God love you, brothers and sisters. One of the things that’s always bothered me with parishioners is the lack proper Mass etiquette. I can appreciate people being pretty energized after they’ve experienced a good weekend or maybe they’re eager to discuss some good news or maybe they’re excited to see a parishioner they haven’t seen in a while. That’s all well and good. However, it seems people have forgotten what their first priority was when they walked into the parish and took their seats in the nave.
We aren’t there to socialize, we aren’t there to sleep, or goof off. We’re there to celebrate Mass. However, what always precedes a great celebration is proper preparation. How well have we prepared if we’re sitting in the pew talking before Mass or cracking jokes ? What do we have to say that’s so important that we need to discuss at that moment ? To speak during Mass is definitely unacceptable. Our Lord has made himself available in the Eucharist and we want to talk about about what kind of weekend we had ? Or what we’re eating for lunch that day ? Really ? It seems we the faithful have become too desensitized to Our Lord’s sacrifice. It’s that sacrifice made present to us everyday (at least if you live in a large diocese). I’ve said it once brothers and sisters and I’ll say it again, “a bored Catholic is simply an unengaged Catholic”. You want to get excited about the Mass, then stop talking and engage. Also, I know we all have those things called cell phones, and I know we have a vibrate option. However, if I could steal a joke from my pastor, God is not going to call you during Mass. That being said, why not just turn it off completely ? That way there’s no inadvertent vibrating sound coming from your pocket. There’s no unexpected alert going off in the middle of Mass.
Before Mass starts ask yourself this question, “Have I prayed that I receive the fruit of the wisdom provided through the Mass ?”, “Have a prayed a rosary ?”, or “Have I read a scripture to prepare my mind and soul for this sacrificial experience?”
How are we dressed when we come to Mass ? Now the issue of dress is kind of a touchy topic because frequently wardrobes are dictated by personal financial budgets. For those short on money, you might have to go to places like Goodwill for a pair of nice people pants and a shirt or some other thrift shop. The point is we need to look as presentable as possible. If we’re rolling in with athletic wear (i.e. shorts, tennis shoes, t-shirts, etc.), that’s not properly preparing for Mass. We break our backs to look nice at all sorts of worldly events but we don’t want to put up effort for this ? If you look at traditional Catholic Churches in Houston like Regina Caeli, Holy Rosary, or Our Lady of Walsingham, some of the ladies even veil their heads. What’s also interesting is that there’s no talking before or after the Mass inside the parish. Please don’t take this as my simply playing favorites. I’m simply sharing what I have observed.
If we adhere to these ideas, then brothers and sisters we can say with confidence: We, the mighty knights and maidens, bring the mighty fight to Satan because we properly prepared. We positioned ourselves to fortify the armor St. Paul discusses in Ephesians 6. Deo Gratias.