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  • Maria Greco

Reverence

Updated: May 13

"Every act of reverence, every genuflection that you make before the Blessed Sacrament is important because it is an act of faith in Christ, and an act of love for Christ. And every sign of the cross and gesture of respect made each time you pass a church is also an act of faith."

St. Pope John Paul II


Within every Catholic Church, the very person of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist is present and within every tabernacle. What incredible sublimity and humility is this good God, that He avails Himself and makes Himself accessible to us in this profound manner. What then must the respect and reverence be for each person who steps foot into this sacred place. Yet, despite this great truth, many people show little to no respect and their behavior attests to their little to no faith.


In the diary of St. Faustina, the saint laments how if people truly knew who is present within every Catholic church, there wouldn't be such incredible disrespect. It seems as though people have little concern for the Divine Guest's Abode, and little respect for those who are there praying before Him. Modesty is shown not only in our exterior appearance, but modesty should firstly be from within us, and the fruits of this shown in our behavior. To have a deep reverence and respect for God is what every person is called to, and our actions should reflect this. Talking, laughing and or loud behavior, do not belong at the Sacrifice of the Mass.


"The Sign of Peace is best practiced by reverently and discreetly bowing to the person to either side of you (not behind) and then refocusing on the fact that Jesus is truly present on the altar.


One must remember that the Mass has everything to do with the re-presentation of the crucifixion on Calvary. If everyone is more concerned with shaking their neighbor’s hands and carrying on, it distracts from the most important part of the Mass. At this time, you are about to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. It should be very solemn and prayerful."*


Prayer should accompany this sacred time, before the Mass and after the Mass. Conversations should be held outside of the Church, or in an appropriate place for community building.


"If you want see more reverence in church and at Mass, it all starts with you. You need to be the difference you want to see."*


In approaching the Holy Eucharist at Mass, one should approach the altar with deep reverence, recollection and all the while contemplating on the amazing mystery of Christ's loving kindness. To come in any other disposition, would be an offense and the soul would not benefit from this most sublime Gift. Holy Eucharist should be received only on the tongue, kneeling, if possible, and received from the Priest or Deacon, in obedience to Christ's command "feed my sheep"*.


"The default posture for receiving our Lord in the Holy Eucharist is kneeling and on the tongue. We kneel to lower ourselves as a sign of humbly signifying that we are of lower status than our Lord. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and every knee shall bend in His presence.


We should receive on the tongue because our Lord give Himself to us. In His mercy He offers Himself to us. Again, this is a sign of humility. We are docile to the Lord allowing Him to enter into us physically and spiritually. It is gentle and orients our bodies and souls in the proper disposition."*


One should receive Holy Communion as much as possible, for Christ's Heaven is in souls. By the great mercy of God, venial sins are forgiven at every Holy Mass, although it is highly encouraged to confess venial sins at confession as well. In general, monthly confessions should be for all of the faithful, and if possible weekly or bi-weekly confession. Healing graces and abundant mercy is bestowed upon the soul with every contrite and sincere confession. Mortal sins can only be lifted through the hand of Christ's Representative in the confessional, the priest. No one should ever receive Jesus in a state of mortal sin. This would be a grave offense to God and bring condemnation to the soul.


Reverence for God is shown in our appearance. Although, one should flee from vanity and avoid excessive preoccupation with one's manner of dress, it is holy and prudent to be conscientious of one's appearance by dressing modestly and respectfully. If one were invited to go to a King's banquet, wouldn't it be respectful to dress in appropriate clothing that befits royal company? How much more respectfully and modestly should one dress then for the King of Heaven. Women should dress in a way that befits a holy person and her appearance should encourage holiness and modesty.


Reverence is simply summed up in the commandment that embodies everything, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself."* We love God by following His commandments. We love God by striving to live holy and virtuous lives and serving Christ in every person we encounter. We love God by being reverent at church, by acknowledging Whose house we're in and by revering each person as a soul that Christ shed all of His blood for.


Let us strive to console the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary by showing deep reverence and love for God at Holy Mass. May our actions bring greater glory and honor to God, from Whom all good gifts come. May all we do be for Him Alone.



Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam.



Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.



Attire


“Your attire signals to you and others that you are in the midst of someone important and are participating in a serious event. For Catholics, there is nothing more solemn and important then the Holy Sacrifice of Mass, and no one more important in life and Jesus Christ. Therefore, dressing reverently and respectfully is very important when coming to church.”*

For Men

  • Coat and tie


­For Women

  • Long dress/skirt that falls below the knees

  • Shoulders covered

  • No cleavage

  • No tight clothing


Extra

  • Chapel veil/mantilla


Article on the beauty of veiling at Holy Mass:

https://www.imitationofmary.com/post/the-beauty-of-the-veil



Notes:

John 21:17

Mark 12:30

ReverentCatholicMass.com

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