12 Things Every Catholic Should Know about Mass Etiquette

For all believers, the Church represents the largest Christian community or institution where people from all over the world gather and, in this way, express their respect and love for Jesus Christ. Today there are many churches in the world where believers find their spiritual peace and tranquility in which they feel comfortable.

People come to church institutions for various reasons, but whether you are a true believer or come to visit as a tourist, it is necessary to know the etiquette of behavior in the Church and church institutions.

Every believer should know the basic rules of conduct in the church. Some of these rules are written in the holy books, and others are unwritten. However, we should adhere to them equally. To benefit as much as possible from the Holy Mass, you must change the rules of good conduct, as well as the liturgical rules set by the church. For many people who have not acquired a proper religious education, attending church may not be that easy. Anyone can attend a Catholic Mass, but several aspects need to be clarified that ordinary observers may not understand well.

1. Entering the church

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Whether you are coming to a ceremony or a Mass, entering the church should be calm, quiet, and easy. The church is an institution where believers come in search of peace, indulge in prayer, and communion with God. It is necessary to open the door slightly, cross yourself with holy water and enter inside with light steps.

2. Come a few minutes early

Sunday is a day dedicated to God. Always arrive at Mass a few minutes early so as not to disturb other believers and priests with your delay. Arriving a few minutes earlier you will have enough time to pray in silence and better prepare for Mass.

3. Turn off your cell phone

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Using the telephone in any way is inappropriate in the church. If you are expecting an important call, turn on the vibrating alert and go outside before answering the call.

4. Loud talking and laughing

We have already said that one enters the church in silence, with a light step. If you have something to do, you’d rather leave the Church than have all believers listen to your conversations and laughter with others. This is nothing new, this is the behavior that is expected of every person in any institution or large institution.

5. Do not eat or drink before Mass

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If you want to receive Holy Communion, do not consume food and drinks at least one hour in advance. Of course, if you have the prescribed therapy and you have to take the medication at a certain time, don’t worry, it is allowed.

6. Holy Communion

Those who take communion decide for themselves whether they want to take communion by hand or by mouth. It is up to the believer to decide whether he wants to receive communion standing or kneeling. If they decide firstly then the left hand is placed on the right so that it forms a cross. When the communicant puts the Blessed Sacrament on his hands, the communicant takes it with his lower (right) hand and immediately puts it in his mouth. It is strictly forbidden to leave the communion procession and not to eat the Blessed Sacrament. Every believer is obliged to warn the priest of a person who has not eaten the Blessed Sacrament.

7. Prayer words and songs

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Prayers and songs during the service are not just formal utterances of a text or melody, but have their true and deep meaning; they help us in spiritual self-awareness, change ourselves and our communities with our neighbors and with the Lord. That is why it is important to listen to all the words, even when they seem incomprehensible at the beginning. In time, with God’s help, but also our own work through reading spiritual literature, conversations with the clergyman, and regular visits to services, we begin to realize the importance of all sacred activities in the Church, as well as words and songs. They become an integral part and backbone of our lives, actions, understandings, opinions, and feelings.

8. Dress decently

Catholics believe that God descends from heaven during every Mass. Then why not dress up nicely for the occasion? Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to put on a lot of makeup and wear a tight sequined dress and high-heeled shoes, but to dress decently and nicely. A fluttery knee-length dress is perfect for these occasions. And of course, forget about a deep cleavage!

9. No hats and caps

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Men, young men, and boys are not allowed for cultural reasons to wear any headgear inside the church and all major social spaces. This applies to all kinds of hats, caps, scarves, and similar things. This rule does not apply only to male infants. The cover is removed from the head by entering the lobby.

10. Do not stand too close to the confessional

A confessional is a place where a person in the strictest confidence confides his secrets to a priest. By talking to him, she seeks the way to salvation. Since it is a confessional secret, respect the privacy of the person inside. Even if you happen to hear what she was talking about, keep it to yourself because spreading what you hear is a mortal sin.

11. Respect the priests

Priests are considered mediators between man and God. In the most frequent contact with the people are the priests who serve at the churches and perform the necessary religious rites for their parishioners. Such a priest is a parish priest, and the people are his parishioners. You should never address a priest by name, but by “Father.”

12. Exit the temple

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At the exit from the temple, Catholics approach a vessel with water, put their fingers in it, and baptize, which is a symbol of baptism itself. Then take a light step towards the exit.

Final thoughts

What is important to note is that, in addition to these established rules of conduct, there is one more thing, if not the most important, and that is to be true believers, those who forgive and help others without asking for anything in return, who sincerely believe in the power of prayer, and who come to church because they feel a need, not an obligation. Only then can you say that you respect the church as an institution. If you are new in town and still don’t know which parish you belong to, you can check on this website.