Basic Church Etiquette
1. Be on time – It is rude to be late to a party or movie – why is it okay to be late to church? If you must enter tardy, enter the church quietly and observe what is happening. If the Gospel is being read, or the pastor or priest is in the middle of his sermon, stay in back until the sermon is finished.
2. Wear your church clothes – You don’t have to be in your “Sunday best” but avoid holes in your jeans in inappropriate places. Your highest platform pumps may be dangerous as you walk up for communion on that slick marble floor.
3. Eat before you come – This is not the time to snack. Even giving small children finger food in church is questionable if you don’t intend to pick up after your child’s mess.
4. No chewing gum – Gum chewing in church smacks of rude behavior.
5. Don’t leave until the service is completely over – Leaving at communion is the same thing as screaming in your loudest voice “Okay, I’ve done my obligation for the day”. You wouldn’t think of “eating and running” at your best friend’s birthday party! Or, would you?
6. Don’t be a “pew blocker” or “pew squatter” – Sitting directly next to the aisle and not allowing anyone else to get in is not polite. If you insist on sitting next to the aisle, be prepared to stand up and step out so others can move to the middle. Do not just semi stand or move your knees thinking you are leaving other guests enough room to get through. However, it is most heavenly to just stand up and move to the middle. It is also not polite to “save” an entire pew for your family when they are not there and people are waiting to sit down. Once the service has started, or even a few minutes before, all bets are off.
7. If your child starts to cry, take them out – Don’t spend too much time consoling a screaming child. It is considerate to remove your child from the service so others won’t miss the message.
8. The cry room is not an outdoor play area – Although this room is offered for parents with children, a church service is still going on and those that are in the room with you may want to still participate in the service.
9. Avoid leaving to use the restroom in the middle of the sermon – Makes the preacher think you don’t like the message.
10. Greet strangers with a handshake – New members may not be comfortable with an impromptu bear hug or kiss on the cheek. Watch the body language of others for your cue.