Felt hurt at Mass


Sometimes my wife and I attend Mass at the local cathedral because the hours are better for us. We believe that serving a part of the liturgy (I think that’s the term I’m wanting) shouldn’t be done casually, there should be preparation because you’re serving the Church and God.

So we’ve been asked a few times to bring up the gifts to the priest for Mass, which we did once (without really knowing what to do). The other times we’ve felt uncomfortable with what to do and more importantly, not prepared (due to sin and not doing any preparation), so we’ve declined. Plus, we’re members at a different parish, so of I’m not mistaken, it should be done by people representing the community of that parish.

The last time we did this we felt like we were being pressured and once we declined, I felt like we were treated with a cold response.

Don’t we reserve the right to decline this for these reasons? :confused:

We were hurt and annoyed a bit too.


Finding people to bring up the gifts is probably best described as nobody’s favourite job. Granted, sometimes the first person asked will happily agree but often, several decline. In Fairness, people have their reasons and these should of course be respected - giving should, after all, be done freely and without reluctance or reservation. I should also add that’s there’s really nothing to it so no preparation is needed. At the same time, it’s worth sparing a thought for the poor person who’s been lumped with the job and is often desperately still searching for a willing (or unwilling) volunteer minutes before the start of mass. In these circumstances, and human nature being what it is, frustration and emotion sometimes gets the better of people. Obviously it’s your right to refuse, and that should be respected, but again sometimes frustration gets the better of people.


In this person’s defense, they had usually asked before Mass, but this last time was during Mass while we were singing the Hallelujah part right before the Gospel is read. Perhaps they were struggling to find someone, but I’m not entirely sure why it is a hard position to fill?

By saying something about preparing, I meant like being focused and all that on God. I feel like it’s an important part of Mass, even if someone may just think it’s on the same level as passing around the baskets for the offering or something. I don’t know…we just felt like we weren’t in the right place to do that without it being less than the required respect for the task.


If you don’t want to do something, just say no, thank you. Don’t worry what anyone thinks.

BTW, the cathedral is a leading church for the entire diocese. Don’t ever feel as though you somehow don’t belong there.


Thanks. :slight_smile:


I’m sorry your answer wasn´t well received. You do have the right to refuse for any reason you believe valid without being treated poorly.

To receive communion, it matters if you are in a state of mortal sin or not. With bringing up the gifts, I don´t think that applies.

I don´t think any preparation is necessary. These are unconsecrated gifts…plain water, wine, etc. If they were consecrated, that might be a different story, but they aren´t, so you are good. You, even in a state of grave sin, could bring up the gifts, without incurring yet more sin.

You should be able to refuse for any reason.

I remember I used to actually like bringing up the gifts, considered it a tremendous honor. Nobody has asked me to do that, I don´t think, in the longest time, many, many years, possibly decades, though. Now, in the electric wheelchair, I actually believe I could do it, but most people now would never even ask me.

Again, sorry there wasn´t any understanding. Yeah, you should have that right without problems.

Too bad someone couldn´t get on a microphone, just ask who would be willing, because sometimes I used to be just itching to bring up the gifts. Nobody ever asked.


Oh…and as to parishes, I don´t think that matters.

I go to church all over the place. When I used to visit different folks, I´d go to church wherever I was. If somebody, there, would have asked me to bring up the gifts, I would have gladly done so, in a heartbeat!

I LOVED that!

Here, I basically don´t even really have a parish. I sometimes go to Sangre de Cristo, the Cathedral…la Merced.

Before the wheelchair, I even went to a broader bunch of churches…sometimes due to scheduling reasons…accessibility reasons…just wanting a change of pace reasons.

I would feel perfectly welcome, anywhere, to bring up the gifts, because you are a member of the overall Church, even worldwide.

Were I to be traveling, internationally, and if someone asked me to bring up the gifts in a different country, even, being I was part of the Catholic Church, not that parish, I would have no qualms with that.

They just want us all to participate, look for people to help out.

A lot of times, the same people end up doing everything, and ideally, the tasks should be more evenly spread out.

Sometimes, I have almost felt it could seem almost unfair that some people always got the honor of bringing up the gifts, and why they were invited to do that, and not me. Secretly, I have felt envious of them, at times. To me, it is just such a TREMENDOUS honor.


The reason it’s a hard position to fill is because people have the idea that they can’t do any work in the church unless they achieve a certain degree of spirituality, focus on God, and closeness to Jesus.

This is false. Satan torments Christians with this false teaching, and it sure works well, because in any given church, Catholic or Protestant, 10% of the people do 90% of the work.

The truth is, as we serve Christ in humble tasks and do the physical work of the Mass and of our parish, we become more focused on God, achieve a greater level of spirituality, and become closer to Jesus Our Lord.

So stop being falsely inadequate. Step up and do the work.


I know at one church I went to, they would try to ask newer people in order to help them feel welcome. And, I sippose, to avoid always having the same people bring up the gifts.

So I guess I’m more with Clearwater on this :slight_smile:

And think of Christ’s saying that if someone asks us to carry something for a mile we should go for two miles. It’s probably not a whole mile up to the altar, altho it may feel like it!


Try not to take it too seriously, your response probably took them by surprise and if you are like me sometimes we react oddly when surprised. Hopefully nothing truly negative was meant towards you. The opportunity to attend mass at our cathedral is something I also take advantage when possible as I have always felt it is the people’s church not just a regular oarish.


I understand your feelings… but…it is a good work to do so and it is “only” bread and wine, not the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist so you shouldn’t IMHO, have any feelings of not being prepared. Perhaps saying a prayer before Mass or even during Mass prior to bringing the gifts up will lift your Spirit and help you prepare. The Church needs everyone to build up the Body of Christ. We are all sinners, so don’t hold yourself different than anyone else in the Church. How many of us are truly prepared walking into Mass to receive the Lord? Its’ beyond my ability to truly understand this metaphysical reality. Just a thought.



As a greeter in my parish, I often have the job of finding someone to bring up the gifts. It is not an easy job, as many often decline, which is fine. We are a fairly large parish with many Masses so I sometimes do not know if someone is a member of our parish when I ask them. I imagine identifying a parishioner would even be more difficult in a cathedral. Plus, we are all members of the universal Catholic Church.


Before I became a Catholic (when I was in RCIA), I took up the gifts on two occasions when asked (once I politely declined, as I was trying to concentrate on the Mass). I told the EM that I wasn’t a Catholic yet and she smiled and said ‘all the more reason for you to be involved’, or words to that effect!

The priest (who knew me) didn’t say anything to me about it, so I assume it’s fine to do this.


It’s an honor to bring up the gifts but I have declined when I wasn’t in the state of grace & couldn’t receive Communion. Everyone sees you bring up the gifts, then sit at Communion. :blush:


I think you need to relax. If you don’t feel up to bringing up the gifts, then politely decline and don’t worry about it. One time while on vacation in another city, we ended up at Mass in a big downtown cathedral. The priest noticed we obviously weren’t from there and gave the kids blow bubbles and then asked us to bring up the gifts which we humbly accepted. He was just being nice and outreaching to visitors. One doesn’t have to be part of the regular community to do so, if you are Catholic then you already are part of every Catholic community whether you are members of that parish or not. I’m not sure what the hurt feelings are about, maybe the response you gave in saying no? I like the commercial that says “you don’t have to be a perfect parent …” With that you don’t have to be a perfect Catholic to bring up the gifts either.


As has been pointed out, one need not be in the state of grace in order to bring up the gifts any more than putting money in the collection basket, and there’s a reason both are done at the same time.


Really curious as to why you are trying to assuage your conscience and getting people to endorse your decision. So you didn’t want to do it, you can decline for a good reason or no reason. Who has ever gone to Mass and thought, “Gee am I going to have to bring up the gifts today?” Don’t see that happening, but what do I know.


I have been asked to bring the gifts up twice…once in my parish in Canada, and once here in the UK. Both times, I was not only not Catholic yet (like the poster above), but I wasn’t even contemplating RCIA! I was simply a Protestant wife attending Mass with my Catholic husband. The priests at these parishes knew this at the time, so I don’t think there was any issue.

So if a Protestant is able to bring the gifts up, then I would imagine it’s allowable for a Catholic to do so, even if they are not in a state to receive Communion.


I was asked to do it once before, at my last parish, and I did it. My pew mate and I went up to do it together, as she and I were friends and we were both asked to do it together. I considered it an honor, too.

They normally would ask people with a special intention to do it, such as a couple who were celebrating a special anniversary, or something like that. I always thought that that was nice. :slight_smile:


I know you need not be in the state of grace to bring up the gifts…but I feel like a jerk, on display with the gifts and then slinking off into the corner & not receiving Communion. :blush: :imsorry:

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