The Register's Clip-Out, Photocopy and Pass-On Guides for Advent

Reason 1 It's your way to relive the Last Supper.

Reason 2 When was the last time you prayed too much?

Quick Tip Be early. Would you come late to your wedding? (Women, don't answer!)

Reason 3 If you want to spend an eternity with Christ, you need to get to know him now.

Reason 4 It's the central, necessary activity of Christian worship (Luke 22:14-23; John 6:53ff; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

Reason 5 It's your best way to identify yourself with Christ's sacrifice on the cross.

Reason 6 Some of the greatest people in history made it a habit to go to Mass (St. Francis, Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II …)

Quick Tip Be well dressed. Would you come dressed for jogging if you were invited to the White House?

Reason 7 Wise people invest money for the future. How much more should we invest in eternal life?

Reason 8 It has to be better for you than TV.

Reason 9 If you've been to confession, you get to receive Jesus Christ. If you find a better deal, do that instead.

Quick Tip Forgotten what to do at Mass? You'll remember. It's like riding a bicycle! Follow the Mass closely with a helper: missalette, missal or Magnificat.

Reason 10 If you knew Jesus would be somewhere, would-n't you go see him?

Reason 11 Guaranteed Bible readings. Countless lives have been changed by Scripture. Might yours?

Reason 12 Statistics say that people who go to church are happier and less stressed out.

Reason 13 It's the best way to pray for your family and friends — and to cope with troubled times.

Reason 14 One out of Ten Commandments asks us to go to Mass every Sunday.

Quick Tip Communion is open to all who are not conscious of committing a serious sin (anything from missing Sunday Mass to infidelity) since their last confession.

Reason 15 You'll become a better person at Mass. The more you are part of God's life, the better you'll be.

Reason 16 Life is complicated. Get directions that work — from the One who created life.

Quick Tip In prayer after Communion, make one resolution about how you'll live your life differently. (Think back on the homily for ideas.)

Reason 17 It's your way to go most directly through Jesus Christ to God the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit in prayer.

Quick Tip Bow your head as a sign of reverence before receiving Communion. (Do it while the person in front of you is receiving Communion.)

Reason 18 Is one hour too much to give to God? How many do you spend on other priorities?

Quick Tip Feel alone and unsure at church? Bring a friend!

Common Good Excuses

What's in it for me? life.

Everything! God desires only and always your good. He became a man in large part to give us himself in the Mass. Why should you deny yourself such a gift?

I don't need to go to Mass to get close to God.

At Mass, you receive God himself — Jesus Christ truly present in the sacrament. Even a beautiful mountain vista can't compare to that.

I had a bad experience with the Church.

This is always sad. But many of us also had bad teachers — and we know the whole education system isn't bad. Jesus wants to bring you healing at Mass.

I don't get anything out of Mass.

Don't expect it to be entertainment. Learn about what it does: joins us to Christ, separates us from sin, wipes away venial sins, commits us to the poor, prepares us for heaven.

I don't have the time.

There are 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week. Mass takes one. That's less than 1% of your week. You have the time; find it.

I'm a sinner. I don't deserve to be at Mass.

Welcome to the club! We are a Church of saved sinners. None of us deserves to be here. See you at the confessional …

Content: Mar tha Fernandez-Sardina (www.adw.org/evangel/office.html); Father Richard Gill (www.legionofchrist.org); Curtis Martin and Edward Sri (www.focusonline.org); Father C. John McCloskey (www.cicdc.org); Father Rob Panke (www.gwu.edu/~catholic). Art: Tim Rauch. Photos: Pope and clock, CNS; Mother Teresa, KRT; Last Supper by Juan de Juanes, The Spanish Arts Gallery.