Water Bottles durring Mass


What do you think? I can understand the taking of water prior to Mass. I can understand taking medications as directed. But should we be allowed to have our water bottles to sip from during Mass. Is this allowed? Or should it be allowed?


Um, to me, this whole concept is rather shocking. I sang in a cathedral choir for 18+ years and cannot recall ever seeing one of us with a water bottle or ,indeed, one of us leaving Mass to run over to the parish hall for a drink of water. I certainly cannot remember anyone of the clergy doing this or returning to the sacristy during Mass to get a sip of water.

All I can say is: :bigyikes:


I did not vote because the choices are not covering all the scenarios. It is fine to drink water during Mass if it is a necessity. Our priest is an older person and because his health sometime he has to drink water after the homily. The Choir members may need to drink water to be able to perform their ministry. Some people in the pews may need frequent but small intakes of water for health reasons, that can be specially true for the older faithfuls. It is a NO WAY for anyone else, even if they are really thirsty. Jesus did not get off the cross to have a sip of water, he willingly accepted to suffer to the end for us. The least we could do it is to offer our thirst to Him.


A few weeks ago, I just got totally fed up with this, and I went through all the pews just before Mass was about to begin, gathered up all the unattended water bottles (people with their backs turned to their water bottles counted as “unattended” in this case, especially if they were yapping to their neighbor at the time instead of praying), took them out to the narthex, and put them in the lost and found drawer of the Hospitality Desk.

I haven’t noticed anyone bringing them into Mass, since. :smiley: (Either that, or they’re hiding them on me, which works just as well, from my point of view.)


I observed the celebrant sipping from a glass of water at his chair and at the altar last week, I supposed that because of his obviously advanced age, he needed it.
However, I think it is a rare person who can’t get through an hour in the church without the ubiquitous water bottle. Before people became tethered to cell phones and water bottles, how did they make it through Mass, especially those Solemn High Masses of years gone by?


Water is very, very essential to our body functions. Most people don’t drink enough water. Drinking water is great for your brain. However, I do see what some people mean about offering your thirst up, or whatever… For the choir and for the priest, who has to speak, and for the readers, okay. But for anyone else… maybe not. I never really thought it would be a bad thing to drink water during Mass.


If they’re not a distraction, I don’t see a problem with them.


we pick up a dozen water bottles after every Mass when we run through picking up used kleenex, hymnals, toys, lost keys etc., a sign of laziness, the besetting epidemic disease of our time. Not until the generation when water bottles are the new fashion accessory did anyone feel the need for them, amazing. That being said, I have developed a swallowing problem after an ulcer, and am having increasing difficulty in communion, so I probably will resort to carrying a small water bottle in my purse, but if I leave it behind, shoot me.


I can see having a water bottle for those who have a medical condition that might require it. And while it’s true many people don’t drink enough water, I don’t think they’re so dehydrated they can’t abstain from water for one hour.


As a cantor, I would assume that given the choice of having me sip from a small bottle or dixie cup of water, or having my voice start cracking halfway through the responsorial Psalm because our church’s heating/cooling system has a vent right over my seat that blows dry air throughout the entire Mass, the parishoners would choose the water. I’m sure they would also prefer the same for the whole choir, especially during Masses where incense is used and the dozen or so allergic singers start coughing. (Please, no flames about how cantors are bad and wrong and shouldn’t exist. I’ve heard it all before and it would be off-topic.)

As for the rest of the congregation- some people take meds that require lots of fluid intake. Some pregnant women, especially those not yet showing, may need to keep something on their stomachs at all times to avoid hormonal sickness. Should these people avoid Mass instead, so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of others? I cannot imagine going through the church and taking water bottles from people as if they were disobedient children, especially without even asking them first if/why the water was needed.


One of our daily Mass readers carries a nasty white plastic water bottle into the sanctuary with her! Two things keep me from grabbing it from her: (1) my reluctance to cause a scene or any other unpleasantness, and (2) the remote chance that she may have some disorder that causes her to need a sip of water frequently. I have not ever seen her use it, but its very presence in the sanctuary annoys me no end.

How long ago was it that distributors of bottled water convinced us that we could not ever be without their product?

I don’t buy the business about the choir needing water, either. I’ve been a professional chorister for nearly 30 years, and I have* never *carried a bottle of water into any church. In fact, I find that drinking often causes me to need to clear my throat, especially if the water is cold. Singers should be properly hydrated before they go into church. Water consumed does not have an immediate benefit as far as keeping things wet and lubricated, anyway. It does not help a cough, either.

Church is a formal place. We don’t carry water bottles or snacks (or cell phones or game boys) into formal places. We’re not there to be comfortable and casual. We’re there to worship God. There is nothing to keep us from having a nice drink of water before we go in and as soon as we leave, but for heaven’s sake, can’t we honor the occasion for one brief hour?

Sorry about the rant. This is one of my pet peeves, if you couldn’t tell!



I can see this only for two reasons:

  • Medical conditions, including those making it difficult to swallow or sing in the choir.
  • Mass in a desert or very hot place, such as the ones at WYD.

Everybody else- please remember your location, and have some common sense.


Fortunately I don’t think I have seen people with water bottles in my church. Considering we have no AC and it is EXTREMELY hot in there from May-October, I’ve never even thought about that. Though I usually hit the Mass with the non-water bottle generation in it :wink:
Generally speaking, I agree that people should be able to handle 45-60 minutes without their waterbottle, but if I saw it would just assume that person was sick, or like the PP mentioned, maybe a pregnant woman with an upset stomach.

That said, I personally would feel very conspicuous if I was drinking it in the middle of Mass! If I was desperate I would leave for a minute and have a sip. And I definitely would never leave it behind me.


OK, I can see an exception for outdoor Masses. But, hey folks, I’m not in cold country and the a/c is running at the cathedral from late March into November. I sang 18+ years in the cathedral choir and I simply can’t remember any instrumentalist or chorister brining a bottle of water up into the choir loft. During practice, yes. But never during Mass.

This is a new practice (i.e. fad) facilitated by the bottled water industry and the “you need to drink 8 cups of water a day” folks who run the bottled water industry.

The Easter Vigil runs close to 3 hours and not a single choir member or clergyman in my direct recollection ever left the service for a sip of water or had water available. The good sisters of my childhood would have invaluable advice - “Offer it up”.


smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/23/23_29_135.gif next thing you know folks will want to have
smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_1_71.gif in the pews


I agree with this. One of my many objections to having a choir in a visible position is that they are always sucking at their water bottles. I understand if the priest or cantor has a condition which requires a sip of water now and then, but unless it is an outdoor Mass in the Sahara, most people can survive an hour or so without satiating their whims.

Once I was driving through a remote forested area in the Cascades looking for a campsite where a friend was waiting. I drove around a bend and saw a bright glow coming from the woods. Perched on a stump next to a motor home was a large-screen television powered by a generator, and a family of people watching it on a long couch they had brought with them. It was then that I realized that we are no longer accustomed to doing without or making do with what we have. Instead of waiting until Mass ends to gratify our thirst, we have to have water NOW! It seems that our culture is getting spoiled!


There was an elderly lady in my parish who carried a bottle of water from Lourdes that she would sip from before Mass. I guess in that circumstance it could be considered water AND medicine! :stuck_out_tongue:


I am with you on this one.



One of our priests keeps a glass of water on a table beside his chair during Mass and takes frequent sips from it.

I take medication that causes dry mouth, so I keep a bottle of water in my car and drink some just before I walk into the church, but I don’t take the water in with me.


I was in the low minority here, voting with the “no problem” option. But, I believe that an option was excluded here and that is “only if it is needed to help one not be distracted during the Mass.”

Of course, “offering it up” is always praiseworthy; the holy souls sure could use the graces, but to decree that no one, a cantor or otherwise, who cannot focus on Mass because they are so thirsty should be forced to offer it up in my mind is too pushy.

I have been so Masses outside under a tent in late July in Georgia, with temperatures in the tent easily exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity, and to not drink water during a 1 1/2 hour Mass is just not healthy. The ultimate goal is to be able to receive Our Lord worthily and to be at least interiorly present and attentive at the Holy Sacrifice. If your thirst is too distracting, then please have a glass of water. It’s not like it violates the Communion fast.

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