5 Tips for Being on Time for Mass – EpicPew

5 Tips for Being on Time for Mass

So many things get in the way of being on time for Mass.

It’s Lent and you promised yourself you’d be on time every time, but the time change, the kids, the late-night movie, the restless sleep… The mornings seem impossible and you barely get there for the procession much less any announcements. Maybe you’re even later and trying to sneak in before the first reading.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry. Being on time for Mass doesn’t have to be an impossible task, even for those who struggle with timeliness.

Here are five tips for being on time for Mass. Just know that some of these tips will not apply to you, but the concept of preparing and knowing you weakness ahead of time is makes the win.

1. More quality sleep

This is a tough one for many people. It takes planning, commitment, and intentionality.

Imagine you have an early flight. You’ve spent your hard-earned money on a ticket and it can’t be delayed or refunded. You know you need to go to bed early and sleep well. There’s no sleeping on this ride because the boss is sitting next to you briefing you on the week ahead.

If you looked at getting up for Mass the same way, you’d probably schedule some quality sleep a little better. Saturday night movies are fine, but get right to bed and make sure you prep your body for sleep. That means no screen time in bed, shutting your body down with a solid bedtime routine, and saying some prayers before you sleep to let life’s worries rest too.

When you set yourself up for a better night’s sleep, you reap the rewards. The mornings are easier, your body and mind feel better, and you’re more attentive the next day (no matter who’s saying the homily.)

2. Get up earlier

If you like to hit the snooze button, this one’s for you.

The more you snooze, the more you condition your body to ignore wake-up signals. It’s the same with daylight or other natural things that wake us up. Our bodies are designed to wake themselves up but they can be conditioned to wake up to alarms too, even gentle alarms. When we teach our bodies to ignore those signals and go back to sleep, it gets harder to get up.

Start willing yourself out of bed at the earliest signal. Stretch before you climb out of bed. Stretch once you’re up. It gets your blood moving. Then get dressed or use the bathroom to start an action that tells your body it’s time to be awake.

If you’re the type to get up moments before leaving for Mass—but you’re often late or barely on time—it’s time to change. Start getting up earlier, making a new wake-up routine that gets you moving.

3. Plan Earlier

This isn’t redundant. This is about Mass time.

If Mass starts at 8, it starts at 7:45. If it starts at 10:30, plan for 10:15. Those who are chronically late often play games to get themselves on time for things.

For Mass, it’s not just about being on time for the opening procession. Mass is a time for prayer, which means getting into a prayerful mindset first is appropriate. Mass may start at a certain time, but praying before Mass starts earlier.

It’s not just a mind game to get your body in the pew; it’s a spiritual intention to get your heart ready for the biggest prayer and the more Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. That’s what Mass is all about.

4. Set out clothes

This isn’t just for kids. Even adults can benefit from having 30 seconds shaved off their morning routine. It takes less mental energy in the morning and, let’s face it, you need all the mental energy you can muster first thing.

Check the weather the day before. Get out what clothes you need, prep everything, and go to bed knowing you’re ready. It’s one less thing in the morning and makes a bigger difference than you might think.

For kids, it helps encourage independence as they learn to get themselves ready. They can even help pick out their clothes the night before.

5. Don’t Clean Up

If you’re a chronic late-comer to Mass, skip any clean-up. Mornings are great for emptying the dishwasher or picking up a few things while you wait for other family members to be ready, but if cleaning up is part of what’s keeping you… just don’t do it. At all.

It’ll be there when you return, so hold off and focus on being on time for Mass.

6. Have a Mass bag

This one’s mostly for parents. If you don’t already have this, do it.

Your Mass bag should have everything your kiddos need or could need during Mass. Like having a baby’s diaper bag ready, kids might need anything from tissues to hand sanitizer or books to plush toys. Switch out the items seasonally or as they grow. Water bottles and snacks work for younger children. Tissues are always a plus to have on hand. Prep a bag appropriate for your family and keep that bag ready to go at all times. Don’t plan on packing it Sunday morning; it should be ready to go all week long.

7. Don’t miss a beat

Make a routine that works and don’t miss a beat—not the first note of the opening hymn, or the last of the closing! Be sure to be on time for Mass and stay for the final blessing.

Life is a whirlwind of rushing from one thing to another, but Mass is timeless and our Lord deserves our full attention from start to finish. When we prioritize being on time for Mass, we prioritize time with God.

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