I get to go to Mass tonight. This is the first time I am going without my parents and I am nervous. Do you have any tips?
Sit about halfway back and do what everybody else does (except don’t go to Communion of course).
Find the section in the missalette called The Order of Mass, it will help you follow along. Most people won’t use that because they don’t need it.
And relax! There is truly no reason to be nervous.
I recently attended my first mass. When the bell rings then Christ is there. That’s what blew my mind.
Laser in on the Tabernacle, as the peace which surpasses all understanding resides within. It may not be your style, but spiritually, I derive more from the mass by keeping my eyes closed through most of it. Fellow parishioners (of which I am one) can be distracting.
Also, you know this, but allow yourself to be absorbed into the Holy Sacrifice, as we offer not only the Body and Blood of Christ to the Father, but being members of His Body, we also offer ourselves.
During the communion “parade” line, find the one that goes to the priest. Follow those people. When you get about five people away from the priest, place your right arm across your chest. Cross your left arm over your right. (Viewed as an X from the front, elbows down.). The priest will withhold the sacrament, and give you a blessing. (Hand or fingers most likely on your forehead while reciting a quick blessing prayer.) Say “Amen”, and follow others going back to where you sat.
Extra note: if you have oily skin, wipe your face discreetly before you get in line.
OP, if you decide to do this and the priest looks baffled, then don’t take it personally - it just means that he and/or his parish doesn’t give out blessings to non-communicants.
Not all priests and parishes are into doing that.
Since this is your first time, you may want to either watch people going up to see if others are crossing their arms and getting a blessing, or if the bulletin says they invite non-communicants to come up for a blessing, or you could even ask the priest afterwards if it’s proper for you to approach for a blessing at Communion next time.
If all this sounds too complex for a first timer, you can just skip it for now.
I had the impression it was a usual thing for those that couldn’t receive but desired blessing. The priest at the church I have been going to will bless non-Catholics also.
Maybe ask before the mass.
It is usual at some churches, but there is no requirement that a priest do it, and some priests don’t like the custom or might even be unfamiliar with it.
We have had past threads on here from people who are used to going up “for a blessing” and then go to a different church or have a different priest or something, and they go up for a blessing and don’t get one, and they become upset. Since we have no idea if this is the usual custom in the OP’s parish church, I thought it best to add a disclaimer so the person isn’t put off if the priest somehow doesn’t respond properly.
Makes sense. I’m going to go with “ask first.”
You’re Catholic, right? Just do whatever you normally do at Mass.
Stay in the back, follow along and I usually excuse myself (as a non-Catholic) to the gathering space before the sign of peace or before communion so I’m not in the way and hear people complain about it.
Consecration happens at “ this is my body” and “this is my blood” not the elevation.
You beat me to it. Thank you!
You will be fine. Enjoy your first Mass solo. Praise God
Yes in the Instituition Narrative.
I will get some educational links for those who are wondering when Christ becomes present as the Eucharist, or when consecration occurs. It does not happen as suggested below
The Institution Narrative
In the institution narrative , the power of the words and the action of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, make sacramentally present under the species of bread and wine Christ’s body and blood, his sacrifice offered on the cross once for all.
as or just after those words are spoken the Eucharist is confected, Christ is present. The Priest then elevates the already confected Eucharist.
And the the same follows for the Chalice, elevated after the words spoken and wine confected to the precious blood of Christ.
This question about when the bread and wine become the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ is a very common one . It is one in which we Catholics can share the absolute beauty and worship of the Mass.
You are right Weave. I understand your point and I phrased it badly. My point is that the bell typically rings at the Elevation and I was responding to the previous person who said that Christ is present when the bell rings, addressing the issue of when there is no bell (often the case nowadays at OF).
I should have said “is present at the elevation” and should not have said “becomes present”, although “This is my body” and “This is my blood” happen like 1 second before elevation so the two things are not really separate in my mind, but technically you are correct and perhaps the two things should be separate in my mind. I will ponder on that.
Thank you for clarifying and correcting!
So, amazingcatholic, how did the Mass go?
Yes. One of the parishes near us used to have a priest who did not give blessings. We have a visiting priest every year from Zimbabwe. He was unfamiliar with blessing non-communicants. When my mother was going through RCIA, she went up to him for a blessing. They basically stared at each other for a few moments until my mother continued.