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Ink’s Handy-Dandy Pre-Mass Checklist

August 14th, 2010, Promulgated by Ink

I’ve been intending to write a post like this for quite some time and decided to take a break from applying to college via limerick (true story, email me if you want to hear it) and write up some prose.

Below is a list of Things to Check Before Mass.  This is to enable the participant to be more fully focused upon the Sacrifice and less on other peoples’ opinions of them.

1. Keep an eye on the clock.  Check the time, account for traffic if need be, account for weather, and don’t forget to account for the amount of time it takes to get your family (and possibly tagalong friends) loaded into the car.   Make sure everyone is awake in decent season so you don’t end up sliding in late and trying to catch up–it’s distracting for everyone.  Oh, and make sure to fast for at least an hour before reception of the Eucharist!

2. Check your outfit.  Is it clean?  Do you look like a bum?  If so, change and brush your hair.  And maybe your teeth.  Is there too much skin showing?  Cover it up.  Mass is not a fashion show nor a red-light district.  Ladies, dress modestly.  Knees and shoulders are usually my rule, but for the love of humanity, please don’t go flashing cleavage!  It’s very, very distracting.  Gentlemen, ditch the ripped-jeans and paint shirt, or the t-shirt that ooonly has one hole in it and is maybe a little frayed but hey, it’s wearable!  It is also distracting.

3. Gather sacramentals.  If there is something you want to ask Father (after Mass) to bless, grab it and keep it in your hand the whole time–then you can’t kick yourself during the Eucharistic prayer because you forgot it on your desk or kitchen counter, even though you could have sworn you put it in your purse or pocket.

4. Mentally prepare.  Get your mind into the state right before an important interview or visit with relatives–prepared.  After all, you are entering God’s very Presence.  That’s a little more important than any interview or impression to make upon others.

5. Always remember that, no matter how frustrating the liturgy itself may be, Jesus is Truly Present and deserves all the respect we can give Him.  He is the reason we attend Mass… to receive Him in the Eucharist.

6. Optional: read up on the readings for that week so that you have a good feel for what they say.  This way, a lector who mumbles cannot be to blame for your not-receiving spiritual nourishment through the Word and you should always get your weekly (at minimum) dose of Scripture.

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6 Responses to “Ink’s Handy-Dandy Pre-Mass Checklist”

  1. avatar Gen says:

    Is this someone’s way of saying, “see you at St. Stan’s tomorrow?” 😉

  2. avatar Ink says:

    After Mass this evening? Maybe. I’ll talk to Mum. =P

  3. avatar Mike says:

    Two weeks ago you wrote that you were “going to go to school to be an architect” and now you’re “applying to college via limerick.”

    Those must be some awfully interesting buildings you have in mind.

  4. Always remember that, no matter how frustrating the liturgy itself may be, Jesus is Truly Present and deserves all the respect we can give Him.

    Actually, no. If the Mass is sufficiently frustrating, e.g., the priest changes the words of consecration or rejects the truth that the Mass is a sacrifice, there is indeed reason to question whether Jesus is “truly present.” Ex opere operato isn’t magic. It’s not for nothing that an ancient motto of the Church holds that a priest or bishop carries a thousand souls with him, to heaven or hell.

  5. avatar Ink says:

    Mike: They said make a “personal statement” and to “be as creative as you like.” They asked for it. =P

    Rich: True, though I haven’t come across that just yet, thank God… so I actually didn’t think about it. Thanks for mentioning that though. ^_^

  6. avatar Christopher says:

    I was going to comment on “He is the reason we attend Mass… to receive Him in the Eucharist.”

    While I think that’s very true, there’s so much more meaning to the mass that most Catholics never are really taught.

    Here is a very good free audio seminar on the meaning of the mass (in depth 3 parts):
    http://www.instituteofcatholicculture.org/media.htm#000000anchor

    P.S. I wish we had free seminars like this in Rochester.

    I might also note that it’s still worth going to mass if you are not able or choose not to receive the Eucharist. If anything I think one of the problems with our churches is what I’ve heard some refer to as a “sacramental filling station syndrome”. Get your Eucharist and get out. In Poland, where some churches are filled with good Catholics, roughly 1/3rd of the Catholic congregation does not receive the Eucharist for a multitude of very good reasons (primarily because they are able to fully discern the body of Christ) 1 Cor 11:29-30. It might be safe to say that a large number of American Catholics do not discern that they are going to receive Almighty God on the tongue. Sometimes we are not prepared mentally and/or spiritually to do that and it may not best to not receive (even if we are in a state of grace). I have heard on Catholic answers podcasts people call in and say “I just don’t feel anything when I go up for Eucharist”. It has been recommended that an interesting way to get a more powerful spiritual experience may be to not go up for Eucharist for a couple weeks and then come back to it finding it a much more spiritually fulfilling experience. Trust me, the stares or weird looks you may get for not going up for communion is worth the fulfillment in the end.

    Good post Ink. When driving to mass, I also like to think ahead in advance about venial sins that I need to ask for forgiveness for in mass, think about things I’m thankful for as well in the past week, and also think about any people or things I need to pray for while I’m there.

    In short, we goto mass for 4 intentions:
    Adoration, Atonement, Thanksgiving, and Petition

    Aligning your mind and thoughts with each of those 4 aspects before mass can never be a bad thing.


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