Dear RCIA candidates,
We know you RCIA candidates are learning all kinds of important doctrine. But there are the "little things" about Catholic worship you don't want to ask out loud, aren't there? Yes, yes, we know. We are here to help. We hope this list helps you in your journey to reception in the Catholic Church this Easter.
1. If you have your cell phone on, changing the ring tone to "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" for Mass time doesn't cut it.
2. Invading the personal space of other members of the Body of Christ: Be sure to space yourself the exact same distance from the other parishioners as they do themselves. Observe carefully; this is a skill intuited after years of practice.
3. If you bring Cheerios to pacify your toddler, bring enough for the kids in the pew behind you as well. (UPDATE! Or you can bring "Churchos" instead!)
4. If you come to Mass tired, don't slump disrespectfully. Depend on the skills that got you through high school. At least hold your head in your hands in such a way that you look reverential.
5. If you are able-bodied, the reverential bow at the reception of the Eucharist shouldn't be confused for a body twitch.
6. When the collection basket comes around, never use the collected money to break change for your $100 bill.
7. Kneeling etiquette: once done, sit back S L O W L Y to avoid slamming your back into someone's folded hands.
8. Yes, the Holy Eucharist is a participation in the Heavenly liturgy, as we transcend time and space, singing with angels and saints. Ergo, it is politic not to look bored. However, if you are too enthusiastic, remember you will be accused of Pentecostalism. You are hereby challenged.
9. The crying room is a space of shared suffering, to be sure. But social networking crosses the line.
10. When all else fails, remember the secret Catholic motto: "I can sing quieter than you can sing."
(p.s. The Curt Jester has added some more, as well as UnMuted Mumblings, The Propaganda Machine, Causa Nostra Laetitiae, Happy Catholic and Christus Vincit. Thanks to Alive and Young for the "Churchos" in #3. And feel free to add your own....)