What would you do? Accidentally attending a Mass.... ;)


#1

Yes, accidentally...

More info: :)

Before Reconciliation last week, I arrived early to pray the Rosary before the statue of Mary and Jesus. I was 45 minutes early. A Mass was being said when I arrived, which I have not encountered before. It was in Spanish, and at first, I thought of participating completely, as I arrived only a few minutes after it began.

However, it became clear after the Homily, that this was a Marriage ceremony, and I quickly changed my mind about receiving Communion. :( I did stand during the Lord's Prayer, but did not participate past the Wedding Vows other than that. I had stood/sat down the rest. I was at the side, towards the back of the building.

I knelt and continued praying the Rosary, with special intentions for the married couple. Many people were in line for Confession by the time Mass was over.

I think that there were extenuating circumstances, as we have a second, older Church building where weddings and Spanish Mass are usually celebrated; I think perhaps something went wrong that they were unable to hold it there as scheduled.

Did I do the right thing? Would you have left the building?

(And I ended up being there from 5:00-7:30! I prayed a lot; confessions started at 6:00 PM, and the line was super long, and I was unable to stand in line for that long, so I just continued praying in a pew until almost everyone had left, and then I got in line. Apparently, the First Communicants are doing their First Reconciliations on the regular Confession times, and many with their parents, so it's taking longer than usual, even with two priests. Not complaining at ALL, I am honored that I was able to partake for almost 3 hours!)


#2

It's a good question,that I am hoping to hear the answer to as well. A similar thing happened to me - I arrived early for Confession and there was a funeral Mass going on :o
I hid near the entrance until it was over (well okay, not hid per se, but I was trying to avoid seeing the body) and when I got to the line for Confession there was already several people in line :confused:


#3

In my Humble opinion.... which others would I guess argue against... I Think you were in the house of the lord... you were not in a church were they pray to weird statues,or chickens
or whatever... I would have stayed.


#4

I don't think you did anything wrong. You didn't know the schedule and were respectful to the wedding. Even though it was a wedding Mass, I think this is accurate, that wedding Masses are open to everyone. In other words, anyone there who is Catholic and in good standing in the Church can attend a Mass. Masses are not closed affairs such as a reception to the wedding. You didn't feel comfortable which is understanding and did what you thought was the right and respectful thing to do. Sometimes in daily Masses, my husband and I have gone and there was a furneral going to happen. While a Mass is open to all, we don't feel comfortable either and we leave and go to another Mass if still available. That was wonderful that you prayed for the couple and maybe you were meant to be there to offer a special prayer on behalf of the couple. Sometime we think something is a mistake but God meant it or used it for His purposes. Just a thought.


#5

Wedding and funeral Masses in parish churches are public events, public Masses. As a member of the parish, you are totally appropriate being there, praying for the Mass intentions, and receiving Communion. No reason at all to feel awkward or out of place. Catholic Christianity is very much a group effort.

Note: this does not apply to a wedding reception, which is a private party.


#6

By no means walk out. I've never been married, but if I were I am sure I would love everyone in that church at the time to participate in the happy occasion, whether I'd invited them or not.

It's not like you were gatecrashing the reception to eat free food and drink free alcohol or anything - the wedding mass is not a private exclusive event.

In fact it is intended to be public as are most all the sacraments (OK, not confession :eek: ) that's kinda the point of having it in church in the first place.


#7

I personally would stay for mass if I could. I would also receive communion if I could. In my parish we have wedding masses and confessions going on at the same time, so if i finish confession early, I just join the mass. Its a good way to gain more indulgences:D


#8

When funerals, marriages baptisms or any other celebrations are announced in our parish,parishioners are encouraged to attend.
I have attended many funerals of people from various parishes I have belonged to over the years.


#9

I see no problem staying either. I was married in a regularly schedule Saturday Vigil Mass. Most of the regulars were there, and some visitors as well. I think there was some confusion amongst the visitors, but it was so nice to have so many guests attend my wedding! We had a very small reception afterwards in the church hall (cake, juice and coffee), and many people we had never seen before wished us well. I even received a beautiful handmade rosary from a lady who had just come to church to pray like you had. It was beautiful. I wish more couples could see the joy that simple weddings contain. Too often they lose sight of the important things like community when planning expensive, elaborate weddings and parties. It doesn't take a ton of money to have a sacramental wedding. It just takes desire.

And our Saturday Mass is a Spanish Mass as well (my husband is Mexican). Most of the visitors spoke and understood no Spanish, but they all understood the meaning of the Mass and our wedding vows as well. They also got to see traditions we normally don't have in weddings in the US (like the lasso!). 20 years together and we are still living those vows. I believe the heartfelt prayers of all those people have helped us tremendously.


#10

[quote="7armyrugrats, post:9, topic:323742"]
I see no problem staying either. I was married in a regularly schedule Saturday Vigil Mass. Most of the regulars were there, and some visitors as well. I think there was some confusion amongst the visitors, but it was so nice to have so many guests attend my wedding! We had a very small reception afterwards in the church hall (cake, juice and coffee), and many people we had never seen before wished us well. I even received a beautiful handmade rosary from a lady who had just come to church to pray like you had. It was beautiful. I wish more couples could see the joy that simple weddings contain. Too often they lose sight of the important things like community when planning expensive, elaborate weddings and parties. It doesn't take a ton of money to have a sacramental wedding. It just takes desire.

And our Saturday Mass is a Spanish Mass as well (my husband is Mexican). Most of the visitors spoke and understood no Spanish, but they all understood the meaning of the Mass and our wedding vows as well. They also got to see traditions we normally don't have in weddings in the US (like the lasso!). 20 years together and we are still living those vows. I believe the heartfelt prayers of all those people have helped us tremendously.

[/quote]

You had a truly beautiful wedding thankyou so much for sharing :)


#11

[quote="tbcrawford, post:10, topic:323742"]
You had a truly beautiful wedding thankyou so much for sharing :)

[/quote]

We had married civilly, at the courthouse, but later realized how important marriage is. Thankfully this took months and not years. When we talked to our priest we explained we wanted a wedding but could not afford it, so he suggested the regular Mass we normally attended. I am so glad that he did, and I wish we had done it sooner. Hopefully this will catch on and prevent other young couples from rushing to the courthouse instead of the Church due to lack of money! Our entire wedding cost $150, not the thousands that we thought it would take. We need to get the word out that Catholic weddings don't need to be expensive and extravagant. I have seen so many people that think they can't afford to have a Church wedding. But in truth it doesn't have to cost any more than a civil ceremony. And the benefits far out weigh the cost.


#12

I would have stayed, but not have received the Eucharist since I was there to go to confession.


#13

I remember once I was in Italy, I think it was a weekday so I just walked into a random church. It wasn't one of the big name churches, but I like walking into any church in Italy since most are gorgeous. I think I was in Florence at the time and I walk in and there's a mass going on. I didn't know what to do so I took a few pictures of the church (without flash) and stayed for a bit and prayed. I saw other people who walked in did the same thing. They didn't realize there was a mass going on so they just stopped for a bit to pay attention. After a while I left since my fiancee was waiting outside wondering where I was :D.


#14

I'd stay. If I were getting married, I'd love for strangers to fill up the pews. I'd refrain from Communion only because I think it would be awkward.


#15

[quote="GangGreen, post:13, topic:323742"]
I remember once I was in Italy, I think it was a weekday so I just walked into a random church. .

[/quote]

I was in northern France and was walking around a monastic compound way off in the middle of nowhere - and being my nosey self I started opening doors to the buildings. I found a grotto with the Theotokos, a cloister, and upon opening a really small door, there was a chapel (I hope I got the term right) with a Mass being celebrated.

I'm not even Catholic, so I slowly began the close the door when one of the brothers (I think) motioned for me to come in. I'm so glad I did - it was one of the holiest Masses I have ever been privileged to witness.

When the sacrement was being distributed, crossed myself to indicate that I couldn't commune with them, and afterwards got to meet several of these amazing people dedicated to Christ.

Frankly, one the best days of my life.

So If I ever stumble in by accident on a Mass, I will never ever leave. As I understand it, God is with us most especially in Mass, so I think it would be rude to turn away.

My $.02 worth.


#16

[quote="7armyrugrats, post:11, topic:323742"]
We had married civilly, at the courthouse, but later realized how important marriage is. Thankfully this took months and not years. When we talked to our priest we explained we wanted a wedding but could not afford it, so he suggested the regular Mass we normally attended. I am so glad that he did, and I wish we had done it sooner. Hopefully this will catch on and prevent other young couples from rushing to the courthouse instead of the Church due to lack of money! Our entire wedding cost $150, not the thousands that we thought it would take. We need to get the word out that Catholic weddings don't need to be expensive and extravagant. I have seen so many people that think they can't afford to have a Church wedding. But in truth it doesn't have to cost any more than a civil ceremony. And the benefits far out weigh the cost.

[/quote]

You are right weddings do not have to cost a fortune and yours was truly wonderful. So lovely to read about yours in this materialistic world we live in. :)
God bless you and your husband


#17

As others have pointed out, weddings are public events. As long as you were respectful, there was no reason for you to have left. In the same situation I would have stayed, though like johnmann I wouldn’t take Communion either due to the possible :confused: factor.

I got married in Paris (yep, that Paris :)). Just try keeping tourists out of a church in Paris, particularly on a Saturday. So my wedding was witnessed by a crowd people neither The Husband or I knew. The parish staff confined them to the narthex during the Mass so we didn’t even know they were there until we recessed. As we walked past, they applauded enthusiastically. Years later I still remember this as one of the most touching moments of the day.

I live in northern France and would love to know where this happened! :yup:


#18

This happens to me all the time with funeral or memorial masses- I show up for the regular mass time and it's a special day instead.

I stay and participate along with everyone else, just like any other mass. I don't attend the reception afterwords though, that would just be rude because I don't know the person and I'd feel guilty taking the free food.


#19

:getholy:

[quote="PatriceA, post:12, topic:323742"]
I would have stayed, but not have received the Eucharist since I was there to go to confession.

[/quote]

:getholy:Isn't it now allowed to receive communion if you intend to immediately, or at least on the first occasion available, avail yourself to the graces of reconciliation?:signofcross:


#20

[quote="ccmcmg, post:1, topic:323742"]
Did I do the right thing? Would you have left the building?

[/quote]

Like the others, I think you are welcome to attend the Mass as long as you're not deliberately photobombing or inviting yourself to a private reception. ;)

I also think that if you walk into a Mass by accident you are free to leave, if you wish, if you can do so without disrupting anything.


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