I have recently converted my Faith to the Holy Church. I believe the teachings of the church (Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist, Confession, Infallability of the Church, Baptism ect…) So I consider myself Catholic. I recently made this decision. I have attended church all my life, but I am making my first Big step by going to my first Mass this Sunday. I don’t know anyone Catholic here, so I am going alone. I know that when entering the sactuary I dip my hands into the blessed water and make the sign of The Cross. I know the “basic responses”. What do I do during Communion, I know I can pray prayers of the Eucharist but can not yet recieve it because I have not been confirmed as of yet. I heard that you can go up and crost your hands over your heart, is that a common practice or should I just sit? As well as, do I kneel before the Alter up front and make the sign of the cross before I am seated at the beginning? Any help would be great, I am really excited in taking this step
All Praises be to God our Father, who through His Son Christ Jesus we may be saved. Blessed be the Virgin Mary and all of God’s Saints.Amen
Congratulations and welcome.
Good luck attending your first Mass.Follow what others do ie,standing,sitting etc.Get yourself a Mass book,either a “Simple Prayer Book” which has the order of the Mass/a Sunday Missal.(Hopefully your church has its own little shop which sells these things)After Mass talk to your priest and tell him your concerns.In the Uk it is usual to receive a blessing (with you arms crossed over your chest and head bowed) at Holy Commuion time,if you are not able to receive Our Bleesed Lord.My husband is not yet Catholic and receives a blessing each time.However speak to your priest after your first Mass before going up for a blessing as it may not be usual in your area! FYI Only a priest can give a blessing,not a eucharistic minister.Have a wonderful time at Mass.God bless
I am delighted you’re so enthusiastic and excited about going to your first celebration of the Holy Mass - you’re most welcome!
When you enter the church you may bless yourself with holy water - not the sanctuary as you said, which is the area containing the altar, tabernacle, etc. If you are not familiar with when to kneel, sit and stand, then choose a seat a few rows from the front, but be close enough that you can see well what’s going on!
When you get to your seat, you should genuflect if the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in a tabernacle on the sanctuary. If it has been moved out of sight, as is sometimes the case, then you should make a deep and reverential bow towards the altar.
You can most certainly join in all the responses which are proper to the laity - even during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. As for getting a blessing when everyone else is receiving Communion, that depends. Some priests are more willing to give blessings at Communion time than others - some being of the opinion that you’ll be getting the same blessing as everyone else at the conclusion of Mass. However, if you know that it is an acceptable practice at your church to go to the Communion rail for a blessing, then you can - you should kneel if that’s the customary posture of communicants at your parish. Crossing your arms over your chest will indicate that you are asking for a blessing.
I am in the process of becoming a Catholic through the rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). I am baptized through the Methodist church and eagerly awaiting those sweet words “it’s time”. (I have to wait for hubby’s marriage issues to be dealt with!)
Definitely get a blessing! I’ve never met a priest that gets upset that I come…It’s an awesome feeling!
If you can, go to an RCIA class and ask for a book about the Mass. I don’t have mine here, but when I started a few years ago, I got a small black book that explains the WHY and the when of what we do
Every priest I have ever come across has never had a problem with me receiving a blessing in place of the Host. I simply line up with everybody else with my arms crossed over my chest to indicate that I wish a blessing. I am currently on course for my baptism at Easter so don’t bless myself with water yet, but my Catholic fiance and daughter do. Just take note from what everybody else does, and if you have a parish sister, or laity, tell them your concerns and they will be able to direct you. I always genuflect with the right leg and go as low as you can - without falling over!! - or if you have mobility issues, a reverential bow is still good. Good luck and God Bless You on your journey with Him.
I don’t know if the OP has had first confession (sacrament of reconciliation) then First Holy Communion.Please do not go up to Holy Communion until you speak to a priest.You have to have received the other sacraments in order to receive Our Blessed Lord.
It is not Ok to receive Holy Communion without preparation and receiving of the other sacraments first.
A cradle Catholic would receive baptism,First Confession,Holy Communion then Confirmation.With converts in RCIA I believe Confirmation and Holy Communion may be incorporated.SPEAK TO YOUR PRIEST.Please do NOT receive Holy Communion
Stylites I am sure you mean well I’m just not sure its correct!God bless
At the risk of going off on a tangent, I don’t really understand the thing about crossing your arms to receive a blessing.
Right after Communion, we ALL receive a blessing from the priest at dismissal!
The only thing I can think of is the person might feel self-conscious to be seen as the only one staying in the pews, so he feels obligated to approach the front; but really we approach the front for the purpose of receiving Holy Communion.
It might actually be a good idea for Catholic congregations to see a few people stay seated once in a while, as a reminder that it’s not obligatory to receive Communion each Sunday, even though it is obligatory to be present for Mass.
surritter: It might actually be a good idea for Catholic congregations to see a few people stay seated once in a while, as a reminder that it’s not obligatory to receive Communion each Sunday, even though it is obligatory to be present for Mass.
Are you joking? We should be going to receive the Eucharist daily if possible.
John – the OP was describing a situation where it was not possible for him to receive Holy Communion.
Most of us here in the forums are educated about our faith, but realize that many Catholics think that the Sunday obligation requires Catholics to also receive Communion. I did not mean that folks in the state of grace should intentionally avoid Communion – sorry for the confusion.
I meant that it would be educational for many folks to realize: hey, if I really am not prepared to receive, it’s OK if I stay in the pew. Other than that, I agree that anyone who is in full Communion with the Catholic Church and is not in mortal sin should go as often as possible!
Exactly. My initial confusion was related to the OP statement of being Catholic, whereas that would happen only after receiving the sacraments. The title seemed to imply that the OP was a cradle Catholic who had as yet not been confirmed but who had been baptized and had already received 1st Holy Communion.
OK – I guess it’s no big deal. But a correction: An extraordinary minister cannot give a blessing. To avoid an awkward situation, maybe they can just say “God bless you” to the person, but it ain’t a blessing like the one we all receive in the closing rite.