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How Not to Behave in Church, Courtesy of Mr. Bean

Daniel Esparza - published on 06/12/16

(And other minimum standards of liturgical etiquette)

Sometimes during Mass, more often than we’d like, there’s someone who just cannot stop talking. And not just to others in the pew, but on their phones. And some other people, while not necessarily speaking out loud, prefer to text non-stop.

Let’s face it: some of us simply do not know how to behave at Mass. Perhaps some don’t because they are not Catholic, and this happens to be the first time they have ever attended Mass. Maybe some of us are, as they say, “ashes and palms” Catholics (that is, we just go to church twice a year). Hey, maybe we are talking about our own relatives, who just came to our graduation Mass, or to our kid’s Baptism.

How are we to approach matters of basic church etiquette if, as Catholics, we want to make it clear that we welcome with sincere joy anyone who wants to come to our Mass, whatever their beliefs are? A light touch is called for. Perhaps a good way to start is by sharing with them this sketch, in order to clarify at least three things: 1) do not fall asleep; 2) if you fall asleep, please, do not snore, and 3) please, save that candy for later.

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