Catholic New Year’s resolutions

[I wrote the following for my parish bulletin.  Dcn. G.]

So here we are, beginning another year, rising to face new challenges, hoping to be better people next December 31 than we were last December 31.  Some people are hoping to lose weight.  Some will stop smoking.  Looking for suggestions?  Maybe these will help.  Meantime, Happy New Year!

Catholic New Year’s Resolutions

  • I resolve to arrive at Mass early.
  • Before arriving for Mass, I resolve to turn off my cell phone, or put it on “vibrate.”
  • I resolve to go to the bathroom before I leave home, so I don’t have to stand outside the restroom for most of Mass, hopping from foot to foot.
  • During the warmer months, I resolve not to wear to Mass that tube top that looked so great the night before at the KISS concert.
  • I resolve not to wear shorts to Sunday Mass unless I’m under the age of five.
  • I will refrain from leaving prayers for St. Jude all over the place.
  • I will not feed my children cookies during Mass.
  • I will not leave empty juice boxes in the pews.
  • I resolve not to snore during the homilies.
  • I resolve to sing.  Loudly.
  • When the usher comes by with the collection basket, I will not put in a five-dollar bill and take out four ones.
  • I resolve to actually shake hands with those around me during the Sign of Peace, and really mean it.
  • I will not butt in front of others when I get in line for communion.
  • When someone butts in front of me to get in line for communion, I will not trip him and then laugh.
  • When the lector announces that there is no second collection, I resolve not to cheer, applaud or make “the wave.”
  • I will not bolt for the door after the announcements.
  • I will stay in my pew to sing the recessional hymn.
  • I resolve to place my missal and hymn book at the end of the pew before I leave, to make less work for the ushers.  A tidy church is a happy church.
  • When I am in my car, waiting to get out of the parking lot after Mass, I resolve to use all five fingers when I wave at my fellow parishioners.  And I will smile at them.
  • I will take home this bulletin and cut out these resolutions and tape them to my refrigerator, so I don’t forget them.
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30 responses to “Catholic New Year’s resolutions”

  1. “I resolve to sing. Loudly.”

    Our parish used a new Mass setting starting on Christmas. No one except the organist has music. We have hymnals with the old settings.

  2. Those suggestions could apply to many, many churches—not just Mass in the RCC. Well done, Deacon Greg!

  3. Dear Deacon Greg,
    I have been reading and enjoying your posts for some time. Thank you so much for your teaching and entertainment. One resolution of mine for sure, to keep reading your blog!

    To you Deacon Greg, and all those you love, a very Blessed New Year !

    Yours in Christ,
    Deacon Brian

  4. Deacon Greg,
    May I use a version of this for the bulletin at my parish next week??? (We don’t have second collections in our Diocese)
    I loved this!
    Michele Laughlin
    (Pastoral Associate-Sacred Heart Parish, Klamath Falls, Oregon)

  5. These are great, Greg, but honestly have these 2 actually happened:
    I will not butt in front of others when I get in line for communion.
    When someone butts in front of me to get in line for communion, I will not trip him and then laugh.???
    I would have trouble giving either of them communion until they shook hands or kissed and made up!

  6. Heh!
    How about, “I resolve not to honk my horn at other cars in a rage as soon as I get back in my car…leaving the parking lot of the church.”

  7. The whole butting in line for communion thing would take care of itself if ushered communion were ended, a practice only common in the U.S. If given a chance, even
    Americans can queue.

    As for the behavior of children, that is a societal problem, and not unique to the Church in America. Being the father of three, I can confirm that children (as opposed to infants) are capable of not eating and drinking for an hour. Children are even capable of putting down the coloring book and participating, particularly if they are partaking in communion.

  8. on the flipside
    Pastors agree to genuflect and show reverance and not just a simple tilt of the head

  9. Ushered communion should end, I agree. It makes everyone feel as if they have to go to communion, which can be contrary to the guidelines of the bishops for reception of communion. You have someone watching you, letting you know it’s “time” for you to go to communion. Needlessly intrusive practice.

  10. Very fun read Dcn. Greg. I would only add:

    Realizing that many are distracted in prayer by unnecessary chit chat, I resolve to keep my conversations outside or in back of the church before, during, or after mass.

  11. might I add– I resolve to perfrom only the postures and gestures prescribed in the GIRM – including I will BOW during the Creed at our profession of the belief of the Incarnation and I will not NOT HOLD ANYONE”S HANDS during praying of the Our Father.

  12. I especially appreciate the one about not leaving the St. Jude novenas all over the church. Once I find one I know that I am going to have to go on a search for the other 80 as one of our parishioners decided to leave a whole week’s worth at once.

  13. Please make it “I will not feed my children at Mass,” full stop. Don’t enjoy kneeling on Cheerios. And I have small children myself.

  14. Amen and amen. You took the words out of my mouth. Funny and all too true. Now if we mainline Protestants only had congregations big enough to cause traffic jams after the service, but ahh, one can dream.

  15. More often than not, Dante, those that bow the head have difficulty genuflecting for physical reasons. This is allowed.

  16. I think your one about the restroom is a bit much. I for one have a bladder problem and even if I go before I leave home I at most times have to go again before or during Mass.
    So one last one for you to add your list. *”To not judge others who attend Mass.” You don’t know there circumstances so will leave all the judging to God and thank God that at least they have come to Mass and not have left the Catholic Church like so many do because they have said the do not feel welcome.

  17. Here’s one:
    I resolve not to have loud conversations inside the church. I resolve to remember that I am in the presence of the Lord, and conduct myself with the reverence He deserves. (And yes, this is one that I actually resolve to do!)

  18. I sit in the last row of the church and sing in a regular voice but people often turn back to look who’s singing. It’s starting to make me so uncomfortable I’m thinking of not singing anymore.

  19. Sing louder at the back of their heads!. I know I am not the best singer but I know how to read music (for the most part) and I love to sing and when someone turns back and gives me the look like I stink at it, I just sing louder and pray louder. I wont let anyone steal my joy!

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