Are Catholic churches always open? While there is no official requirement for Catholic churches to remain open 24/7, it has been a tradition of the Church to keep doors open to anyone who wants to come in.
For centuries, Catholic churches have welcomed people to their pews to reflect, meditate or simply take a rest.
That, though, is quickly changing in many places. A number of factors including a rise in crime targeted at churches such as burglary has forced many Catholic churches to curb or altogether eliminate their open door policy.
What You'll Learn Today
Are Catholic Church Doors Always Open?
Because there is no official policy on churches staying open, policy varies from parish to parish. So you’ll need to check the opening hours and welcome policy for your local parish.
You can visit the church and enquire, check their website if there’s one, or call them and ask.
Most Catholic churches still open their doors to anyone who wants to come into the chapel. But you can only go in at certain times when the church is open between morning and evening.
Many churches open their doors at 6 or 7am and close them at 6 or 7pm in the evening.
However, you may be lucky to find that your local Catholic church keeps their doors open all the time, even at night. But this is rare. Vandalism and burglary have become far too common.
Or you may be out of luck and find that the local church keeps their doors locked unless there’s mass.
Some churches have specific days where they are open all night long and you can go in to meditate, get free refreshments, or talk to someone.
Call up the local parish or pay them a visit to find out what their policy is.
Note: Because of the pandemic, many Catholic churches have put in place new restrictions. Some now keep doors locked when there’s no mass. Definetely check if your local church has changed their policy.
What Time Do Catholic Churches Open and Close?
This will depend on the policy of a particular church. But generally, most Catholic churches open in the morning at 6-7am and close in the evening betwene 6pm and 7pm.
If there’s an early morning mass or an evening mass, the church will open earlier or close later.
Can Anyone Attend Catholic Mass
The tradition in the Catholic church is to welcome anyone and everyone into the church whether there’s a mass going on or not.
If you show up at the church and find there’s mass, you can go ahead and join. No one will turn you away even if you are non-catholic.
What you cannot do is receive the Eucharist or go to a confession. That’s reserved for baptized Catholics only.