Mass Etiquette

Etiquette at Mass

Small Courtesies Can Have a BIG IMPACT!

Taking a Seat – Please, consider moving toward the center of the pew.  This helps everyone to find a seat with the least amount of disruption to others.

Cell Phone – Please, turn off or silent your cell phones and /or pagers before entering the Church.

Leaving During Mass – If you must leave before Mass is over, leave through the doors at the south end of the Church.  The doors that are considered in the back of the Church (Doors by Route 60).

Parking – Be considerate to others. Do not park in such a way that you are blocking someone else in.

Feeling Ill – If you are feeling ill and coughing or sneezing, please refrain from shaking hands.

Dressing For Mass – When we are invited to a wedding many of us wonder, “What am I going to wear?” We wouldn’t think of showing up at a wedding or another formal event in our gym clothes. How many of us search for just the right outfit to wear to our annual coffee party or on a date? Compare that to how much thought we put into what we wear to Mass on Sunday. How we dress for and occasion indicates the importance that we place upon that particular celebration.  At Mass, we encountered God through the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Dressing appropriately for Mass is one way that we show respect, both for God and for our faith family. This respect is important at all Masses-no matter what time of day or night.

Attending 4 pm. Vigil Mass – Those attending the 4 p.m. vigil service please enter through the back and observe respectful silence if a wedding or funeral service is in progress. Wait until the parties have left and then move to the available seats.

Reverence – When you enter a Church, you should bless (cross) yourself with Holy Water to remind yourself of your baptism and the fact that you are entering a sanctified place. If the tabernacle is visible (i.e. hasn’t been placed in a separate room ), look for the red lamp near it. If it is lit, that means the Jesus is present in the tabernacle. If not, the tabernacle is empty and no genuflection is necessary. If the Blessed Sacrament is present, and if you are just going to walk around the church but not sit down (i.e.: you are there to do the stations of the cross), you should genuflect on one knee when passing directly in front of the altar.  If you are going to be working right in front of the altar for an extended period of time (i.e.: you’re arranging flowers, etc.), once is enough.If you are going to sit in a pew, genuflect on one knee before entering and leaving. It is optional to cross yourself while genuflecting.  For those unable to genuflect a simple bow at the waist is called for. When the Blessed Sacrament is exposed as in Benediction or Adoration, a genuflection on both knees is required. Do not try to bend both knees at once: go down on one knee, then the other, then back up the same way. During Mass, a simple bow from the waist is required in the reciting of the Creed during the words “by the power of the Holy Spirit, he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man” (this is to honor the chief mystery of our Faith, the Incarnation). It is also traditional to bow the head slightly at the name of Jesus during prayer, especially at Mass. Also, right before the Gospel reading is proclaimed, we make a small cross on our foreheads, lips, and breast so the Gospel may be in our minds, words, and hearts. Many people cross themselves after the Confietor (““I confess, to Almighty God…” or “Lord, have mercy…”), though this is a traditional practice, it is not required. 

The celebration of Mass is always the holy occasion and, thus should be treated in the most holy manner – in body, mind, and spirit.