Greetings Before Mass

When you enter the church before Mass & see someone you know how do you greet them? Do you smile, small wave, head nod, some sort of gesture, or not greet them at all until after Mass. We attend a NO Mass and want to make sure we are being reverant, so we ask those of you who attend the Tridentine Mass.

Excuse me for what seems like an ignorant question, but it’s been a long long long time since I’ve been to a Tridentine Mass. I consider myself orthodox but am finding that slowly slowly slowly some things are creeping into my behavior that just aren’t as reverant as they once were.


If you are in church, it is a place for reverence, reflection, and quiet time. I am sure you know this. A smile or quiet greeting is appropriate.
In our church, there are opening announcements and we are also asked to greet our neighbor, (so that no one is a stranger in god’s house). I do not agree with this as it can cause uncomfortable feelings and get noisy, even if for a brief minute or two.


We have 2 kids - 10 months and 2.5 yrs - and we went to a TLM and decided not to take the kids since we figured it would be a much more reverent and quiet experience than your typical NO Mass.
Boy were we wrong!
It was probably just the parish we were at, but most people were dressed nicely, men in ties, women in mantillas, - even their kids - but these were the worst behaved rowdiest kids I have ever seen at a mass! It was like the parents were oblivious to the kids because they were more concerned about being focused on the Mass - but hey! - your kids are running around and yelling!
end rant

But typically at our regular NO Mass we just nod or give a little hand-raise wave if eye contact happens to be made.

I attend NO Mass at new parish, and right before Mass, the priest comes into the Church telling us to greet one another and give a name and take a name. I’m not too fond of this, but hey, I get to be in Mass afterward.

Why is it not reverent to greet brothers and sisters in Christ? This seems to contradict a lot of Jesus’ teachings about the Sabbath, where showing practical love for God and neighbor overruled the following of many rules.

I can see holding the conversations about Bears vs. Packers until you’re out in the parking lot. But to just say “hi” and smile, or hug someone? That’s irreverent? I certainly don’t ignore the Lord when I enter His presence. Why would I ignore His children?

The narthex and breezeway are the place for socializing. The nave and church proper are worship space for the sacrifice of the Mass. There’s nothing wrong with greeting your neighbor and talking - but there is a place for it. It is not a sign of disrespect or coldness to be mindful of where you are and why you are there. You are not at church to celebrate yourselves as a community.

What is wrong with maintaining a certain decorum in the church prior to Holy Mass? Why should one feel obligated to be chatty?

What I usually do is smile and nod if I make eye contact with an acquaintance. This is usually enough to greet them, yet maintain a prayerful atmosphere. If you start a conversation, then you feel you should continue it.

Sometimes people will try and start a conversation, so I will turn to them, smile big, wink, and say quietly, “Can I grab you after Mass and talk about it?”

Just before Mass your parish priest tells you to kick *** and take names?!? Now that’s hard core! Oh no wait, that’s not what you said. Nevermind … :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote=yessisan]I attend NO Mass at new parish, and right before Mass, the priest comes into the Church telling us to greet one another and give a name and take a name. I’m not too fond of this, but hey, I get to be in Mass afterward.

Well, generally I don’t have the chance to because everyone’s back is to me as I am walking to a pew.

However, if I make eye contact with someone I know I will just give them a little nod before heading to my pew. That is once inside the church. If we are outside prior to heading inside we usually have a conversation before Mass.

Yet another reason not to have the “circle 'round the altar” arrangement of pews.

My opinion:

  1. We should not have scheduled “meet and greet” time before mass.
  2. If you see a friend a simple nod, smile, or “hello”. If much more needs to be said go outside.


Well, first of all, we already do that during the NO Mass, after the Our Father. Second, I use to get to Mass 20 before so I can say the Rosary, but since we do that shaking hands thing before and during Mass, I get there 2 minutes before the Priest comes in.

Plus, the Mass is never about us, it’s about God. So I like to walk in and greet Him and pray to Him, not talk to my neighbors. That’s for outside the church after Mass. But that’s just my opinion…we’ve all got one or we wouldn’t be on this forum.:thumbsup:

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