non-catholic participation in mass


I recently started RCIA and have been trying to go to mass. My question is since I am not catholic yet to what extent to I participate in mass? I know that I can’t recieve the Eucharist and that I am to stand, sit, kneel when appropriate but, do I make the sign of the cross? Or answer with everybody else? Any help would be appreciated.
Thank You


You can do everything that the lay people in the congregation are supposed to do with the exception of reception of Holy Communion.



ok, thank you.


I was told a few times that I could go up with my arms crossed and receive a blessing from the priest, but I found that doing so interfered with the orderly distribution of the Sacrament. Often the priest would not be aware of my posture as I approached, resulting in a bit of fumbling (and even the dropping of the host onto the floor on one occasion:bigyikes: :eek: :crying: ).

So I decided to stay in the pew after that.


??? That makes no sense; speak with the Priest out side of Mass. Catholics below the age of ccd are blessed. Catholics in a state of mortal sin are blessed(divorce, cohabitation, adultery). You are not alone in this issue. I have seen Eucharistic ministers (EM) mentally asleep and trying to give the host to people in the blessing posture, but that was a minister issue not laity (person being blessed). The EM just assumed the adult would receive. So please speak with the Priest it was probably just error and he will probably ask you to proceed with the others. Realize the Priest is there for you, he wants you in the church; do not let an embarrassing issue damage these relationships. Speak with him leave the past in the past and move forward.


It depends on the priest. When I was going through RCIA my priest at the time would bless anyone who went up with their arms crossed. But the priest I have now will not do it, even for children.

I would ask about this before trying it as it seems to vary from parish to parish.

If you do stay in the pew you can always pray for spiritual communion.


As far as I can tell, the blessing of communicants in line by the priest is not a thing that is approved by the church but it isn’t rejected either. Some priests allow or even suggest it to make the communion line flow better. That being said, many priests don’t promote this because it leads to people doing this whether they are in the line for a priest/deacon or not. This leads to issues when there are EMHCs.

An EMHC is not supposed to be giving a blessing that is reserved to a priest so they are put into a position whether:
a) they don’t know what to do.
b) give a blessing even though they shouldn’t.
c) the person expecting the blessing thinks they are rude for not giving a blessing.

In a nutshell if you priest allows it, make sure you are in the priest’s line. If you are unsure whether it is permitted, ask first, if you can’t don’t be suprised if the person ignores you or is confused.


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