Going to mass for first time


#1

Greetings!

I am thinking of going to a Catholic mass for the first time. My idea was to go to Saturday vigil mass (in 3 hours or so) instead of Sunday because it would probably have less people (I don’t do well with crowds) and I might get an opportunity to talk to the priest. But I’m a little bit concerned because I’ve never been to a Catholic mass before. I’ve been told that there will be a mass card in the pews so that I can follow along, but I was just wondering, which parts are appropriate for me to participate in and which ones should I abstain from? I know that I cannot take the Eucharist, but are there any other parts of the mass that I should avoid joining in with? Is there anything I should keep in mind as I go? What sort of clothes should I wear (I was thinking of jeans, a collard t-shirt, and a rosary - is this okay)?

Thanks guys!


#2

First of all, welcome. The key thing as to what you should do is your own comfort level. Some are not comfortable kneeling their first time at Mass, but there is no reason you can’t if you feel comfortable. The only thing you definitely would not be able to participate in is receiving the Eucharist.

As for what to wear, you’re probably ok in jeans and a collared shirt. But, some parishes have a stricter policy, either written or unwritten. I’d say wear khakis or dress slacks. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed, I’d say.


#3

I agree. Don’t feel obligated to do anything other than be respectful. Enjoy it, its a beautiful experience. I went up in the communion line and got blessed by the priest until I was confirmed. Just cross your arms over your chest so he knows you can’t take communion.


#4

Thank you for your advice :slight_smile: I found a pair of black slacks that still fit (surprisingly). I’ll wear those if I decide to go (I’ve still get to get permission).

Thank you for your advice :slight_smile: I think that I will pass on getting the blessing. I’ve read on here that you should NOT get in line at all, even if you cross your arms. It was an official response from a Cardinal or something to that effect. Thanks anyway! :slight_smile:

An additional question: Should I take my own Bible (I’ve got a RSV-2CE; not a protestant Bible) or just leave it at home?


#5

Really? The priest who baptised and confirmed me did it all the time…now I’m worried…


#6

There probably is no reason to bring a bible. If you feel that you need to follow along in the scripture readings (as opposed to just listening to them proclaimed), most parishes have missalettes that include the Order of Mass and the readings.

As for the Saturday evening crowd being smaller than Sunday morning, please don’t count on that. While it does vary by parish, most Saturday evening Masses are just as full as any on a Sunday.


#7

SECOND all of this.

Following along in the missalette is nice too because it has all the responses that are on the mass card, and you don’t have to shuffle in the middle of mass to find the right pages of the Bible (since there are three readings)


#8

Welcome!

It depends on the Diocese. You could ask Fr. before the mass. You will notice that many Catholics also refrain from the Eucharist. Some of them need to receive absolution, but still meet their obligation to attend mass. Some, often spouses, are not Catholic, like yourself. You will not be alone either going forward or remaining in your pew.

I sometimes take mine so that I can follow along on the readings, but it is more important to listen to them attentively.

If you do not have a copy, think about buying Catholicism for Dummies. It is an excellent, easily read resource with solid teaching that you can rely on for years to come.


#9

When i first tried this 15 years ago, i was told i could go up and receive the blessing but i have since read that it really isnt appropriate to do.

Good for you for going to your first Mass, i am an extreme introvert so it is still hard for me. I have been going for a month now and am still too petrified to talk to anyone…especially the priest…


#10

Welcome, brother!

Here is an inexpensive guide to the Mass ($3) shop.catholic.com/mass-appeal-the-abc-s-of-worship-revised-for-the-new-mass-translation.html

Obviously you won’t have it in time for Mass tonight, but it could help in the future.

For a quick overview, see this article that explains the Mass step-by-step: americancatholic.org/newsletters/cu/ac0889.asp

About speaking with the priest–well, you may or may not be able to. Sometimes on Saturday night a priest will be rushing off to be a celebrant for a wedding, or to say another Mass for a teenagers’ retreat, etc etc.

But parish secretaries are great at setting up appointments for the pastors and other priests on staff. Feel free to call the parish and ask for an appointment to speak to the priest if you’d like to speak with him a little longer than you might be able to after Mass.


#11

You are correct. I’ve also been told and have read that only those going to Communion should walk up. It is THE important event going on at that time, and people going up to get a blessing are taking away from that importance. That is why one waits until the END of Mass and that’s when Father blesses everyone.


#12

It sounds like you are all set. You can do anything the rest of the congregation does, except receive Communion of course. Bringing your rosary is ok, but you probably will not have a chance to use it. You might want to arrive early to look around a bit and you will probably be more comfortable sitting in the back half of the church, it will be easier to observe the responses.


#13

[quote="DebbieS, post:5, topic:306890"]
Really? The priest who baptised and confirmed me did it all the time...now I'm worried...

[/quote]

I think it also depends on the priest . . . but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

[quote="Chatter163, post:6, topic:306890"]
There probably is no reason to bring a bible. If you feel that you need to follow along in the scripture readings (as opposed to just listening to them proclaimed), most parishes have missalettes that include the Order of Mass and the readings.

As for the Saturday evening crowd being smaller than Sunday morning, please don't count on that. While it does vary by parish, most Saturday evening Masses are just as full as any on a Sunday.

[/quote]

Alright, great. Thanks for letting me know. I will leave my Bible at home :)

About the crowd thing, I will keep that in mind. On the other hand, it might be a good thing if there is a lot of people. It will make it easier for me to imitate their actions.

[quote="waanju, post:7, topic:306890"]
SECOND all of this.
Following along in the missalette is nice too because it has all the responses that are on the mass card, and you don't have to shuffle in the middle of mass to find the right pages of the Bible (since there are three readings)

[/quote]

Great advice! Thanks :)

[quote="po18guy, post:8, topic:306890"]
Welcome!
It depends on the Diocese. You could ask Fr. before the mass. You will notice that many Catholics also refrain from the Eucharist. Some of them need to receive absolution, but still meet their obligation to attend mass. Some, often spouses, are not Catholic, like yourself. You will not be alone either going forward or remaining in your pew.
I sometimes take mine so that I can follow along on the readings, but it is more important to listen to them attentively.

If you do not have a copy, think about buying Catholicism for Dummies. It is an excellent, easily read resource with solid teaching that you can rely on for years to come.

[/quote]

Thanks for the advice. I will just leave my Bible alone, actually. And thanks for the book recommendation. I will purchase a copy for my Kindle.

[quote="dee_burk, post:9, topic:306890"]
Good for you for going to your first Mass, i am an extreme introvert so it is still hard for me. I have been going for a month now and am still too petrified to talk to anyone...especially the priest...

[/quote]

Oh, trust me, this is not easy. I am absolutely petrified. I'm scared out of my mind. But if I don't do it today, I will never go my whole life. And it's something that I have to do.

[quote="daisybee, post:10, topic:306890"]
Welcome, brother!
For a quick overview, see this article that explains the Mass step-by-step: americancatholic.org/newsletters/cu/ac0889.asp

About speaking with the priest--well, you may or may not be able to. Sometimes on Saturday night a priest will be rushing off to be a celebrant for a wedding, or to say another Mass for a teenagers' retreat, etc etc.

But parish secretaries are great at setting up appointments for the pastors and other priests on staff. Feel free to call the parish and ask for an appointment to speak to the priest if you'd like to speak with him a little longer than you might be able to after Mass.

[/quote]

Thank you!! That article really helped explain everything. I think I am better prepared now. And thanks for the advice about talking to the priest. I will try to set up an appointment if things work out. I really appreciate the advice! :)

[quote="tuscany, post:11, topic:306890"]
You are correct. I've also been told and have read that only those going to Communion should walk up. It is THE important event going on at that time, and people going up to get a blessing are taking away from that importance. That is why one waits until the END of Mass and that's when Father blesses everyone.

[/quote]

That's very true. Thanks for the confirmation. I just wanted to be sure. I certainly don't want to mess up. :blush:

[quote="Catholic1954, post:12, topic:306890"]
It sounds like you are all set. You can do anything the rest of the congregation does, except receive Communion of course. Bringing your rosary is ok, but you probably will not have a chance to use it. You might want to arrive early to look around a bit and you will probably be more comfortable sitting in the back half of the church, it will be easier to observe the responses.

[/quote]

Alright, thanks! I will try to leave around 30 minuets early (it's like a 5-10 minute drive). I like to carry the rosary with me, even if I don't have a chance to use it. It's just something I like. Is it appropriate for me to request the priest to bless it? Like, during a private meeting? Or should I abstain from that since I'm not a catholic yet?


#14

I’m not sure about having it blessed, but I imagine it would be fine, given our apologists’ responses below about there being no problem with non-Catholic Christians praying the Rosary. Just explain to the priest what you’ve explained to us here–he will let you know one way or the other.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=438704&highlight=protestant+rosary


#15

Thank you! :smiley: If I get a chance to speak with the priest today, I will ask him. If I don’t, I’ll talk to him in a private meeting. Thanks for your answer!

I’m leaving in a minute or two. :eek: Please pray for me!


#16

Sure; let us know how it goes. We’ve got you covered; praying! :grouphug:

You’re probably there now…

I’m hoping, if it is His will, that you have a homily that is somehow inspiring for you. But, if it was not, well, know that it is the case for some of us sometimes too… and all things considered, what we are truly longing for is His presence and communion with Him, which is the summit of the entire liturgy…and our existence.

Peace, brother.


#17

**I just returned from Mass and I did say a prayer for you.

Please tell us how it went, but I have a feeling it all went very well. :thumbsup:**


#18

Hi vero!

Congrats on your first Mass!

Lots of great advice already given.

It’s probably better to carry your rosary in your pocket instead of wearing it. It’s not jewelry, and it’s typically understood that it’s not worn as such.

So tell us, how’d it go? I hope you had a wonderful time at your first Mass in the presence of our Lord, spending time before the altar and Tabernacle worshiping, praising, and giving thanks to Him. God bless, and best wishes and prayers for you on your journey home into the Catholic Church. :thumbsup:


#19

Hi Vero!

Well… I certainly know how you feel, I was in your shoes about 1/1/2 years ago! If I were you, I wouldn’t wear a Rosary like some kind of decoration, but learn how to pray it. I prayed it (with the help of a CD!!) before I even looked into RCIA,and before.& during my journey to Catholicism. I started praying it 6 mos before I started RCIA everyday, and since then, I have not missed a day. Praying Rosary really focuses my life and brings me closer to Jesus. Jesus, through our Lady, really spoke to me during that time and just embraced me in a way that changed my life forever. So don’t feel funny about praying the Rosary before you become Catholic. Praying the Rosary will bless you and protect you at the same time. Do not underestimate the power of praying the Rosary! Open your heart and I think that you will be surprised at what happens! :thumbsup:


#20

Thank you for your kind prayers! :slight_smile:

The homily was actually very nice. It was a reminder that Advent is not the time to be celebrating Christmas, as the world does. Christmas begins on the 25th . . . it doesn’t end on that date. Advent is meant as a time for penance and preparation for the coming of the Lord. He said that we should wait until Christmas to celebrate it.

Thank you for your kind prayer! :slight_smile: I will tell you how well it went, but at the bottom of this post so that it doesn’t look like I’m responding to only you. :wink:

Thank you for the congratulations!!

Yes, you are correct. I did carry it only in my pocket- I didn’t wear it. I did have a wonderful time at mass! I want to go again!

I didn’t wear the rosary :slight_smile: Thanks for your suggestion! I’m glad that I didn’t. Nobody else was wearing one! lol I know how you feel. I’ve prayed the rosary before, but only a couple of times. It really is a blessing. I would love to get into a daily thing like what you do. Perhaps I will start tonight or tomorrow!

[hr]

Okay, so mass was great! I was so nervous. I was practically shaking. I kept driving around, putting off actually going in to the parking lot. But finally, I did. And then? I just sat in my car for like 5 more minutes shaking. What if these Catholics truly are the anti-Christs? What if they try to sacrifice me to Satan? Silly, I know. But fear makes our minds come up with crazy things. Finally, I decided to go in. I dipped my fingers in the holy water and made the sign of the cross. I genuflected before taking my seat. And then, I just sat. The church was freezing! It was also very beautiful, but I didn’t dare look around at the art lest someone notice me there. I felt like I sat there forever while the church filled up. There were so many people!! I couldn’t believe it. Since it was Saturday night, I thought that there would be 10-20 people max. There were over a hundred, easily. The actual part of the mass was a little confusing because the mass cards were . . . wrong? I’m not sure if they were wrong, but they didn’t have everything. And there were things on the mass card that we never did . . . it was so weird. So I just tried to follow along with everyone else. I think I did alright. Finally, the time for Eucharist came. I didn’t partake. I just stayed seated. It was nice. Then the announcements and time to go. As I left I was handed some sort of bulletin. I will have to have a look at that as soon as I’m done writing this post. Overall, I really enjoyed mass. It wasn’t like other churches I had been to. There was absolutely no entertainment value to it (rock concert churches, LOL). What was even more surprising was the vast number of people there. I didn’t even know there were that many Catholics in the city. And this isn’t even the only parish in the city. There are 3!! Wow. Thanks so much guys, for your advice and your prayers. Please continue praying for me. I would definitely like to go again someday. Maybe next week.


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