How does a non-Catholic behave at Mass?

Help! Even though I have read several books on Catholicism I feel totally lost (or at least like a deer in headlights) during the Mass from the moment I step through the door. What should I do? Attempt to imitate everyone else (learn by example) or sit and observe until the end of time? Also when communion is being given during Mass, what should a non-Catholic Christian specifically do, since a non-Catholic cannot take communion?

Dear Blue,

It is perfectly alright for you to simply sit and observe. If you feel uneasy about sitting while everyone else is standing or kneeling, then just do what they do. However, when they go up for Holy Communion, just remain in your place.

Eventually, the ceremony will become familiar and you will feel more at ease. I would encourage you to read “The Lamb’s Supper” by Scott Hahn. In it he describes his reaction to his first Mass.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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