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Anita Richardson wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • If I'm a non-Catholic, what are some of the procedures and protocols I should observe when I go to Mass?

Anita Richardson

  { If I'm a non-Catholic, what procedures and protocols should I observe when I go to Mass? }

Paul replied:

Dear Anita,

If you're not familiar with the proper responses and body movements of the congregation during Mass, your best bet is to take any seat of your choice and follow everything that everyone else does, with one exception.

Remain in your pew and do not go up for to receive Holy Communion. Only Catholics in good standing are morally able to do that. Eventually, you'll get the hang of it and begin to understand the flow of the Sacred Liturgy.


Bob replied:


You can allow follow responses in the missalettes that are usually in the pews.

You will find lots of helpful aids there.


Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Hi, Anita —

Thanks for the good question. I would encourage all non-Catholic's to attend Sunday Mass, even if they can't receive Holy Communion. On that issue, my colleague Paul said:

Remain in your pew and do not go up for to receive Holy Communion. Only Catholics in good standing are morally able to do that.

This isn't because the Church is trying to treat people mean or look down at them. As faithful Catholics this is the one time during the week that our Personal Relationship with Jesus is the deepest.

Receiving Holy Communion in the Church is a public statement where we are saying, we are in a Common Union with Jesus and the Church He established on St. Peter and His successors.

When a Catholic disagrees with the teachings of the Church but receives Holy Communion, they are publicly saying they are in a Common Union with Jesus and the Church, when they are not.

. . . And No, you cannot separate Jesus from the one Church His established.

  • Jesus is the Head
  • the Catholic Church is His Body throughout time and eternity.

This is a mystery; one that we can partial, but not fully, understand.

Hope this helps,


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