10 Things To Do And Not To Do During The Holy Mass
- Fast before Mass. It is Church law that one fasts for at least 1 hour before receiving Holy Communion. Water and medicine can be consumed, of course. The purpose is to help us prepareto receive Jesus in the Eucharist.
- No Food and Drink in Church.The exceptions would be a drink for small children, water for the priest or choir (if discreet) and water for those who are ill. Bringing a snack into church is not appropriate, because we want to set the church apart as a place of prayer and reflection.
- Men take your hats off.It is impolite to wear a hat into a church for a man. While this is a cultural norm, it is one that we ought to follow closely. Just as we take off hats for the Pledge of Allegiance, we do so in church too; as a sign of respect.
- Don’t chew gum in church.It breaks your fast, it’s distracting, it is consider impolite in a formal setting, and it doesn’t help us pray better. Can you imagine the Pope popping gum in during Mass?
- Cross yourself with Holy Water on entering and leaving the church.This is a reminder of our Baptism, which made us members of Christ’s Church. Just try to remain mindful of what is happening when you do so and don’t do it without saying a prayer.
- Dress modestlyand appropriately. Wear your Sunday Best. As Catholics we believe that God comes down to meet us at every Mass. So, why would we not dress up?
- Show up at least a few minutes early. If for some reason you can’t be on time, then try to sit in the back so you don’t disturb others. Getting to Mass early allows you to pray and prepare yourself better for Mass.
- Cell phones should never be used in Mass for calls or texting. The exceptions are emergencies (big ones, not everyday ones) and if you do use one, please walk out of church to do so. Also, if you are using the phone for readings or prayers, this is appropriate, but try to be discreet.
- Don’t sit on the edge of the pew if you sit down before others. Rather, sit in the middle so others don’t have to climb over you. Furthermore – Gentlemen offer their seats to a any lady (elderly, disabled, etc) who must stand.
- When we enter and leave Church, genuflect toward the Tabernacle. Christ is present for our sake. By allowing our right knee to hit the floor, we acknowledge He is our Lord and God. If someone is physically unable to genuflect, then a bow is sufficient. During Mass, if you pass in front of the altar or tabernacle, bow reverently.