Visiting a new church can be intimidating: What should I wear? Where do I park? Where do my kids go?
We understand the many thoughts that can come from visiting a new church, so we want you to feel completely comfortable when you visit. Below are some frequently asked questions. If you have any additional questions, don't hesitate to contact us or talk with an usher when you visit.
When are the Mass times?
Saturday Vigil Mass - 4:30 p.m.
Sunday - 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Weekdays - Monday - Saturday 8:30 a.m.
When is confession available?
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered one day per week, with additional times available during the Lenten and Advent seasons. Confessions are also available by appointment
Saturday, 3:00 - 4:15 p.m.
What should I wear?
We want you to feel comfortable. After all, we are thrilled that you're joining us and want you to be more focused on the service than what you're wearing. In the summertime, it's not uncommon to see people wearing sandals, shorts, and a shirt. Others prefer to still put on their "Sunday best," and that's fine too! However, we do request that shorts be of a conservative length (no “short-shorts”) and that in general, clothing be respectable and conservative.
How do I get to St. Mel?
St. Mel Church is located at 4745 Pennsylvania Avenue, Fair Oaks, CA 95628.
Where should I park?
There are several parking lots at St. Mel. The upper lot which is on the north, or Sunset Avenue side, is mostly handicapped parking. The lower lot on the south side of the church is the larger lot and you can park in any available parking spot. The St. Mel Parish Center parking lot is across Pennsylvania Avenue from the church and you may park there as well.
Where do my children go?
At St. Mel, we believe it is important for children of all ages to attend Mass with their families. A “cry room” is located to the left of the altar, which has large windows and a sound system to allow you to hear and participate in the Mass.
During the school year, a Children's Liturgy is offered at the 10:00 a.m. Sunday Mass. Children ages 5-10 are dismissed following the opening prayer. They spend time learning that day's scriptures at a level they can better understand. The children return to Mass just before Communion so those who have received their First Holy Communion can receive the Eucharist.
I’m not Catholic ... so, how do I know when to sit, stand and kneel?
There’s no need to be self-conscious about the postures and responses used during worship. Most visitors just follow the lead of the St. Mel parishioners. However, we do have worship aids located in each pew that provide you with the order of the Mass, the postures, and the words to each prayer.
I’m not Catholic ... is it okay for me to participate in communion?
Communion, or The Eucharist, is the most intimate expression of our faith. Catholics believe that the host is literally the body of Christ, transformed from bread by the priest presiding over the service. Most evangelicals think of Communion as symbolic, so it makes sense that they are not as strict about having the right relationship to it as Catholics and Orthodox Christians who believe it is a sacrament and the true presence of Christ. So, if you are not Catholic, we ask that you not receive communion. However, those not receiving the Body of Christ and Precious blood are invited to come forward with their hands crossed over their chests for a special blessing.
Am I expected to put money in the offering?
If you are visiting with us, we don't expect you to put money in the offering, and you are welcome to just let it pass you by. If you consider St. Mel your church home, we'd love for you to prayerfully consider giving to St. Mel on a weekly basis.
You can give by check or cash during the service, or you can sign up for online giving here.
I have a hearing problem. Is there any special assistance?
Yes! For those who are hearing impaired, we have special hearing devices called Listening Earphones that you can wear that will allow you to control the volume. If you think this would be beneficial to you, please ask one of the ushers to provide you with an earphone.
We are excited you are here!