Going to Mass

The Mass is the central act of worship for Catholics. At Mass the local Catholic community gathers and unites in prayer with the Church throughout the world. It is nourished by listening to readings from the Bible and by the Body and Blood of Christ present in bread and wine. From this celebration the community is sent to live their lives renewed and seeking to follow Christ more closely in their daily lives.

  • The local church community gathering for Mass will give you a good picture of what it means to be a Catholic — in a whole variety of ways.
  • Sunday morning is when most people come to church.
  • Most churches still get quite full on Sundays — so you can get lost in the crowd.
  • Many churches will also have weekday Mass which is usually shorter, quieter and with fewer people there.
  • There should be a noticeboard outside the church giving Mass times. Many parishes also have websites
    • Mass can be quite daunting when you are unused to what is going on.
    • If you have a friend who is a Catholic you could ask them to take you.
    • You may be given a variety of books and pieces of paper to deal with — don’t worry. If you feel able to, ask the person next to you for help.
    • There will be prayers and texts to say and sing — join in as much as you are comfortable.
    • People will change posture: standing, sitting and kneeling. Be aware of what’s happening.
    • Only Catholics can receive Communion. Don’t worry if people need to pass you to get to the Communion.
  • See what phrases or images strike you at Mass. Remember them afterwards.