CHURCH ETIQUETTE

We are guests in God’s house.

When people are guests in someone’s home, they try to practice their best manners and teach their children to do the same. This is important to consider when we are guests in God’s house.

It is easy to imagine how Jesus would behave in His Father’s house: He would dress and act appropriately; He would refrain from gossip; He would pay attention to God as a young child hangs onto his father’s every word; and, He would participate in what was going on and in the rituals and customs of the household. Are we following Jesus’ example when we come to Church?

Attire

The idea of “Sunday best” should be considered; churchgoers of all ages, male and female, should dress modestly and respectfully. Our clothing should not draw attention to our bodies, rather it should allow the presence of Christ that dwells in each one of us to shine through. Remember, we are going to visit and worship God, not preparing for an afternoon at the beach. Revealing or low-cut tops, short skirts or shorts or tight-fitting clothing? What do they say?

Arrival

Arrive at least 10 minutes before Mass begins. Those serving in liturgical ministries should arrive 20 minutes early and let the sacristan know you are present. Take this time to visit with your fellow parishioners in our beautiful Narthex.

Entering the Church

Bless yourself with the holy water upon entering the Church to recall your first entry into the Church at Baptism. Out of respect for the Altar, the holy table of Christ’s sacrifice, genuflect or bow before taking your seat. Slide over to the center of the pew to accommodate others who arrive after you. In the colder months, be mindful of your coats and other belongings that might be taking space from others. Latecomers should wait to be seated by ushers so as not to disrupt the service and the congregation.

 

PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS IS THE TIME TO TURN OFF
CELL PHONES, PAGER AND OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES.

Quiet Time

Although Christ is present in each one of us, and we want to share what has transpired during the week, it is beneficial to take some quiet time when you arrive to visit privately with the Lord, and to prepare yourself to enter into the celebration of the Liturgy. You may also choose to pray quietly in our Eucharistic Chapel before the Liturgy.

Posture

Respect for the Word of God and the Eucharist demands that we sit, kneel and stand at attention. Be careful not to drop or bang the kneelers, and remember to replace the hymnals quietly in their racks. If ill or disabled, it is acceptable to sit. Please note that our facility is handicap accessible, and there is a special section for those with disabilities near the 143rd Street entrance.

Sign of Peace

People usually shake hands or exchange a quick hug or kiss, but if you have a cold or cough, you can politely say, “Peace be with you,” without shaking hands.

Communion

The bishops of the United States have determined the common posture for receiving the Eucharist is standing. Receive the Holy Eucharist with reverence, bow slightly before receiving both the consecrated Body and the consecrated Blood of Christ, and respond “Amen” (which means “Yes, I believe”) each time. If receiving the host in your hand, place one hand over the other, making a throne for the Lord, and raise your arms slightly to receive. Place the host in your mouth immediately upon receiving it. If receiving on the tongue, fully extend your tongue. Gum or candy should never be in your mouth when taking the host.

Sign of the Cross

We begin our prayer in the name of the Blessed Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If you are visiting our Church, and have never made the sign of the cross, this is how it is done: touch your forehead with the tips of your three longest fingers on your right hand, then with the same fingers, touch the center of your chest, then your left shoulder and then your right shoulder (in that order). When finished, join your hands together with palms touching and with fingers pointing upward to God.

Leaving the Church

Please stay until the whole celebration is complete. You don’t want to miss anything! Join in singing the closing hymn…and carry the Peace of Christ with you into the parking lot!

ST. MICHAEL PARISH

St. Michael Parish is a gathering of Catholic people who believe in God's love for us, manifested by His Son Jesus. We commit ourselves to live an invitation of the Lord and struggle through fulfilling His mission here on earth.

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