Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Need a Little Help with Catholic Practices

Next week I'm supposed to help teach RCIA about common Catholic practices in church, particularly at Mass.  The only problem is, going to Mass is a little like breathing, and so you just do it.  It's hard to remember the specific things that you might be doing.  I want to look at the sign of the cross (including with holy water), genuflection, and... What else should I remember to talk about??  Is there anything that we do as Catholics at Mass that I should remember to tell them?  Especially if you're not Catholic, but maybe have been to a Mass before, is there anything you wondered about?


  1. I think it would be good to talk about the fact that the priest bows his head every time we say "Lord Jesus Christ"... People might not understand what the priest is doing and why.

    I'm not sure what your parish does, but at some parishes, they still kneel down and say the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

  2. What about when we make the cross on our forehead, lips and over our heart before the Gospel, and pray, "May the word of God be always on my mind, ready on my lips and burning in my heart"? At least, that is what I was taught to pray when I made that sign.

    You could also explain the sign of peace.

    And why we bow when we recall the Incarnation during the Creed.

    Hmm. If I think of anything else, I'll mention it. Good luck! :)

  3. I have the The How to Book of the Mass by Michael Dubriel and every time I pick it up, I learn something new! Even as a cradle catholic, I don't know why we do certain practices at Mass. Complicated Life taught me something! How about something on genuflecting?

  4. I love these suggestions - Complicated Life's was one of my first thoughts, I had NO idea there was a prayer to be said there until The Man went through RCIA.

    Also, I know it's small, but what about when the Priest prays 'wash me of my iniquity and cleanse me of my sins' when he washes his hands before the consecration?

  5. I think it is interessting what we (the people) say at mass. The Kyrie, Gloria, Agnus Dei....

  6. The most common fear many of my non-Catholic friends have is being afraid they won't stand or kneel at the right times. Perhaps an overview of when we stand and when we kneel would be helpful (and why we stand or kneel at certain times).

    You may also want to cover some of the "new" stuff we'll be doing (like we're returning to the beating of the breast, "mea culpa" when we confess our sinfulness at the beginning of Mass). What else... how about ways to receive the Eucharist? Folding arms over the chest if not receiving, or hand/tongue. At our parish, we have the option to kneel at the altar rail to receive on the tongue.

    There are also things we're not supposed to do... it's my understanding as parishioners we're not supposed to mirror the priest's hand motions, etc. Sounds like "The How to Book..." may be a good way to go!