ETIQUETTE for the HOLY SACRIFICE of the MASS
written by Rev. Paul D. Montminy
Please remember the two fundamental principles upon which our behavior and attitudes in church rest:
• Mass is a holy and sacred act! The church is a sacred space! It is the “Lord’s house” where we come to
worship God together.
• It is during the Mass when all the graces and merits of our Lord’s sacrifice are applied to our souls in a
If you keep these two principles in mind, all the following points of Mass etiquette will make perfect sense.
Please dress appropriately. We should dress for Mass as if a King had invited us to a wedding feast, for that is what Mass truly is. Jesus, our King, is the groom and we are his bride. Who would show up to a wedding improperly dressed? Therefore, we should wear our best for the Lord.
Please arrive to Mass punctually. It is a good idea to arrive at Mass on time in order to participate in the entire liturgy. After finding your seat, take the opportunity to review the Bible readings, prepare yourself in prayer, or reflect on what you wish to bring to Jesus during the Mass. Arriving on time is also respectful to other parishioners because it prevents distractions once Mass has begun.
Please turn off your devices. This includes cell phones, pagers, or anything else that rings, beeps, or buzzes.
Please do not bring any food, drink, or gum into the church.
Please reverently genuflect towards the tabernacle before sitting down. We do this to show respect to Jesus, our crucified King, who is present body, blood, soul and divinity in the hosts that are preserved in the tabernacle.
Please stay until the end of Mass. Mass ends when Father gives the final blessing then says, “The Mass is ended, go in peace” and we say: “Thanks be to God.” The final blessing is very powerful and will aid and protect you throughout the week. You are encouraged to stay and sing the final recessional hymn as well. Attending Mass in its entirety from beginning to end will give you a fuller, richer experience than leaving right away.
Please exit the church reverently and respectfully. Again, this is to show respect to other parishioners and our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. There is a custom where some people stay several minutes after Mass in thanksgiving for the Eucharist they have just received. You are encouraged to do the same.
Father Mark Groeger is the Parish Administrator of Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.