Of course, I am no perfect. Nobody is. But surely, we can try to be. So guys, I hope that you do read on and instill in your hearts and minds the basic things to remember when inside the Catholic Church.
- Dress properly. The Church is not a shopping mall or a bar. It is not an avenue to flaunt your sexy bodies. Thus, we all have to take into consideration what we wear. Kindly avoid wearing revealing clothes. Plunging necklines and sleeveless tops are very attention-grabbing that it may lead other people to just stare at you rather than concentrate on the Mass. Wearing leg-baring bottoms isn't actually permitted as well. For guys, please don't wear wifebeaters and caps inside the church. Same rule applies with cargo shorts. People, you don't go to church to attract attention. You go there to pay attention to your spiritual life. So the spotlight shouldn't be on you but on God.
- Observe silence. A mass runs only for an hour. We are obliged to attend it only once a week. So please sacrifice that small amount of time to control ourselves and be quiet. This is a very, very difficult thing to do as I, myself, is usually guilty of this but it doesn't hurt to try. There are people who need silence to concentrate and we must give it to them and to ourselves as well. How can we hear God if we're busy talking to others? But then, if we can't refrain from talking to our companions though, at least tone down our voices to the point that only we would hear. More so, keep your phones in silent mode.
- Don't eat when inside the church. Not everybody may know this but if I remember it correctly, there is a rule in Catholicism wherein we should not to eat anything at least an hour before we receive the Holy Communion. That's fasting, a preparation we do to be worthy of receiving Christ. THUS, it is especially expected that no one will inside the church. This is something serious because aside from the fact that we're disobeying a major rule, we tend to disrespect the sacredness of the place; because admit it or not, many of us just throw our trash inside the premises and that's plain absurd. People, we do not chew gums and just stick it underneath our chairs. We do not drink soda/water and just leave the plastic bottle or cans on the floor. We do not munch on junk foods and then throw the wrappers just anywhere. Geez! Quoting our parish priest: Would you find it nice if a visitor would dump garbage on your house? I guess not.
- Don't let your kids run around when the mass in on-going. We can all argue that kids aren't on their right minds yet so we can't tell them what's right or wrong; but I am pretty sure that their parents are very much in their right ages to already understand that kids running around may create noise, thus attracting attention and ruining the concentration of people. Look, I'm not against parents bringing their kids to church as God would surely want the young ones to be there; but I believe there is also nothing wrong in teaching these little ones how to behave properly when there.Remember, the negative impression isn't thrown to the kids alone. The parents are the targets of the criticism.
- Start and finish the mass. You do not go to mass when all you did was enter the church, dip your fingers on the Holy Water at the entrance, look at the altar as you do the sign of the cross, and then leave; and just the same, you don't finish the mass just with the Holy Communion. It is a sacred ceremony - IN WHICH THE MOST IMPORTANT PART WOULD BE THE CONSECRATION. So please, try hard to attend the whole mass. It's just for one hour. At least, let's allot that short time for our souls' salvation.
Respect is the key here. The reason why we got to church is because we love God. So if we love him, we will respect Him and His church. Remember, He is with us when we gather for mass. We shouldn't do unnecessary things in front of Him.
I know I'm looking like I'm a know-it-all here; but please, people, join me in this change. Once and for all, let us face the fact that we Catholics have an obligation to give back to our Almighty Creator. Together, let's take time to process the things I've just said and be a better kin in the eyes of the Lord.
God bless you. :)