Sunday, December 6, 2009

Good Church Manners

From the bulletin of St. Vincent de Paul Church, Kansas City, Missouri:

1. Your first duty on entering a church is to remember the Real Presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Therefore, genuflect until the right knee touches the ground near your left heel. Then, in the pew, kneel and greet our Lord with a prayer.

2. Never talk unnecessarily in church. The church is Christ's audience chamber. Speak only to Him. Keep other conversations for the outside.

3. From the Sanctus to the priest's communion is the most solemn part of the Mass. Do try to kneel during ALL of it.

4. Do not sit back on the seat when those behind you are kneeling in prayer. They have no place to put their hands or prayer book but on your back.

5. An outburst of coughing immediately after the Consecration is surely not a fitting welcome for Our Lord.

6. When you are one of the last ones to receive Holy Communion at the altar rail, it shows a lack of consideration to compel the priest to go to the far end of the rail merely to suit you.

7. Don't COME LATE for Sunday Mass or LEAVE EARLY. If you do this habitually, you may be committing a sin. Leave the church only when the priest has left the sanctuary

8. You are wanting in charity when you say your prayers so loudly that you disturb your neighbors. Our Lord is not deaf and hears even a whispered prayer.

9. Women should have their heads covered when in church, but not with a covering which would be a distraction to others.

10. Do not cling stubbornly to the end of the pew. To do so may cause annoyance and inconvenience to others.