My First Mass....


#1

Ok, so I think that I may go to mass either saturday night or sunday morning, whichever works out better…I think this will be very good for me since reading about catholicism for 3 years hasn’t done much for me.

What are the things I should know? the little things that one would not know other wise…
are there special prayers for mass?
are there certain signs you make?
what type of clothing should be worn?
This is most likely going to be a Novus Ordo (??) mass, does that make a difference?
Should I bring anything with me to mass?
Is it ok if I bring a notebook to write stuff down as i learn (that is how I learn)?
Is it ok to sit in the back of the church if I am new? (in my husbands pentacostal church, we had to sit at the front to be introduced :whacky: )
In movies, i see people lighting candles in church, is this a proper thing to do? when do you do this?

and finally…

What happens when every goes up for communion? I know it’s not right for me to take it since I have not been baptised or comfirmed so what do I do then? Do I stay in my seat?

Thanks so much for helping me!!!


#2

[quote=sarcophagus]Ok, so I think that I may go to mass either saturday night or sunday morning, whichever works out better…I think this will be very good for me since reading about catholicism for 3 years hasn’t done much for me.

What are the things I should know? the little things that one would not know other wise…
are there special prayers for mass?
are there certain signs you make?
what type of clothing should be worn?
This is most likely going to be a Novus Ordo (??) mass, does that make a difference?
Should I bring anything with me to mass?
Is it ok if I bring a notebook to write stuff down as i learn (that is how I learn)?
Is it ok to sit in the back of the church if I am new? (in my husbands pentacostal church, we had to sit at the front to be introduced :whacky: )
In movies, i see people lighting candles in church, is this a proper thing to do? when do you do this?

and finally…

What happens when every goes up for communion? I know it’s not right for me to take it since I have not been baptised or comfirmed so what do I do then? Do I stay in my seat?

Thanks so much for helping me!!!
[/quote]

i recommend a Sunday morning… less likely to be noticed… no real need to be coached… stand when people stand, sit when people sit, kneel when people kneel that way no one will know your a spy :smiley: just kidding…

if you want some serious advice… open you mind and heart and be prepared to be blown away by the beauty of the mass… good luck, wish i could go with you… :thumbsup:


#3

[quote=sarcophagus]Ok, so I think that I may go to mass either saturday night or sunday morning, whichever works out better…I think this will be very good for me since reading about catholicism for 3 years hasn’t done much for me.

What are the things I should know? the little things that one would not know other wise…
are there special prayers for mass?
are there certain signs you make?
what type of clothing should be worn?
This is most likely going to be a Novus Ordo (??) mass, does that make a difference?
Should I bring anything with me to mass?
Is it ok if I bring a notebook to write stuff down as i learn (that is how I learn)?
Is it ok to sit in the back of the church if I am new? (in my husbands pentacostal church, we had to sit at the front to be introduced :whacky: )
In movies, i see people lighting candles in church, is this a proper thing to do? when do you do this?

and finally…

What happens when every goes up for communion? I know it’s not right for me to take it since I have not been baptised or comfirmed so what do I do then? Do I stay in my seat?

Thanks so much for helping me!!!
[/quote]

If you wish to have all of the prayers and responses, I would recommend buying a Copy of the Roman Missal at your local Catholic Book Store.

Just dress nicely.

I don’t see why you couldn’t bring a note book but I’m not sure what you would need to take notes on (unless Father has a really good homily).


#4

Thanks…as for the notebook…I’m stuck in permament scientist mode, I’m never without a notebook, so it’s like second-nature to write everything down…maybe I should give it up for mass.

Just a question…why would one be noticed more on a saturday than on a sunday?? Is this because less people go on saturdays?


#5

Sarchophagus, Are you going with another Roman Catholic? If so that person should show you how to read the missal the church supplies. Actually all the RC Churches I have bee to supply them and a hymn book, I wonder if they all do? Knowing how to read the missal is a huge help and tells you when to sit, stand and kneel.

God Bless You I’ll pray for you.


#6

Sarcophagus,

Many churches provide missles to help people go through the mass. I would get to the church early, or go a day before a pick one up and familiarize yourself with it. It will instruct you when to sit, stand, and kneel and what to say. I teach RCIA and when someone is unsure what to do, I just take one of the missles from the pew and give it to them to use during the week. Some people might have a problem with this, but as a Catholic convert, I know it helped me - just make sure you leave it in the church when you are done.

A few hints if you choose to use the missle.

  1. Churches don’t always use the music as written in the missle. The words to the Gloria and Holy, Holy, Holy will be used, just fitted to the music used in the church. Go by the words, not the music.
  2. If the missle you find in the church is a small green book, the Creed is found on page 100.

Other than that, any appropriate dress is fine - I am typically in jeans. A notebook is fine - actually, I would suggest it to write down thoughts and questions. There are a lot of little things we do as catholics, and it may help you to jot them down rather then try to remember what it is you are seeing. It is ok to sit in the back, but you might have to fight Catholics for a seat back there - LOL. (In my experience, Catholics like to sit towards the back of the church.) When people go up for communion feel free to either remain sitting in the pew or if you choose, you can go up as well, but for a blessing. Just cross your arms over your chest and the priest/euchartistic minister will know that you are not to receive the host, but are requesting a blessing/small prayer.

Final thoughts. Right before the gospel is read you might notice people making crosses on their forehead, lips and over their heart. What they are doing is a small prayer - that the words of the Lord may be imprinted on their minds, lips and in their heart. The physical crossing of each area is a reminder of what the words in the prayer are saying. Also, as people enter and leave the pew you should see them bowing or kneeling. Simply, they are bowing or kneeling before Christ. These actions you are not required to do, but they are examples of things you might see and have questions on - which is why I encourage the notebook.

Good luck!
Jenn


#7

i would suggests you go with someone that is Catholic…but here is a web site that goes over the Mass for starters
home.grigaitis.net/?/articles/guide.html

also…there is a book that will open your eyes to the Mass as never before, I just loved it
"The Lamb’s Supper"… the Mass as Heaven on Earth by Scott Hahn.
you can find it on Amazon.com
Good luck and let us know how things went at you’r firstt Mass.


#8

Thanks Jen…that helped so much!!!

Michael C, I’m going to mass by myself…i don’t know any other roamn catholics that I could ask since I just moved to this new city…Once I get comfortable with it, I think my husband is willing to come with me but he isn’t right now…he’s pentacostal and is still holding some anti-catholic ideas that his father taught him. He told me he would, anyway. So for now on, I am on my own. I’m going to the book store soon, I’m hoping to find a catechism and maybe a missal, but this isn’t a christian book store so I don’t think I will, we’ll see. I’m also renting “The Passion of the Christ” tonight. I want to get a deeper understanding of what Jesus did for me.

Wow, I’m really getting into this, and the strange thing is, it feels so right!!!

Thanks again for all your help!!


#9

Kayla,

Funny - I was going to suggest that book as well. Had a huge problem with Catholic mass before I read that book. Changed my life.

Jenn


#10

[quote=space ghost]if you want some serious advice… open you mind and heart and be prepared to be blown away by the beauty of the mass… good luck, wish i could go with you… :thumbsup:
[/quote]

Peace be with you.


#11

[quote=sarcophagus]Thanks Jen…that helped so much!!!

Michael C, I’m going to mass by myself…i don’t know any other roamn catholics that I could ask since I just moved to this new city…Once I get comfortable with it, I think my husband is willing to come with me but he isn’t right now…he’s pentacostal and is still holding some anti-catholic ideas that his father taught him. He told me he would, anyway. So for now on, I am on my own. I’m going to the book store soon, I’m hoping to find a catechism and maybe a missal, but this isn’t a christian book store so I don’t think I will, we’ll see. I’m also renting “The Passion of the Christ” tonight. I want to get a deeper understanding of what Jesus did for me.

Wow, I’m really getting into this, and the strange thing is, it feels so right!!!

Thanks again for all your help!!
[/quote]

Please let us know Monday about your experience and you can always post your questions here. I am very excited for you.


#12

[quote=sarcophagus]Ok, so I think that I may go to mass either saturday night or sunday morning, whichever works out better…I think this will be very good for me since reading about catholicism for 3 years hasn’t done much for me.
[/quote]

Hi sarcho… glad you take our Faith on board; here’s some input:

What are the things I should know? the little things that one would not know other wise…

I’d dare say there’re a lot; we Catholics take many things for granted, out of habits that we often forgot how daunting those little things are for outsiders et al. I’d just suggest you genuflect in front of the tabernacle (the little box containing the Blessed Sacrament) everytime you crossed it in your path. (my pet peeve, I admit :stuck_out_tongue: )

are there special prayers for mass?

Like many have said already, missal helps. :cool:

are there certain signs you make?

The sign of the cross, mostly. Other than that, it’s bowing, kneeling, thumping your chest, genuflecting …

what type of clothing should be worn?

Nice, modest clothings won’t do you any harm. …

This is most likely going to be a Novus Ordo (??) mass, does that make a difference?

Not if you were born before the 1960s … I myself haven’t been granted the grace of experiencing the Tridentine Mass…

Should I bring anything with me to mass?

I rarely do… except my Rosary I always bring everywhere…

In movies, i see people lighting candles in church, is this a proper thing to do? when do you do this?

I think that only happens during Vigils and other special occasions. The congregration don’t usually light candles.

What happens when every goes up for communion? I know it’s not right for me to take it since I have not been baptised or comfirmed so what do I do then? Do I stay in my seat?

Either that or come up, cross your arm in front of your chest and receive special blessing.

Excited for you, :thumbsup:
S4ntA.


#13

Sarcophagus~

I am going to offer a different perspective, here.

Why not just arrive, offer a prayer to the Holy Spirit that he opens all of your senses to the beauty of the Mass, let go and soak it all in?

You did say that you learn best by taking notes; there is nothing wrong with that, but why not leave a notebook in the car for you to write down your impressions afterwards?

My thinking is that you will (hopefully–Godwilling) attend other Masses in the future (daily Masses are also beautiful & typically much simpler) & will have time to become more focused on details…also, the hour (approximately) will fly by, and I would hate to have you worrying so much about what to say or do when, etc., that you miss out on experiencing a piece of Heaven on earth!

I will remember you at Mass this weekend! Can’t wait to hear back on your experience!


#14

S4ntA, Stephanie,

Thanks for your suggestions…I’m looking forward to going to mass this weekend!! By the way everyone describes it, I’ve been missing quite a bit!!!

I couldn’t find a catechism or a missal or anything like that at the bookstore. It seems there was nothing “catholic” at all at this book store, except for an autbiography of JPII, the rest was non-denominational christian and buddhism. There weren’t even any catholic bibles, just the edited version like the one I already have. Also, it kinda irked me that the new age section was considerably larger than the “other religions”. Keep in mind this is a store that belongs to a large chain. I could travel across the city to the other store that i know has it but, buses don’t run this late here…Oh well, I guess i will try again when i have time!!

I will let you all know how it went!!!


#15

Hi,

One thing I would offer, is that you will not be confronted by people trying to sign you up. Just relax and take it all in. And learn. Just follow everyone elses lead. And all the advice here is good. The Catholic Church is like family. Everything is very laid back. Its not like many other churches that aggressively try to sign you up.
I will say some prayers for you.


#16

[quote=sarcophagus]are there special prayers for mass?

[/quote]

Sarc, since many people have told you to get a missal (and you couldn’t find one), and if the Church doesn’t provide one, here are some of some of the main things you will most likely hear at Mass (posting the whole order of the Mass would be too long and potentially confusing):

  1. The Penetential Rite. After the Opening Prayer, we have the this “rite” there are several forms, but if you hear people start saying “I confess…”, this is what is said

I confess to you almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault (you should strike your breast here, i.e. tap your first over your heart), in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do; and I ask Blessed Mary, ever-virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God

In the other common form, the priest will say a phrase ending in “Lord have mercy” or “Christ have mercy”…just repeat.

If the first form was used, then the kyrie is said (which is again either “Lord have merfcy” or “Christ have mercy”…just repeat.

After this comes the Gloria:

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on Earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; You are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word is next. After the first two readings, the reader will say “the word of the Lord”, reply with “thanks be to God”

Next is the Gospel reading. Two things here, the response to “A reading from the Gospel according to N.”, the response is “Glory to you, Lord” (this is where the 3 crosses are traced on the forehead, lips and heart). After the reading will be said “The Gospel of the Lord”, respond with “Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ”

Next comes the homily. After that the Nicene Creed is recited:

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, one in being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: (bow head here) by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary and became man (end bow). For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered died and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulifillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

These are probobly the main things that are recited at Mass. There are also alot of responses to be made, but they’re pretty easy to pick up on (e.g. “the Lord be with you”…“and also with you”).

Hopefully you’ll see this before Mass, and hopefully it’ll be helpful!


#17

sarc - i’m so excited for you!!! i wish i (or all of us here on the board) could go with you! if i were in the area, i would. :slight_smile:

the main thing to remember is - don’t stress out! if you just go and sit in your pew and watch - that’s fine. it can be confusing, and stressful, when you first start learning when to stand and what to say and when to kneel. your first experience - i’d just go and watch. when it comes time for the eucharist, either stay in your pew or go forward and cross your arms over your chest for a blessing.

in my church, we have visitors from other faiths all the time. you can tell who they are, because they don’t know the creed and they don’t know when to kneel, etc. but we’re all happy that they’re there! it’s not out of the question that you might find some ‘snippity’ catholic person who looks at you funny for not knowing ‘the drill’. don’t worry about that. for the most part, people don’t pay alot of attention to one another in mass - not nearly as much as in protestant churches (in my experience).

the mass is beautiful - i almost envy you your first experience!

God bless you as you go. i look fwd to hearing about it.


#18

[quote=John Russell Jr]Hi,

One thing I would offer, is that you will not be confronted by people trying to sign you up. Just relax and take it all in. And learn. Just follow everyone elses lead. And all the advice here is good. The Catholic Church is like family. Everything is very laid back. Its not like many other churches that aggressively try to sign you up.
I will say some prayers for you.
[/quote]

Agreed. It’s very easy to be anonymous at Mass if you so choose. You’ll won’t be asked to sit up front or to introduce yourself, in fact if you want, you can just sit in the very back pew and observe. Wear clothing that is modest but it doesn’t have to be fancy. You don’t need to bring anything with you unless you want to put something in the collection basket.

Since you couldn’t find a Missal at your bookstore, see if the church has a bookrack near the door. Our parish provides missalettes (smaller seasonal missals) in bookracks at the doors. If you can’t find one, you could ask one of the ushers- that’s part of their job. Also, many churches (including mine) have hymnals that have a brief “order of Mass” section. The Scripture readings won’t be there, but the main prayers and their order will be. If you get there early, look at the table of contents for that section.

I’ll pray for you this weekend as well. May you have a truly blessed experience.


#19

Just clean up and GO!

Go on Sunday AM, Sit in the back…no one wants to or will “introduce” you. This is Mass, it’s Jesus coming for you…not you coming to be introduced.

A St. Joseph’s Missal with have all the words the priest will say. Cost is less than $10.00.

Don’t expect a lot of people talking to you. We go to mass to pray not to talk with others.


#20

my advice is a little different. don’t worry about a missal just yet. It can be very confusing to follow without help. Just go a few times and listen, really listen, and watch. Sit up front so you can see the altar and the priest. The readings are meant to be proclaimed, so listen to them, listen to the prayers, the intercessions, especially the Eucharistic prayer (after the Holy Holy Holy). don’t even worry about trying to follow the prayers or responses or songs. If you want to sing, they usually announce the hymn numbers, just like any other church. some of the hymns you may even know already. It is not necessary right at the beginning to know exactly what is going on at every moment, or to distract yourself by taking notes. You might want to use that notebook to write down your questions after Mass, and if you join an inquiry class you can get some answers then. Or we will help you Monday morning quarterback your Mass experience.

Please dress however women dress for church where you live or where you used to go, no jeans if you are over 12 please. Modesty is the real requirement. Don’t even worry if you don’t sit, stand or kneel at the right time, half the people don’t or can’t anyhow. Just open your heart to Jesus, and let him instruct you.


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