The celebration of the Mass is central to the life of the people of God. It’s a sacred time that requires all our devotion and our full participation. Because of its importance certain behavior is expected and necessary for the good of everyone present. Please keep the following tips in mind so that everyone who attends Mass may gain the greatest benefit from attendance.

ARRIVE ON TIME! An important way to get more out of the Mass is to come early, take time to pray and to read over the Scriptures (Bible Readings) that will be proclaimed. Please observe a respectful silence as you wait for Mass to begin.

WHEN YOU’RE LATE! This inevitably will happen! If Mass has already begun when you arrive, please enter through the front doors (Hinesburg Road entrance) or walk down to the basement and come up the front stairway. In this way you will not distract the rest of worshippers from focusing their thoughts on the prayers or readings of the Mass. Please DO NOT walk down the aisles while the readings are being proclaimed. Rather, wait in the back until the reading is done and walk up during the Alleluia or as the homily is about to begin.

GENUFLECT TO THE TABERNACLE AS YOU ENTER! The first gesture of respect when entering a Catholic Church ought to be directed to the Lord who is present in the Tabernacle. If it’s impossible for you to genuflect, a profound bow of the head is the next best option! If you pass by the altar, it’s customary to bow!

BE SENSITIVE TO THOSE LOOKING FOR A SEAT! When the church begins to fill, it may be necessary to move to the center of the pew in order to leave room for those who arrive after you!

TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE! It is distracting to everyone when a cell phone rings during Mass. If you must receive a call in the event of an emergency, kindly put your phone in silent mode. Naturally phone conversations should not take place in the church during Mass. If necessary please step to the back of the church to talk.

PARTICIPATE AS FULLY AS POSSIBLE! By joining in the songs and prayers of the Mass you enhance the experience of Mass for yourself and for the rest of the parish community.

BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS! Talking with the people next to you will distract others from listening or praying; please avoid any, and all, unnecessary chatter while Mass is being celebrated. If it is necessary to step out (to go to the toilet, for example) please try to be discreet! Avoid all movement and talking during the Eucharistic Prayer, especially at the time of the consecration. People should not be greeting others while coming up for Holy Communion. This is a time to sing the hymn or to adore the Lord who has come to our hearts!

DO NOT LEAVE EARLY! It is rude to leave Mass before it has ended. One should never walk out immediately after receiving Communion. You should always expect to be in church for a whole hour on weekends. Daily Mass is about 30 minutes long.