For the laity during
Mass (plus before & after Mass), the following are customary & proper... [Note: Applicable items may
vary & list below is not comprehensive.]
* Blessing oneself with
holy water (making the
the Cross) as one enters and leaves the church, thanking God for the gift
* Prayers before and after Mass (and also after Holy Communion) should be done kneeling
by those physically able - try
here for some prayers
* Standing / sitting / kneeling / genuflecting at the
proper time – for a refresher regarding genuflecting, try the newsletter
here [Reminder: One should genuflect when passing the tabernacle
(hopefully there is one!) and before entering the pew. Genuflection should be
directed towards the tabernacle.]
* Making the Sign of the Cross at the Asperges and also
at the incensing of the laity (e.g. at a High Mass)
Signing oneself at the reading of the gospel in the
manner you indicated (in the Traditional Mass, this is done during the Latin
reading, and maybe also at the vernacular)
* Bowing of the head is done in the Traditional Mass at
the incensing of the people (before the altar boy starts incensing the laity
and after he is done – a total of two head bows) and also after the elevation
of both the Host and the Chalice. Some of the faithful & priests also bow
their heads at every mention of Jesus & his Blessed Mother. In the Novus Ordo Mass,
persons bow during part of the creed (in the Traditional Mass, one kneels)
* After consecration, at the elevation of the Host, it is common to silently
recite "My Lord and my God"
* After consecration, at the elevation of the Chalice, it is common to
silently recite "Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy creature, whom Thou hast redeemed
by Thy Precious Blood" (or "Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy creature, whom
Thou hast redeemed by Thy Most Precious Blood")
You may also find the following resources of interest...
(click links below to view)
The Holy Eucharist / Mass ("a wealth of information", spans several pages)
Proper Behavior in Church (a "must read")
Communion in the Hand: Why Not?
Lay 'Eucharistic Ministers': Why Not?
Communion Under Both Species: Is it Required?
Church Talk Reflections
One must also not
overlook essentials (e.g.
should wear veils, etc.). The above links contain information for each of
these points, particularly see the links on the 'Proper Behavior in Church'
page referenced above. You can find a lot more
information about Mass / Holy Communion at the links above, and also at the links below... (click links to view).
Catechism of the Council of Trent on
the Holy Eucharist
Holy Eucharist / Mass (Reflections)
Reference / Proper Behavior (Mass/Holy Eucharist Reflections)
Latin Mass & Catholic Tradition (Reflections)
Please keep in mind
that some actions people engage in at Mass are private devotions - they are
not liturgical actions (in fact, some things really shouldn't be done at all,
e.g. holding hands at the Our Father).
Hope that helps.
+ + +
Did you know? It is still possible – thanks be
to God! – to lawfully attend the highly reverent Traditional Latin Mass. The
Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass differs from the 1960's Novus Ordo Mass
in many & significant ways (try
here for more information). To locate a Traditional Latin Mass in your
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