Non-Catholics and Catholic Gestures

Hello! I am not Catholic (I’ll be starting RCIA in September), and I was wondering if there are any gestures I should not be doing during Mass. I know that I should not be taking communion, but is it okay for me to make the sign of the cross, genuflect, and bless myself with the holy water when entering and leaving the church? I don’t want to do anything that would be considered inappropriate! :o

Thank you!! :slight_smile:

You are free to do everything at mass except receive the eucharist. Yes you can bless yourself with holy water ect the other things you mentioned. I asked the same question when I started RCIA.

Please do make the sign of the cross as often as you can, not just in church. Only good could possibly come of it. Same for blessing yourself with holy water and saying catholic prayers (eg: hail Mary), regardless of wether you have “swum the Tiber” or not.

I’m new and I also wondered the same thing. I did not make any gestures until I had researched the meaning behind them and when they were appropriate. Once I knew, then I did.

Off Topic;
I’ve noticed the Tiber swimming thing; what is that all about?

To swim the Tiber means to convert to the Catholic faith.

It’s the river between the pagan and Catholic sections of Rome - to “swim the Tiber” is to go from being not Catholic to being Catholic. :wink:

The phrase was actually a derogatory term used by Anglicans, for Anglicans who had “poped”…become Catholic.

When I first came to CAF I couldn’t understand why lots of people had the text “Tiber Swim Team” and a date in the section where everyone lists their religion. When I eventually realised the reference I laughed my socks off. I’m not a convert myself, but it seems that the catholic converts here on CAF have converted a once derogatory term for their own use. :slight_smile:
BTW welcome to the church of Christ. :smiley:

Absolutely you can do those things. And remember this small thing when you bless yourself with holy water and make the sign of the cross, if you are baptized. When you do this, you are re-committing yourself to the New Covenant that you entered when you were baptized. You are expressing your full belief and wish to have all the blessings of your baptism and the New Covenant come upon you.

If you are not yet baptized, you are expressing your wish to enter into the New Covenant.

Thank you for taking the time to check this out so you can make sure you are doing everything ok. Good for you.

Lots of Catholics come to Mass late and leave early, but I like to watch the procession at the beginning and at the end of Mass. The young alter boy or alter girl carries the cross in front leading the priest and servers in and out. Mary has requested processions at Lourdes and Fatima so I’m sure it is pleasing to her and it gives me great pleasure to watch. :slight_smile:

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