A New Week – June 4, 2023

You all know that I love the theatre! In most every theatre program, there is a page listing “Theatre Etiquette”, encouraging patrons to be courteous to their fellow theatergoers and to the actors by following a few commonsense guidelines, like turning off your cell phone and not talking during the performance. That got me thinking that there is a bit of “liturgical etiquette” that we need to be reminded of from time to time.  So, from me to you, here are a few things that are good for us to remember when we come to Mass:

  • Although there’s no requirement to dress in your “Easter best” every Sunday, it is true that the way we dress is often a sign of how important the Eucharist is to us.  Mass is not just something else we do on the way to the gym or to brunch. It is the highlight of our week and the most important appointment of the day! Even though we can be more relaxed in the summer, consider what your clothes say about your respect for the Mass and the Eucharist and dress appropriately.
  • We must have a good balance of hospitality and respect for sacred space. A cordial greeting is never out of place, but carrying on extended conversation in the pew before Mass is hardly appropriate, especially when others are trying to pray and collect themselves before Mass. Please do your best to promote a reverent environment in Church before Mass and to take time to visit with others after Mass.  
  • Arriving at Mass on time and remaining until the final hymn is complete is most appropriate, of course. While sometimes circumstances are out of our control, many of you can be more timely and more courteous about coming and going from Mass.  
  • The rule of fasting from solid food for one hour before Holy Communion still holds. While we could debate whether it’s food, please don’t chew gum in church.  Would you believe that I’ve seen people chewing gum when they come to receive Holy Communion? 
  • External gestures of reverence can become a witness to the truths of our faith.  The bow immediately before receiving Holy Communion should be done with the conscious recognition that it the Lord Jesus before whom we bow! He is truly present in the Eucharist, both in the host and the cup, and the extension of our hands should acknowledge the acceptance of a gift, not a grabbing for something owed to us. For this reason, your hands should be completely empty; in other words, don’t come to Holy Communion holding keys, tissues, or other personal items. (At the same time, please be conscious not to leave your purse, phone, or other personal items in the pew unattended.
  • Speaking of phones, do you really need yours in Church? Probably not, so you could leave it locked in the glove compartment of your car. If you feel you do need it, please turn your phone off or on silent when you come to Mass. And please, don’t answer your phone during Mass! I’ve seen and heard many people do this time and time again and it always baffles me. If a call is so important for you to take (and there are few of those), go outside and call the person back.
  • I can’t imagine how tough it is to be a parent at Mass! I’m grateful that so many of you bring your children to Mass, and I want to encourage you to keep bringing them, even though many of you tell me that you can’t pay attention at all when your kids are acting up. Every parent has encountered this, and I just encourage you to do your best. If and when your child acts up or cries, don’t be afraid to take him or her to the Children’s Chapel or outside if it is nice till they are calm, then come back to join the assembly. We thank you for this courtesy!  

Contact Us

Have a question or comment about the St. Margaret of Scotland parish community? We’d love to hear from you!

Contact Us

Are you interested in joining our mission?

See Our Employment Opportunities