Proper Conduct During Mass


I just wanted to run this by you.

During Mass, during the consecration of the bread and wine i.e. when father holds up the host and the chalice and says this is my body and this is my blood… the congregation is on its knees…(before we stand and say the Our Father) to add to this I have recently started to close my eyes and my head is also facing the floor during this time of the Mass. My question is, is this okay behaviour during the consecration? I just wondered whether I should at that point be watching the priest? What is the proper protocol for this?

Thanks in advance


I’m sure there is no protocol at all at this point!:). Whatever is devotional for YOU is absolutely fine.

Some close their eyes, some (me, for example) don’t want to take their eyes off Jesus in the consecrated Host. My own personal reason being, that if He were there in person in front of me, I would not shut my eyes. But for others, closing their eyes is a sign of their reverence.

If there IS a protocol, please, someone, enlighten me as well!:slight_smile:

No protocol.

Thanks Guys what a world of relief…(your posts both of them - thankyou)

I love you!


thanks again,


I used to do the same, but not anymore.

At the Elevation it would be best to look at Christ. If I am not mistaken, this is the significance of the liturgical element of the Elevation. It is also why bells are rung many times at this point: to call the faithful’s attention towards what is happening. In the past, bells used to ring a total of 10 times throughout the Elevation of the Body and Blood of the Lord.

The Elevation used to consist of the following: kneel, lift, kneel. During the time when the priest kneels, it was proper to offer some sign of humbleness such as indeed lowering our head or closing our eyes, but during the time when the Lord is held up high it was proper to look at Him, love Him, and there were even indulgences attached to the silent prayer of the words: “Dominus meus et Deus meus”, “My Lord and my God” while looking at Him.

St. Andrew’s missal (1937) states:

“The consecrated species are thus shown to the congregation as a protest against the heretics who denied the Real Presence. Pius X granted an indulgence of seven years to all who, looking on them, said: ‘Dominus meus et Deus meus. My Lord and my God.’ To all such as do so daily he granted a plenary indulgence once a week provided they receive Holy Communion, subject to the usual conditions except the visit (Pius X, 1907; Pius XI, 1937) It is however forbidden to say this invocation aloud. (S.C.R., Nov. 6, 1925)

Obviously it is not wrong or bad or anything negative if you simply bow or close your eyes :slight_smile: But I think this way you may be missing out on something wonderful and edifying.

1 Like

These are not infallible teachings, but the missal I use suggests the following:

  1. During the Consecration of the Host, look at the Body of Christ with love and piety and recite “My Lord and My God!”
  2. During the Consecration of the Wine, say the words “Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy creature whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy Most Precious Blood!”
1 Like

Since we usually copy the priest as far as when to kneel, stand, etc. I also “copy” him in this. I look at the host or the chalice when he is holding it up, then close my eyes and bow my head for a few seconds while he genuflects for each one. :slight_smile:

When I was a new Catholic, I was a bit unsure what to do at this point, as well.

I watched Mass at the Vatican on EWTN a lot, and I noticed that the hundreds of nuns and priests and religious always look at the host at this point. And they seldom try to look very pious, not assuming any postures that one would consider pious or humble. They just watch what is going on at the altar. None of them ever seems to bow their head, look at the floor or make any special hand movements. They look rather relaxed actually, but alert to what the Celebrant is doing.

So now, that’s what I do. Just look and not be concerned with my own posture.

I guess I’m just a copy cat at heart.

I TOTALLY AGREE with every single thing that you said RC…actually…everything that you said is CORRECT !!!

Obviously the Eucharist is HELD UP for a reason…to look at HIM…besides the offering of Him to the Father.!

I will add one other thing…from what I once read (I believe it was from a saint)…“Our place in Heaven is raised everytime we look at the Eucharist” !!!

We also DEFINITELY receive MANY blessings from looking at Him !!!

Wow thanks everyone for this, I think I will open my eyes and Genuflect accordingly whilst kneeling during the consecration from now on…

After having read all of your posts, I am thankful to all who posted…

A higher place in heaven!
Look at him!

I thought this was important so I am happy I started a thread on this.
Thanks again.

Atour X

It’s a shame few Masses these days ring bells at the epiclesis and the elevation of the Body and Blood. It makes the moments much more solemn.

When a Mass is properly oriented (i.e. the priest and congregation face liturgical east together), the major elevations are the high points of the Mass, so at this point in the Canon, at least in my experience, it is praiseworthy to gaze upon the Blessed Sacrament at the very moment when Heaven meets Earth and the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of our Lord, so that we can get a glimpse of the sacred species. But there is no hard-and-fast rule on this, so do whatever you wish!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit