Mass Isn't Just An Extra Boring Version of an Evangelical Church Service

Before we became Catholic, we would attend Mass and I would be bored. to. death. I would start to get antsy after the homily and wonder why it took forever for mass to be over afterward. 

It wasn't until we had been going to mass for months that I finally realized why I was having such a hard time with it. In the evangelical churches we had grown up at, the order of service went, almost always, like this: singing, communion (if at all), sitting down to listen to a sermon, a song or two afterward, and we're all done. But Mass is more like this: singing, standing, sitting for a short homily, more standing, sitting, kneeling, praying, kneeling, communion, and then it's finally over. But it isn't like there are just a bunch of announcements after the sermon that you have to wait around forever for, it's that the focal point of the Mass is completely different. 

While each service was about an hour long, Mass felt so much longer because I was coming in with a protestant perspective. I had grown up attending church services that consisted of singing and preaching, with the sermon being the bulk and focus of the service. So when Mass just kept going and going after the homily was over, it was so far from what I was used to that it took a long time to understand and appreciate it.

Mass is principally about the Eucharist -- the readings, prayers, the homily are all in preparation for it. It wasn't just a different style of "church service" than I had been used to -- an extra-long, church service with no rock music, no talking to friends, and lots of kneeling and things in Latin -- it was something different entirely.  

This realization, which seems simple and obvious now that we've come into the church, changed everything. Mass isn't boring -- Mass is beautiful. It isn't only about message, it's about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The whole thing is in preparation and celebration of His body and His blood.

And when I looked at it in that light for the first time, everything changed.