When you go to a place of worship, it is essential that you know the general guidelines and expectations of the organisation. Whether you are a member or a guest, you should always be respectful of everything and everyone in attendance.
You are likely to find greeters at the entrance, so be prepared to shake hands with someone when you enter. Smile, be friendly, and introduce yourself when you have an opportunity.
According to www.uncommon-courtesy.com, do your best to arrive on time, or even better, before the service starts. It is okay to enter late, but be as quiet as possible and sit toward the back so you don’t interfere with others worshiping.
When you first enter the sanctuary, be observant of how others are behaving. Many places of worship prefer members to enter quietly and remain reverently silent. If the congregation is interacting and being social, by all means feel free to chat. Never talk during the sermon. Being a chatterbox will have others giving you a wide berth.
Before entering the worship centre, either put your cell phone on silent or turn it off. Not doing so may distract others. Don’t chew gum because a smacking or popping noise will disrupt others.
Before you go to a new place of worship, find out what style of attire people wear. Whatever the case, never wear anything too tight or revealing. You also don’t need to wear your bling because shiny chains and bracelets can be distracting to other worshipers. You are better off wearing understated jewellery.
All places of worship have some sort of order of service, even the most casual ones. If you are new to a place of worship, watch what others are doing and follow them. If you are a regular attendee and you see someone who appears lost, give him or her a reassuring smile and offer assistance.
Find out what the policy is on children before you take them. Some have special youth or children’s services in another room so adults can worship with their full attention.
If you are encouraged to bring your little ones, give them an etiquette lesson before you leave the house. Put a picture book or quiet game in your bag in case your child starts to squirm. Most families with small children are more comfortable sitting in the back in case someone needs to get up during the service.
Don’t eat and drink
While service is going on, don’t eat or drink, unless you are specifically offered something as part of the service. If you feel like grabbing a snack or a drink, it is better to wait until spiritual proceedings end before doing so.