Dear Friends in Christ:
I was recently at a friend’s house the other day for dinner. Others were invited as well. My friend was most generous in the invitation and the meal was incredible! But there were some guests (actually more than one or two) who came late, then there were some others who would not even smile or greet the others at the dinner. There was a couple who was so rude that they paid no attention while someone else was speaking. Another couple, as soon as they finished eating, got up and walked out the door before the end of meal without even thanking our kind host or saying good bye. Such behavior was insulting and hurtful not only to our most gracious host, but also to the others present.
You may know my friend, his name is Jesus. He invites us to his home every week for a most special meal that consists of the “bread of finest wheat” and for drink, we have “a cup of blessing”. If we know how to behave when going to the home of our earthly friends, shouldn’t we also behave and act respectfully when dining in God’s house? Where do people get the notion that it is OK (or no big deal) to be disrespectful and irreverent to God and others at church? Our actions in church reflect our reverence, honor and respect for God, his house and one another.
A few gentle reminders: Please…
Don’t be late. Arrive early and offer a prayer of intention for the Mass.
Don’t leave early. Stay until the Mass is completed (the end of the recessional song) and then stay for a moment and offer a prayer of thanksgiving.
Turn your cell phone off before you enter church. Never talk or text on your cell phone during Mass!
Be courteous in the pew. Don’t make people climb over you. Be considerate and scoot down the pew.
Smile and say hello. We are family. Get to know your brothers and sisters by name!
Remember to genuflect to the tabernacle when entering and exiting the pew and when passing in front of the tabernacle.
Always dress respectfully and appropriately when coming to church. Attire reflects our attitude.
Remember that babies cry. When they do, take them to the cry room (we also have a nursery). If it’s not your child, pray for the parents and be glad they are here! Never scowl at them!
Sing out loud, respond to the prayers, and pay attention to the readings and the homily.
Keep conversations in the church in a subdued voice so that others are not disturbed while praying (or visit and speak in the narthex or courtyard).
Be courteous in the parking lot! Don’t lose the graces of the Mass before you even leave the campus.
Let your gratitude to God for His blessings to you show in the collection.
Carry the graces of the Mass with you throughout the week.
Never miss Mass on Sundays or Holy Days.
Be a friend and do someone a favor, bring them to Mass!
In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately