Mass and Communion Etiquette
It is important that we attend Mass often and especially on days of obligation. It is also important that we remember church is a place of worship and prayer when during Mass we are in the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
Keeping this in mind, it is important to try and be as respectful to Our Lord and others when we are in church and celebrating the sacraments.
Some helpful tips to remember:
Receiving Holy Communion:
- Arrive early and stay late. Use time to pray before and after Mass.
- Remember to fast from solid foods* one hour prior to Mass.
- (*This is not required of the elderly or ill. Medication and water are allowed.)
- Do not bring food or drink inside the Church and avoid chewing gum.
- (*Food and chewing gum are disrespectful and break a fast.)
- Dress modestly for Mass - see examples below.
Silence or turn off cell phones, pagers and other electronic devices.
- Accompany small children to the restroom.
- Be aware of those arriving after you and make room for others in your pew.
- Sing loudly and pray with all your heart!
Dress for Mass:
- All Catholics not in mortal (serious) sin and who have fasted for one hour are welcome to receive Holy Communion.
- Those who are non-Catholic or cannot receive may come up with their arms crossed on their chest to receive a blessing.
- Make a reverential bow as you step up to receive both the Body and Blood of Christ.
- Hold your clean hands chest-high and outstretched to receive the Eucharist or receive on your tongue.
- “Receive” Communion in an out-stretched hand. Do not “take” or “grab” from the minister.
- When receiving from the chalice, make sure you have a firm grip and the minister has firmly re-grasped it when you are done.
- If you are ill, please do not receive from the chalice.
- DO NOT dip the host into the chalice.
- When the minister says, “Body of Christ” or “Blood of Christ”, the response is a clear “Amen!” (which means “I believe!” or “So be it!”)
- Consume the host immediately. If you walk away with the host in your hand, the priest or extraordinary minister may come to make sure you consume the host.
Dress in your best, which should be clothing that never draws attention to yourself and is appropriate for being in the presence of God. Inappropriate dress can distract others and even cause sin in their thoughts, which is not why we are at Mass. Some examples of immodest or inappropriate attire that is unacceptable include:
There may be times when our only chance to celebrate Mass is perhaps after cleaning a flooded basement or some other physically demanding task. Please do not worry in such times. We should never let circumstances that are out of our control keep us away from receiving the sacraments. God knows what we have been through.
- Clothing that bares midriffs or cleavage
- Tight clothing that accentuates various body parts that are considered sacred
- Short skirts
- Sleeveless or tank tops
- Clothes that are dirty