Getting the most out of Mass, pt. 2.
There exists simple Mass etiquette that will hands down, guarantee you get the most out of worship. Just like anything else in life, there is a way to doing things so to yield maximum results. Holy Mass is no different.
Going to Mass as a family can be a little overwhelming. The kids, the parking, pew selection. I get. I’m a mom to grown-up children. And that doesn’t really change as we get older. Squirmy kids grow into restless adults who zone out. So what can you do beginning today to get the most out of Mass?
Prep for Mass
- Do the scripture reading before hand. And make it a fun, family event with great cross-dialogue. You have my personal assurance that Mass will be more meaningful if you know what to expect. Of course, it can be difficult to concentrate on the Liturgy of the Word with all the usual distractions. Going to Mass prepared makes all the difference.
- Where do I go for my scripture reading? Last year, I purchased, “Every Sacred Sunday: Mass Journal.” I can honestly say that this was a total game-changer. I feel more organized. The entire experience is more meaningful!
- After I do the reading and write down my thoughts, I then open the free “Laudate” app on my Samsung. Select, “Daily Readings, Saint of the Day,” then go to “Daily readings and Reflection.” Really helps me understand how to apply ancient scripture reading to my current life.
Mass Etiquette Step 1: Before Mass Begins
- My general rule: arrive 30 minutes before Mass begins. Gives you a nice buffer time to get situated, thank God for the week’s blessings and catch-up on the news bulletin.
- Pew selection for parents: if you have small ones, first let me commend you on setting the tone with your little ones!! Begin by sitting at the very back so that they don’t become a distraction. This also allows you quick access to the hall and bathrooms. Ideally, you would want to sit in the quiet room; but, many churches do not have one (mine does not, unfortunately). Move up 5 rows for each birth year. Get them closer to the action as they’re old enough to understand what’s going on.
- My pew preference: row 2, middle section. Altogether, attending Mass is my favorite! It is such an honor to feel the presence of God. The closer I can get to the Holy Eucharist, the better. I literally tear up every time our Padre holds up the body of Christ.
Mass Etiquette Step 3: During Mass
- It’s not a social event. We are there for Him. Cell phones on mute. Similarly, lateral conversations can wait. And please, put the news bulletin away.
- Sing loud! Sing proud! In a word, God is tone deaf – thank goodness!! ?
- Follow along with the responses and prayers. Mass is a call to action – it’s a “back and forth”. Your voice is the consent. And I could go on and on. I’m taking Bishop Barron’s “The Mass” course” and am learning so much! I’ll review and share in a month or so when it’s done.
Mass Etiquette Step 3: After Mass
Mass ends after the priest or deacon says, “go in peace to love and serve the Lord” and not after Communion. To be perfectly honest, leaving Mass early creates a distraction and ultimately means you miss out on the final blessing and hymn. Now, if there is a specific need to do so, by all means – don’t worry, it’s not a mortal sin.
You May also Enjoy…
Catholic Mass Handbook: We don’t say that any more? – part 1 to this series on Catholic Mass.
Holiday Mass: Calling All Catholics – tips for attending Mass during the Holy Days of Obligation.
Every Sacred Sunday Mass Journal – an unbiased and unpaid review. In fact, this is one fabulous book that combines journaling with full mass readings for the this liturgical year.
In summary, I’m just a Catholic Mom trying to water down common Catholic misconceptions and sharing some tips&tricks along the way. Leave me your thoughts below. Of course, I love hearing from you!