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Question about Catholicism

(15 Posts)
ilovemyhens Tue 10-May-11 21:19:50

Been attending Catholic church with dh and the dcs.

I used to go many years ago, but can't remember the details of the Mass.

I have two questions:

I understand genuflection, but there is something else that occurs during the Mass that looks like people making a little sign three times on their forehead, lips and chest I think confused What is this and what does it mean?

Also, I am a baptised Catholic, but have never been confirmed. Is it permitted to approach the PP for a blessing when everyone else is either taking communion or just sitting in the pews?

I'm terrified of messing up and offending anyone/looking like an idiot hmm

I even lack the courage to speak to the PP about going to his Church and perhaps being confirmed, which I would like to happen.

I'm not a naturally outgoing person.

AnnieBesant Tue 10-May-11 21:25:03

It is a cross. God be in my head, and on my lips, and in my heart.

Anyone is very welcome to approach for a blessing.

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops Tue 10-May-11 21:26:46

It's when the Gospel is read, to symbolise: "one small Cross on the forehead, one small Cross on the lips, and one small Cross on the breast -- just before the Gospel reading at Mass. The sign on the forehead is to show that we believe the Gospel, the sign on the lips is to show that we respect the Gospel and desire to spread the Good News, and the sign on our breast is to show that we love the Gospel and want it kept in our hearts"

ilovemyhens Tue 10-May-11 21:26:51

I see, thank you smile

What is the usual way to indicate that you just require a blessing as opposed to communion? In the CofE church we were told to carry our service books to indicate a blessing. What do Catholics do?

AnnieBesant Tue 10-May-11 21:27:43

Bow your head and keep your hands down.

ilovemyhens Tue 10-May-11 21:39:53

Thank you again smile

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops Tue 10-May-11 21:49:47

In school we used to cross our arms to receive a blessing rather than communion, but in grown-up church I think Annie is right.

AMML Sun 15-May-11 22:44:35

Anyone wanting a blessing in our RC Church crosses both arms over their chest so the priest knows to bless them instead of giving them communion.

bringinghomethebacon Sun 15-May-11 22:48:12

Yes grown-ups cross their arms over their chest in my church for a blessing. Perfectly fine.

mariamagdalena Sun 22-May-11 22:58:49

This is a nice [http://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-I-am-Still-Catholic/dp/0826485774 book] of people's faith stories

[http://www.rcia.co.nr/ This] is what you might do as Confirmation preparation.

An American [http://www.catholicscomehome.org/ website] which may feel feel a little over-certain and evangelical... or you might love it.

If you would like a copy of the book, PM me as I think I still have it somewhere.

housemum Sun 05-Jun-11 17:20:40

Same in our church, crossed arms over chest for adults or children for a blessing

Our church runs the RCIA course as a 1 year course, I did this last year and really enjoyed the discussions

if you don't remember bits of the service you could always buy the "Mass Book for Children" for the DCs (think it's published by the Catholic Truth Society) - it's cheap and has the relevant prayers, you can pretend you're teaching the kids!

Towards the end of the year the service is due to change slightly, to bring the English translation more in line with the original versions, so don't invest a missal for yourself just yet if you were thinking of it!

PedigreeChump Wed 22-Jun-11 23:02:34

I agree about the arm crossed across the chest for a blessing, but to be on the safe side I would say quietly to the priest "A blessing please" and they will just bless you.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 22-Jun-11 23:04:57

Arms crossed over chest for a blessing - though I am sure if you just approached with your head down and no hands out, the priest would realise. I would, and I am a minister of communion.

Poshbaggirl Wed 22-Jun-11 23:19:08

Everyone is on a journey, their own journey. Dont imagine for one second that everyone else at Mass gets it all or has all the answers. Everyone is searching for what its all about. Voice exactly what you are feeling, the Priest will be delighted to talk to you. Just ask if you can go and talk to him, you'll be amazed at how normal he'll be! He's your shepherd and will be very happy to help one of his little lambs! Especially one with such a strong desire to get it right.
Crossed hands on chest for blessing i reckon.
I found it very helpful refreshing my understanding when DD did her first communion.

mathanxiety Sat 02-Jul-11 05:50:42

Yes, arms crossed over chest and head bowed slightly, and approach in line.

I know in my parish the priest would be head over heels to chat and there is a person who runs the adult initiation process who would take you through it if you weren't already baptised, or if already baptised in a Christian church, confirmed in the Catholic faith. The adult initiation programmes usually have mentors to chat with even if you're returning to the church after a break and not seeking initiation.

The DCs had a lovely little book explaining the order of the Mass, liturgy of the Word, liturgy of the Eucharist, what the priest is doing at all the various stages, responses to readings, prayers offered by the congregation, when to stand, sit, kneel (though different dioceses can have slight differences).

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