40 Lenten Lessons on the Mass.

Lesson 4: Stand

Why do we stand at the beginning of Mass? Did you ever wonder about that? We stand because something important is about to begin and someone important has arrived: the priest. The Priest is not important for anything he has done, but because of what Christ has done to him for the good of others.

In Civil life, we stand when the Judge enters the courtroom, and when we recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and when we sing the National Anthem before a baseball game.

Standing — quite simply — is a sign of respect. And the attitude of respect and reverence for the Sacred is, in fact, the beginning of Wisdom. As we read in the Bible, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.”

Since a Church is a sacred place, we behave in a certain way: men remove their hats, boys refrain from chewing gum, gentlemen do not smoke in Church (nor do the ladies!), and no one would think of eating a hamburger in Church or drinking a cup of coffee.

There is a time and place for “casual” in our dress and behavior, but I don’t think Mass is the time to be casual, since the Mass is the re-presentation of Our Lord’s Sacrifice on Calvary.

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