Mass Etiquette


The guidelines below are intended to prepare newcomers for what to expect at a traditional Latin Mass at Saint Jude Shrine Catholic Church.
Note: *An asterisk means that something is absolutely required. Please review before attending.

Dress Code* Required

What to Expect

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass requires the utmost attention and reverence. In it, the host is transformed into the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (see our page on the Holy Eucharist). Therefore it is imperative for the faithful to respect the solemnity of the event and the space as soon as they enter the church doors.

It is recommended that Catholics go to Confession often (Confession times can be found here) and especially if they have committed a mortal sin, in which case they must confess their sins to a validly ordained priest in order to be forgiven and receive Holy Communion.

Mass Guidelines* Required

This list is non-exhaustive, however, proper behaviors that are required* for inside Saint Jude Shrine include:

  • Dressing modestly (see Dress Code page) and wearing head coverings (women only)

  • Genuflecting, meaning kneeling with one knee briefly prior to sitting down and after standing up from a pew, and whenever crossing the center aisle in front of the Blessed Sacrament which is housed in the Tabernacle atop the main Altar

  • Silencing cell phones and not using them (texting or calling) while in the church

  • Speaking in a low whisper

Receiving Communion*

Those eligible to receive Holy Communion are baptized Catholics in the state of grace with no restrictions from receiving (for more information see our page about the Holy Eucharist). Communion is distributed on the tongue only to those kneeling at the Communion Rail, unless due to a handicap they must stand or sit. Those returning to their pews should keep their hands folded in reverence for the Blessed Sacrament which they have just received.

What is also encouraged

  • Making the sign of the Cross with holy water when entering the church

  • Staying after Mass is over and the priest has left the sanctuary (church) to say prayers privately

For parents with small children

In the hall adjacent to the church, the Mass is livestreamed on a big screen so that parents with small children can monitor their children as well as attend to the Mass. When time for Communion comes around, parents may enter the church with their children to receive and return to the hall afterwards.

For mothers who are breastfeeding

There is a room in the hall of Saint Jude's provided for mothers who are currently breastfeeding.

The Six Commandments of the Church* Required

All baptized Catholics must:

  1. Hear Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation (if within a reasonable distance from a Catholic Mass)

  2. Fast and abstain on the days appointed and keep the Eucharistic fast (abstaining from food for at least three hours prior to Communion and abstaining from liquids for at least one hour prior to Communion)

  3. Confess sins at least once a year

  4. Receive the Holy Eucharist at least once in the year during Eastertide

  5. Contribute as far as one is able to the support of the Church

  6. Observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage