Here Are 10 More Things You Have Been Doing Wrong at Mass

Here Are 10 More Things You Have Been  Doing Wrong at Mass

 

1. Standing up to process to receive Communion when you won’t be able to leave your pew for another 2 minutes

I don’t get it. Why do you do this? This is when we kneel in reverence; the standing and walking is strictly out of necessity. The procession should be sober. It shouldn’t look like a rush to reserve your spot in line. Hey, if you’re excited to receive the Lord, great, but how about some order and patience in the ranks, huh? Additional time in prayer wouldn’t hurt either.

2. Sitting down just because the priest sat down after Communion

Maybe you should be sitting down when the priest sits, but his sitting is not the reason for your sitting. The priest can sit whenever he wants (almost), but we don’t take cues from him. Nobody should sit until the Host has been returned to the tabernacle. If the tabernacle is not in view, then everyone ought to be waiting until the ciborium has left the sanctuary.

3.Saying the words of consecration (“This is my body…”)

Who are you? Because if you’re not a priest concelebrating the Mass, zip it, friend! At best, this is inappropriate and mildly scandalous; at worst, it could constitute simulation of a sacrament — obviously a very grave offense. The ministerial priesthood is absolutely distinct from the baptismal priesthood, and the laity have no business trying to blur the lines.

4. Not bowing before receiving Communion

Oh, you genuflect before receiving? That’s cool (no matter who might tell you otherwise). But nodding your head or, worse, doing nothing as you approach the Great High Priest, King of Kings, and Savior of All Mankind is, quite frankly, pretty messed up. Really, we can do better than that. Bow from the waist, and do it like you mean it. That is Jesus, Second Person of the Trinity, Christ before your eyes, show some respect.

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5. Reaching for the host or the chalice

Do you also sometimes talk about “taking Communion”? Yeah, no, not cool. Respect begins with the bow and continues with behavior that reflects your understanding that you are on the receiving end of this relationship. We take nothing from God, but we always receive from his benevolence. Believe me, if the priest had a third hand, he’d be using it to smack your grabby little paws away.

6. Receiving in the hand

I’m kidding! I’m kidding! No, the real offense would be to sneer at those who receive on the hand. The Church has told us that both are perfectly licit and dignified options. So, respect people regardless of how they receive; in that way you respect the Church.

7. Sneering at noisy children (or their parents)

My kids are noisy sometimes; it’s true. They’re all 4yo and under; I’d probably be concerned if they sat still and quiet for an hour. Given that kids are equal to adults, having every right (from baptism) to be present for the Mass, and given that folks who don’t have the responsibility of wrangling children during Mass and training them to be quiet are not so deserving of sympathy as the parents who do, might I suggest that you thank God for the little buggers and parents who actually care to train them in the faith.

8. Sitting all the way in back

Is there something I don’t know? Do I need an escape route planned? Please, move forward; join the community…unless, of course, you’re incredibly contagious. But why habitually sit 80 feet away from the nearest person? This is the Church, the One Body of Christ, let’s act like it.

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9. Holding hands at the Our Father

First off, this looks like it was born out of necessity by people standing next to one another in the Orans position, right? The people at the end of the chain have their un-held hand raised, do they not? Expecting or obliging the whole community to join hands is unacceptable because it has not been approved, but even small groups doing it is problematic and dissonant. It also emphasizes a horizontal perspective at a moment when we ought to be focused on the vertical. And it distracts from the true act of union, the reception of Holy Communion.

10. Relying on everyone else to know when to sit or stand

How long have you been Catholic? Neophytes are given a pass, but we should all know the moves by now. An uber-brief primer: Stand to pray, because that’s the posture of prayer from Temple worship. Kneel before the Eucharistic prayers and while waiting to receive Communion.

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10 Comments

  1. Surely the orans position is only a priestly position and should not be done and anyway it makes you look like a super modern prayer

    1. That’s right – ‘Prayer’ regardless it is super modern or radical – Jesus was radical! Plus the bishops and priests in the South Pacific encourage it – why? because we are one in unison before the father – we may not know or like each other, we may be foreign or different social economic backgrounds but holding hands and uplifting to give praise saying the Lord’s prayer should not be wrong. Be inclusive not exclusive, be Christ to others not a Pharisee

      1. The community is already praying together. That’s what mass is. We already pray in unison. Is that not enough than to have to physically chain ourselves together ?
        Sheesh

  2. Yeah, Nah! No 7, if you brought the children to church and they are under 5 years screaming, crying, running up and down the middle and onto the altar – dude you should have taught them that the mass is sacred, I agree they should not be sneered at but as a parent be considerate of the congregation and make a move, don’t expose your child to an elderly woman turning to sneer at you and your child – it’s an off put. No 9 Holding hands during the Our Father – really – Not sure if you heard Vatican Two is in play and it opens to different cultures who celebrate in unison or communal form of thanksgiving and one of those moves is holding hands and uplifting praise and glory to our Father. I am Catholic and Polynesian, I belong to a parish that is totally multicultural, the offer is there if you would like to hold my hand or not – I don’t mind if you don’t and praying together, feeling the Holy Spirit pour down on you and saying our Lords prayer with conviction – it’s not just turning up after the prayers of the faithful and catching communion and then pissing off after receiving it and missing out on the final blessing. Catechesis is a time when you where taught this from your parents, from your community Sunday School, only problem is the Western world have forgotten and it is the Ethnic communities who do carry on the reverence because we were colonised to understand that it is a Holy Time and this has been passed through generation to generation that’s why we have Ethnic communities to instill this reverence that you lack teaching your own nuclear family. I challenge you – go to an Ethnic community mass, or a first language mass and see how they praise the Lord, it’s like you stepped back in time when ceremony and action had its meaning, it’s reverence, its adoration – when you genuflect every time you leave the pew, you are not given a funny look, you bow, you pound your chest during the first prayer and lamb of God, you reflect on the singing of the psalm in silence, you lower yourself as if to kiss the floor when the Eucharist is consercrated, you holds hands as one people of God, brothers and sisters and recite his prayer with praise and glory, you kneel in receiving communion and use your hands to hold the cup and return to your seat to kneel until the ciborium has left the sanctury, at the final blessing from father, you kneel again to receive the blessing. So yeah nah to that one dude – you just need to teach your own kids, or volunteer to do childrens liturgy or start a Sunday school – or just go do some tertiary courses in your diocese that teaches Catholicism – you will be more enlightened rather than frustrated, angst and sarcastic which is not constructive, remember Jesus did not just come for the just but also for the sinners.

  3. As a child under 5 in the early sixties, spending time with one of my parents in the time-out enclosed, windowed pane room at the back of our parish taught me that silence was important in church. I was not offended. It taught me, even at this young age, that silence was reverence toward the altar and respect for those around me. Allowing one’s child a freedom toward boisterous behaviour allows them a permissible distraction to the actual presence of Christ, and a behaviour of disrespect for other parishioners around them who are present for Christ and who are there to focus on the mass alone There is behaviour in church that is unacceptable, even behaviour by children.

  4. I would like to add my 2 cents here:
    First off, this is just one person’s perspective of how, when and why things should be done at Mass.
    They changed a lot of things during Vatican II, when it all became somewhat Pentecostal and people would start holding hands in sharing of Our Dear Lord’s Prayer.
    No one said you had to do it or not. Your choice!
    As far as the noisy children goes, that’s up to the parents to have some respect for others around them, they didn’t go to Mass to be disturbed by your neglect to take care of your children.
    I think you left out some important ones go as far as reverence and respect and that is when someone has received Holy Communion and they are chopping or chewing it like it’s a piece of gum!
    This just blows my mind….
    Weren’t they ever taught to let it dissolve in their mouth?
    I totally believe in such REVERENCE IN MASS BUT IF THE PARENTS OR PRIESTS don’t do anything about it then all you can do is pray for them.
    Another goody you left out what was the chi chat before and during Mass as if they were at a Community Center or something!
    I guess as I get older Vatican I seems much more reverent and sacred.
    I know there are Churches that still have them but they are not in a good area of town. So I just try and do my best because when it all comes down to it, Our Lord will have the last say! Amen!!🙏🏻❤️

    P. S. I am just curious as to why and how you came to tell people what was right or wrong?

    Thank you and God Bless!!

    1. Hi Sally,

      Letting the host dissolve in your mouth is a “little ‘T’ Tradition” so it is not doctrinal.

      In John 6 the Greek word Our Lord uses for ‘eat’ (as in ‘eat My flesh’) translates literally to ‘chew’ or ‘gnaw’.

      We don’t have to chew or let the host dissolve. Both are fine. But I always chew because of the translation of the word Christ used.

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