August 8, 2007 at 12:33 pm #2186
Next week will be the first time attending Mass on this day. I have not yet converted but will begin RCIA classes in September.
Can anyone share experiences so I know what to expect?
The church I attend is pretty casual, but I don’t know if my dress should be more formal for this Mass.August 8, 2007 at 10:03 pm #3707
I think that your usual Sunday best would be appropriate attire.
Each church will celebrate mass as it is done throughout the world. We always have songs specifically for the occasion; Ave Maria or Hail Holy Queen and there is often a special flower arrangement placed at the statue of Mary in the church. That is about it. I’m sure the traditions will differ from place to place.August 8, 2007 at 10:22 pm #3708
Thank you for your response.
I’m just a bundle of excitement and nerves!August 9, 2007 at 5:05 pm #3709
how was the Mass?August 9, 2007 at 5:24 pm #3710
It great to see that you are so enthusiastic about your journey of Faith. This will be my first year of going to this particular Holy Day and I too am excited.August 9, 2007 at 8:54 pm #3711August 16, 2007 at 9:50 am #3712
It’s wonderful that you are so excited about becoming Catholic! You will feel unbelievably fulfilled as a Catholic Christian….
Here are a few pointers for you as you begin the RCIA process:
1. During Communion, you may join the Faithful in line. But, instead of receiving the Host (only Catholics may receive the Body and Blood of Christ in a Catholic Liturgy), cross your arms over your chest. The priest or Eucharistic Minister will give you a special blessing–often in the form of a cross traced upon your forehead. Say, “Amen,” in response.
2. As you enter the church, dip your fingertips into the little cup of Holy Water that is placed at the entrance, and bless yourself with the Sign of the Cross. Then, before you slide into the pew, genuflect (touch one knee to the floor)–or bow if you find it hard to get one knee to the floor–toward the altar. This is a sign of reverent respect for Christ’s Presence and the altar.
3. Purchase a Sunday Missal or other reference that has the “Order of the Mass” in it. This will help you understand what is going on during the Mass. You may wish to begin memorizing the Nicene Creed, which is recited during every Mass. A missal will also contain all the Mass readings for the year.
I hope you enjoy your Faith Journey through the RCIA program.
Blessings.August 16, 2007 at 12:06 pm #3713
Your post was so helpful!!! Strange because I was just wondering what to do during mass. I didn’t know if I was supposed to dip and bless myself or wait until after i was baptised (I fear going up in flames for partaking in some act that is forbidden to non-Catholics ;))
What about the double “blessing” I have seen others do. Double thumb to the forhead, double to the upper lip?
Oh, mass was really nice btw. I felt really empowered and close to our Holy Mother.August 17, 2007 at 12:58 am #3714
I’m glad I can help you…. No, you won’t “go up in flames” by doing something “wrong”! Remember, our God is a loving AND forgiving God. He loves you, baptised or not, Catholic or not. And, I know He’s so happy that you are “coming home” to His one true Church! But, it is more comfortable for one to attend Mass when one knows the “protocol.”
About the three mini crosses we do during Mass: Just before the priest (or deacon) reads the Gospel, he says, “A reading from the holy Gospel according to (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John…).” We respond with, “Glory to you, Lord.” It is then that we cross ourselves three times: (usually with our thumb) 1. forehead–signifying that Christ is in our minds, 2. lips–in our words, and 3. chest–in our hearts. This helps prepare us for hearing the Gospel. After the reading, the priest says, “The word of the Lord.” We respond, “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.”
All the “little rituals” and responses Catholics perform during the Mass have meaning and help us to open our hearts and minds to God and to deepen our experience of this great prayer, for the Mass is a prayer.
Regarding not being baptized yet, you are ALREADY a child of God, and you certainly may bless yourself upon entering the church, during the Mass, and any other time you wish! God has been blessing you since your conception–maybe before….
Blessings. K.August 17, 2007 at 1:05 am #3715
I think you are referring to right before the gospel reading when everyone traces a cross on their forehead, lips and heart? That is to ask God to open your mind & heart to His words and help you to speak His words of love to others.
That’s the only thing I can think of! I think that your passion for Christ and the Church is beautiful. I pray that I can find even a little of that for myself and impart it to my children. I know it’s dorky but it makes me want to cry! I envy those of you who are so visibly ‘on fire’ for God. It is just so beautiful that words can’t really even describe it!August 17, 2007 at 1:43 am #3716
You have one child in Heaven; that is a tremendous cross to bear. I am so sorry. Sometimes the accumulated stress of bearing life’s difficulties can overwhelm and depress us. It can be hard to always remember that God is with us through everything, every day. We can begin to feel a terrible void in the very core of our selves, and wonder what life is all about–what is the purpose?
Prayer is the way to the path of healing and re-energized faith. “Meditative” prayer would be very effective here. This kind of praying involves sitting very still, in a comfortable posture, and simply opening one’s mind to whatever God has to say. Let your mind go where it wants to go. Breathe deeply, and evenly. Close your eyes if you like. Just enjoy the stillness. Try this for at least 15 minutes a day….
Also, regular (daily, or at least weekly) reciting of the Rosary can be very helpful. One does not have to always recount the Mysteries; instead each decade (or the entire Rosary prayer) may be dedicated to a specific request or cause you are working on…. It’s amazing how the Rosary prayer can become meditative in nature, allowing the person praying to enter into a deep state of spirituality.
Finally, the Holy Spirit is within you always. Talk to Him. Ask Him to help you. You are never alone.
Bless you. I will pray for your little one in Heaven….and for you.
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