Are you thinking about going to Mass for the first time? It’s an incredible experience, but being a little nervous is normal if you’ve never been to Mass before. Below are common questions and tips to help you understand what to expect and how to make the most of the experience.
For books on Mass visit Books: New to Catholicism under New/Returning to Catholicism.
1. Do I have to be Catholic to go to Mass?
No. Mass is for everyone, and all are welcome regardless of their religious (or non-religious) background.
2. Do I have to speak with the parish or parish priest before attending Mass?
No. You do not have to talk to the priest or parish ahead of time. If you want to learn more about the faith, you can wait till after the mass to talk to the priest, or you can schedule a meeting at the parish office.
3. What should males wear to Mass?
Boys: Collared Shirt (i.e., flannel, polo, Hawaiian shirt, etc)
-Close-toed shoes such as dress shoes, converse, or boots (vans and converse are also acceptable for children and teens). Tennis shoes are not ideal but can be worn.
-Shoulders must be covered.
-Pants should be long (i.e., jeans)
4. What should females wear to Mass?
Girls: Dress that covers shoulders or dress with a sweater.
-Blouse that covers the shoulders with a skirt.
-Jeans are acceptable provided the Mass is not on Sunday.
-Shoes: Ballet flats, sandals, or boots are acceptable (vans and converse are also acceptable for children and teens). Tennis shoes are not ideal but can be worn.
5. What should I do when I enter the Church?
-If they have holy water put some of that on your finger and cross yourself.
-Kneel down in front of the crucifix before entering your pew.
6. What should I do for Communion?
You may remain seated during Communion if you would like. Do not receive the Eucharist unless you are a confirmed Roman Catholic and are of good moral standing. If you have not received your First Communion (as a child) or taken the Sacrament of Confirmation (as a teenager or adult) you cannot receive the Eucharist. However, all are welcome to receive a Communion blessing. To receive a blessing, get in the Communion line. When the person in front of you receiving Communion you should do a deep reverent bow behind them. When it is your turn to receive Communion, cross your arms across your chest to form an ‘x’.