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.
Presence of God – O Jesus, reveal to me the infinite treasures of mercy contained in Your Heart.
“Today’s liturgy is a warm invitation to confidence in the merciful love of Jesus. Even from the beginning of Mass, the Church has us pray thus: “Look toward me and have pity on me, O Lord, for I am desolate and unhappy. See my misery and my sadness, and pardon all my sins” (Introit); then in the Collect we add: “O God… pour out upon us Your mercy,” and a little later we are exhorted: “Cast your care upon the Lord, and He will support you” (Gradual). But how can we justify all this confidence in God since we are always poor sinners? Because we have confidence in Jesus’ infinite mercy and forgiveness of sins.
“I say to you, that even so there will be joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety-nine just who have no need of repentance.” It is not easy for finite creatures with a limited spiritual outlook to understand this ineffable mystery completely; not only is it difficult to understand in respect to
others, but it presents a problem even in what concerns ourselves. However, Jesus said and repeated: “There will be joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety-nine just” thus giving us to understand what great glory a soul gives to God when, after many falls, it comes back to Him, repentant and confident.
“O Jesus, I know that Your Heart is more grieved by the thousand little imperfections of Your friends than by the faults, even grave, which Your enemies commit. Yet it seems to me, that it is only when those who are Your own are habitually guilty of thoughtlessness and neglect to seek Your pardon, that You can say: “These wounds which you see in the midst of My hands I have received in the house of those who love Me.” But Your Heart thrills with joy when You have to deal with all those who truly love, and who after each little fault come to fling themselves into Your arms, imploring forgiveness”.
(cf. T.C.J. L-C) --Divine Intimacy
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown will join other dioceses in the United States in launching a Eucharistic Revival on June 19th – the Solemnity of the Corpus Christi – the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
The Eucharistic Revival is a three year movement in the Catholic Church in America that aims to increase every Catholic’s understanding of and devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
It comes at a time when, according to polling, most self-described Catholics say they do not believe that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ during Mass. In other words, they do not believe that Jesus is truly present in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and they consider the bread and wine as symbols.
The mission of the Eucharistic revival is to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord in the Eucharist.
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown will mark the launch with special observances in Loretto on June 19th. The faithful are invited to Eucharistic Adoration inside the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel from 3:00-6:30pm. During those hours, various priests will be available to hear Confessions. At 7:00pm, Bishop Mark Bartchak will celebrate a special outdoor Mass at the Our Lady of the Alleghenies Shrine, next to the Basilica. Those who attend the Mass are asked to bring their own lawn chair. After the Mass, a solemn Eucharistic procession will occur around the grounds of the Shrine. The faithful are invited to join in the procession if they are physically able.
The diocese is especially encouraging children who received their First Holy Communion earlier this spring and their families to attend this special celebration. The children may dress in their First Holy Communion attire.
From the launch on June 19th, 2022, through June 11th, 2023, the first phase of the movement will focus on diocesan revival. The second phase, from June 11th, 2023, through July 17th, 2024, will foster Eucharistic
devotion at the parish level, strengthening liturgical life.
A national Eucharistic Congress will convene July 17th-21st, 2024, in Indianapolis. At this historic event, Catholics will gather to reconsecrate their hearts to the Source and Summit of the faith. At the conclusion of the Congress on July 21st, 2024, through the Solemnity of Pentecost 2025, the year will be dedicated to going out in mission to share the gift of our Eucharistic Lord.
“From Advent until today, the Church has had us consider the magnificent manifestations of God’s mercy toward men; the Incarnation, the Redemption, Pentecost. Now she directs our attention to the source of these gifts, the most Holy Trinity, from whom everything proceeds. Spontaneously, there rises to our lips the hymn of gratitude expressed in the Introit of the Mass: “Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity; we will give glory to Him, because He has shown His mercy to us”: the mercy of God the Father, who so loved the world that He gave it His only-begotten Son” (cf. Jn 3:16); the mercy of God the Son, who to redeem us became incarnate and died on the Cross; the mercy of the Holy Spirit. who deigned to come down into our hearts to communicate to us the charity of God and to make us participate in the divine life.
“Today’s feast draws us to praise and glorify the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, not only because of the great mercy They have shown to men, but also and especially in Themselves and for Themselves: first, by reason of Their supreme essence which had no beginning and will never have an end; next, because of Their infinite perfections, Their majesty, essential beauty & goodness. Equally worthy of our adoration is the sublime fruitfulness of life by which the Father continually generates the Word, while from the Father and the Word proceeds the Holy Spirit. The Father is not prior to or superior to the Word; nor are the Father and the Word prior to or greater than the Holy Spirit. The three divine Persons are all coeternal and equal among Themselves.
“You are the supreme and infinite Good, good above all good; good which is joyful, incomprehensible, inestimable; beauty exceeding all other beauty; wisdom surpassing all wisdom, because You are Wisdom itself.
(St. Catherine of Siena)
Pentecost is the Plenitude of God's Gift to Men
On Christmas Day, God gives us His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus, the Mediator, the Bridge connecting humanity and divinity. During Holy Week, Jesus, by His Passion, gives Himself entirely for us, even to death on a Cross. He bathes us, purifying and sanctifying us in His Blood. At Easter, Christ rises, and His resurrection, as well as His Ascension, is the pledge of our own glorifica-tion. He goes before us to His Father’s house to prepare a place for us, for in Him and with Him, we have become a part of the divine Family; we have become children of God, destined for eternal beatitude. But the gift of God to men does not end there; having ascended into heaven, Jesus, in union with the Father, sends us His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. The Father and the Holy Spirit loved us to the point of giving us the Word in the Incarnation; the Father and the Word so loved us as to give us the Holy Spirit. Thus, the three Persons of the Trinity give Themselves to man. -Divine Intimacy
“O Holy Spirit, substantial Love of the Father and the Son, uncreated Love dwelling in the souls of the just, come down upon me like a new Pentecost and bring me an abundance of Your gifts, of Your fruits, and of Your grace; unite Yourself to me as the most sweet Spouse of my soul.
“Come, O life-giving Spirit, to this poor world and renew the face of the earth; preside over new organizations and give us Your peace, that peace which the world cannot give. Help Your Church, give her holy priests and fervent apostles. Fill with holy inspirations the souls of the good; give calm compunction to sinful souls, consoling refresh-ment to the suffering, strength and help to those who are tempted, and light to those in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Sr. Carmela of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.)
PARTICIPATING IN HOLY MASS - PRESENCE OF GOD
O Jesus immolated at every moment of the day on our altars, let me share in Your Sacrifice.
“The Encyclical Mediator Dei (Pius XII) exhorts all the faithful to “participate in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, not passively, carelessly, and with distractions, but with such ardor and fervor that we shall be closely associated with the High Priest.” It is not enough to be present at Mass; we must take part, “participate” in it. In Holy Mass, Jesus continues to sacrifice Himself for us, and to offer Himself to His Father, in order to obtain divine blessings for us. It is true that Jesus offers Himself through the ministry of the priest, but the priest makes the offering in the name of all the faithful, and they, in union with him - as the words of the Canon indicate: “for whom we offer, or who offer up to You this sacrifice of praise.” This means that the faithful also are invited to offer the divine Victim with the priest. Mediator Dei states it thus: “to unite their intentions of praise, petition, expiation, and thanksgiving with those of the priest, or better, the Sovereign Priest Himself.”
“Jesus sacrificed Himself alone on Calvary for our salvation, but on the altar, He wishes to associate us with His immolation; for, if the Head is sacrificed, the members must be sacrificed also. Let a poor creature offer in expiation to God his sacrifice and even his life. What value could this have? None, because we are nothing. But if this offering is united to Jesus’ offering, then it becomes, with Him, by Him, and in Him, an acceptable sacrifice to God the Father. What strength and generosity the soul will draw from this living, constant participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!
“O my Savior, in union with the offering and the sacrifice of Yourself which You made to the Father and in His honor, I offer myself to you to be a bloody victim of Your will, a victim immolated for Your glory and that of Your Father. Unite me to Yourself, O good Jesus, draw me into Your sacrifice, so that I may be sacrificed with You and by You. Consume me entirely in the sacred fire of Your divine love, and grant that hereafter my whole life may be a continual sacrifice of praise, glory, and love for Your Father and for You” (St. John Eudes).
Give me, O Lord, a better understanding of the value and meaning of Your Eucharistic Sacrifice.
“The heart of liturgical worship is the Mass. Just as the redemptive work of Jesus reached its culminating point on Calvary by His death on the Cross, so too, the liturgical action, which continues His work in the world, has its climax in the Mass, which renews and perpetuates on our altars the Sacrifice of the Cross. Jesus has willed that the precious fruits of redemption, which He merited on Calvary for the whole human race, be applied and transmitted to each of the faithful in a particular way by their participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. This fountain of grace which Jesus opened on Calvary continues to pour over our altars; all the faithful are obliged to approach it even daily, each time we are present at the Holy Sacrifice. Holy Mass is truly the “fountain of life.” By offering and immolating Himself continually on our altars, Jesus repeats to us, “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink: (Jn 7,37).
“The august Sacrifice of the Altar,” says the Encyclical Mediator Dei (Pius XII), “is not merely a commemoration of the Passion and death of Christ, but is a true and proper sacrifice, in which, by immolating Himself in an unbloody manner, the Great High Priest renews His previous act on the Cross.” The Victim is the same, so is the Priest; nothing but the manner of offering is different – bloody on the Cross, unbloody on the altar. If we do not see in the Mass, as Mary did on Calvary, the torn body of Christ and the Blood flowing from His wounds, we do have, by virtue of the Consecration, the real presence of this Body and Blood. Moreover, as this divine presence becomes actualized under two distinct species, the bloody death on Calvary is mystically renewed by the real separation of the Body and Blood of the Savior.
“What shall I render unto the Lord for all that He has rendered unto me? I will take the chalice of salvation. Yes, O my God, if I take this Chalice, crimsoned with the Blood of my Master, and in utterly joyous thanksgiving, mingle my blood with that of the sacred Victim, He will impart to it something of His own infinity, and it will give You, O Father, wonderful praise. O Jesus grant that I may become so identified with You that I may ceaselessly express You in the sight of Your Father. What were Your first words on entering the world? ‘Behold I come to do your will, O God!’ May this prayer be like the beating of my heart. You made a complete offering of Yourself to accomplish the will of the Father; grant that will may be my food, and at the same time, the sword which immolates me. Thus, peaceful and joyous, I shall go to meet all sacrifices with You, my adored Master, rejoicing to be known by the Father, since He crucifies me with His son” (cf. E.T. II, 7-14).
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Recently we’ve had an issue with Mass intentions and errors. First and foremost, let me assure you that every effort is made to ensure that you are accommodated with your mass intention requests in accordance with the current guidelines. Sue, our Office Manager, makes every effort to do the very best that she can to meet the request of each parishioner. As office manager, she is responsible for receiving and processing the requests. She then provides the list of Mass intentions to Deacon Gary and me to be announced at the Masses. Please understand that we are all human and mistakes while rare are possible.
In the event there is an error or issue I would ask for your patience and understanding. You should realize that no one wants to make a mistake or cause upset to you or your family. Should there be an issue or error, please contact the office and discuss it with Sue. She’s the one who can help you and can answer your questions. Father and Deacon Gary only go by what is provided to them and will most likely be unable to answer your questions. Discussion of issues or concerns related to questions or errors should not take place during the Mass. Our focus at Mass should always be on the Lord and not other extraneous issues.
Thank you for your time and cooperation.
God bless you,
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I want to thank each and every one of you for your kindness, patience, and understanding with me as we
continue to navigate the many firsts that come along with being a new priest.
This Easter season, beginning with Ash Wednesday up to and including the Easter weekend, being here with you to journey through Lent and now the Octave of Easter has been so very special to me. We always strive to have a beautiful liturgy for our Lord, and I think we were successful in that. Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way, your efforts and contributions of time and talents are greatly appreciated.
More importantly is our journey of faith. Together we have continued our quest in our desire to grow more in love and deeper in union with our Lord. Let us continue to make every effort in our quest of love and devotion to Jesus Christ.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank all of you who remembered me at Easter, with a card, gift or kind word. You are all important and a blessing to me. I hope and pray that I will be able to continue to move you in a direction that will bring you closer to God and enhance your lives through His grace and blessings.
May our Lord bless you this day and always!
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
HE IS RISEN!!! Indeed, He is risen!!
I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a most joyous and blessed Easter! I’m so thankful to be here with you and especially during this Eastertide. To be witness to your profound love and devotion to our Lord is a blessing to me!
Your witness in faith to God truly touches my heart. During the weeks of Lent, your participation and devotion have not gone unnoticed by me and I’m sure our Lord has rejoiced in your efforts and devotion to grow deeper in union and love with him.
As we have emersed ourselves in our journey together during this Lent and Holy Week I pray that has been extremely rewarding and filled with blessings and grace for all of you.
This journey reminds us of the miraculous gift that our Lord has given us through His passion, death, and resurrection. The promise of eternal life, the message of hope, the gift of the beautiful sacraments, especially that of reconciliation! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and within our grasp. All we need to do is live our lives according to His will. We must surrender to Him and have faith and trust in Him. And when we fall, (and we will fall because we are human) we need to confess our sins and our covenant is restored with God through contrition, repentance, and penance.
I pray that your Lenten journey and devotion will continue throughout the year and that you will benefit from many blessings and grace from God our Father.
May our Lord continue to bless you this day and always!
Father Mark Groeger is the Parish Administrator of Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.