to another parish because of this priest’s action. It wasnt as if he was on vacation, he had been on vacation 2 weeks before this, so at this time he should have been available. We were asking for a visit and for last rites blessings.Also it set a really bad example for others … Neighboring ministers of other faiths saw this attitude/behavior as rude and uncaring, and disrespectful. We were invited to come to their church, they didn’t treat people this way. I and some of the other members of my family also wrote a letter to the bishop, and he did respond but seemed to not understand, or possibly did not believe that this happened. The priest who should have been attending the funeral did not, we had to call another priest from another parish to come for last rites and also the funeral service. Now this was or a person who volunteered his time at the parish picnics, and in church every Sunday and anytime needed, He was an usher most every week, he was an active catholic, he was a tything catholic, helped with building anything they needed, but when he was down, …. Extremely a downer. Turned many people away from the Catholic Faith, and this should never have happened. The priest is still in the same parish, still spending parishioners $ before he has it, then tells us what we “owe”, refuses to stay within a budget, even though we have to, … He should not be a priest. He is self centered and uncaring.

    • I am so sorry this happened to you and your family. It should never happen like this. But I have to ask the question: Are/were you actually registered at this parish? I know it sounds legalistic, but this happens constantly. Many people, even entire families, attend a local church (parish) – maybe the closest, maybe not; one that their postal address defines as ‘their’ parish or not – but never give the parish office there demographic information or anything. They don’t officially ‘register’. They come as often as they like, and often contribute when the basket comes around, but they just use cash, and do not use envelopes. In these cases there is no way for a pastor (much less the bishop of the diocese) to even know that they exist. And, if you’re calling about a parishioner who is sick in the hospital (in a larger city), and that hospital is located in another parish, maybe even 2 or 3 parishes away, the closest parish priest has that hospital on their list to visit Catholics. And Catholics need to let those hospitals know that they are Catholic so the hospital can call the priest on call. This could be a reason why you didn’t get a response. If you ARE a registered parishioner, then there is no excuse possible!

      • @Steve Collins, while I agree with you in concept, she clearly states that he is an Usher there, and helps about the Church all the time. This would tell me that he is registered there, or at least known there. That aside, while what you say is technically correct and if the family was not registered and known there, the Priest should still have called and pointed them in the right direction.

  82. Human instituted policies eg administrative for registering names are lowly subordinate to God’s will.
    To ignore someone seeking God is as bad as the Pharisees preventing people from believing the works of God the Father through Jesus.
    The beauty of God is that he loves both sinners & saints. To the saints, He has promised His kingdom. But to the sinners He awaits their return to Him like the prodigal son.
    To Cecilia, take comfort that you sought God & He promised you will find Him. But do not judge the act or acts of anyone in the Catholic Church as the act of the entire church. The sinners are abound, they can be even in the most unexpected places. Imagine Judas Iscariot.
    To the priest & the Bishop, they need to revisit the basics of God’s teachings especially those revealed to us through His Son our Lord Jesus.
    Peace to all!

  83. Nothing is more distracting than to see girls/ladies in church/at mass playing with their pony tails, undoing them or vice-versa. Why can’t they tidy up their hair before coming to church?

  84. We are only to focus on the Holy Eucharist, not even praying the Rosary while the Mass is going on is allowed.

  85. Regarding leaving Mass early: I recall once, after a number of people left the church early, right before communion I believe, the priest turned to the congregation and announced, “I would like the people who just left to know that they just missed Mass!”

  86. I know in my heart that our Almighty God, Lord Jesus will always forgive all the mistakes we’ve made before, during, and after the mass. If our Lord will forgive them, who am I not to? There’s one thing my dear departed mother told me once; To always go straight home from church, before going anywhere else, leaving to everyone a good reason why?

  87. A couple of things to add:
    1. When someone else tries to enter the pew where you’re sitting, MOVE OVER for them! Don’t force them to clamber over you so that you can stay at the end of the pew unless you have some part in the Mass that will require getting in and out of the pew during it, or unless you have a small child with you that you may need to remove in a hurry.
    2. As you exit the pew after Mass, leave room in the aisle for those who’ll be exiting after you and genuflecting beside the pew. You don’t want to occupy so much of the aisle that they end up genuflecting to YOU.

  88. Reserve the orans posture for the priest. The customary position for praying is head bowed and hands folded.

  89. Don’t trim your nails in church. True story, once I heard clicking behind me, it was someone trimming their nails.

  90. I’m curious as to why instead of working with the original author of this work, getting his permission and perhaps compensating him for his work, you chose to rewrite it instead. The original version of this post was much better.