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What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service (karma: 1)
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon May 25, 2009 07:10 PM

On this past Sunday I went to Mass at my home parish after a year of going at my school. There's a huge difference between twenty college students and thirty families. The college students are more respectful. A bit of background on my University is that it is connected to a monastery some of the monks work at the university as teachers etc. It's Roman Catholic,Benedictine tradition. I sing in the “choir”(with two other people) at the student mass on Sunday nights and with the “real” choir at the community mass on every first Thursday of the month.

Things I saw that don't happen at my school:

1.Don't Text. I sat behind a teenage boy who just texted the entire time. You are in the house of God show some respect and don't text.

2.Don't bring ten different toys for your child to play with. It's annoying. If you can't keep your kid under wraps with out toys something is wrong.

3.Don't leave your phone on. Turn it off people or don't bring it. You will live with out your phone for an hour.

4.Don't cut in line for communion. This is more for the Catholics but I saw three people who where sitting in the very back walk up past the ushers and got in line. Rude.

5.Don't leave right after communion. Once again more for the Catholics and once again very rude. After communion two rows of people who were in front of me were gone.

6.Don't act like you don't know when to stand up. There was a huge hesitation before any stood up. If you've been going to Mass for more than a year you know when to stand. Same goes for any place really, I guess.

7.Don't show up late and walk all the way to the front few rows. It's very distracting.

8.Remember you are always seen. I was an alter server for about 10 years I could see everyone. If you fall asleep some one will see you.

I guess the difference is that the college student want to be there, which explains why out of 300 students only 20 show up for Mass.

135 Replies to What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service

re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon May 25, 2009 07:29 PM
I'm a Catholic who still goes to church every Sunday, so I understand where you're coming from, but a couple of these seem way too picky to me.

If you can't keep your kid under wraps with out toys something is wrong.

Not necessarily. Not every little kid is calmed by JUST a bag of Cheerios. It doesn't mean something's wrong with the kid or the parents, it just means that a three-year-old can't always keep quiet for an hour of sitting, standing, and listening to someone talk about something they don't understand.

Don't leave right after communion. Once again more for the Catholics and once again very rude.

I used to go to church with my ex-boyfriend. He came every week, but he had to leave right after communion to make it to work on time. Don't assume everyone's leaving just because they don't want to be there. And thanks for giving that one "to the Catholics".

Don't act like you don't know when to stand up. There was a huge hesitation before any stood up.

Seriously? Some people feel awkward being the only one standing, even if it's only for a second. It's basic human behavior; we tend to group together. Waiting a second or two to stand up says nothing about people's devotion to or respect for church, either.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon May 25, 2009 07:36 PM
CienPorCientoPAZ wrote:

I'm a Catholic who still goes to church every Sunday, so I understand where you're coming from, but a couple of these seem way too picky to me.


Not necessarily. Not every little kid is calmed by JUST a bag of Cheerios. It doesn't mean something's wrong with the kid or the parents, it just means that a three-year-old can't always keep quiet for an hour of sitting, standing, and listening to someone talk about something they don't understand.


I used to go to church with my ex-boyfriend. He came every week, but he had to leave right after communion to make it to work on time. Don't assume everyone's leaving just because they don't want to be there. And thanks for giving that one "to the Catholics".


Seriously? Some people feel awkward being the only one standing, even if it's only for a second. It's basic human behavior; we tend to group together. Waiting a second or two to stand up says nothing about people's devotion to or respect for church, either.


I know not every child is the same. The kids I saw were throwing the toys on the ground etc.

I understand leaving if you have to go to work or if there is a very important reason to do so.


True.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By Summer
On Mon May 25, 2009 08:10 PM
Please don't take this as snotty, but in the time you were sitting in church, coming up with this whole list of stuff that was bugging you, weren't you missing out on a lot of your own personal worship time?
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon May 25, 2009 08:16 PM
hang_time15 wrote:

Please don't take this as snotty, but in the time you were sitting in church, coming up with this whole list of stuff that was bugging you, weren't you missing out on a lot of your own personal worship time?


I make the list during church. I didn't miss anything. It's more like observations not sitting and plotting out a list of stuff. I just later realized all of the distracting things people do. It was a confirmation Mass and really enjoyed the Bishops homily.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service (karma: 5)
By Saramember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon May 25, 2009 09:32 PM
I thought churches were supposed to be places to go and be free of judgment. Of any kind. Or, at least, any good Christian isnt supposed to judge, right?

The main reason I dont go to church is because of the ignorance and judgemental attitudes of its goers. God forbid that someones child doesnt have the same concentration as an adult and cant stay perfectly quiet. God forbid anyone need to leave. God forbid people see you at all times, because people might judge you unfairly for being HUMAN. People at church are there for a reason, and they arent perfect, thats why they're there. Being Holier Than Thou does NOT make you better than anyone or give you the right to criticize like this. Just something to keep in mind.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By Becca
On Mon May 25, 2009 09:38 PM
I am Catholic,too.
About #1
How could someone be texting during Mass?
That is so disrespectful.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon May 25, 2009 09:40 PM
Edited by majere (186163) on 2009-05-25 21:41:27 added a quote
I thought churches were supposed to be places to go and be free of judgment. Of any kind. Or, at least, any good Christian isnt supposed to judge, right?

The main reason I dont go to church is because of the ignorance and judgemental attitudes of its goers. God forbid that someones child doesnt have the same concentration as an adult and cant stay perfectly quiet. God forbid anyone need to leave. God forbid people see you at all times, because people might judge you unfairly for being HUMAN. People at church are there for a reason, and they arent perfect, thats why they're there. Being Holier Than Thou does NOT make you better than anyone or give you the right to criticize like this. Just something to keep in mind.


Once again these are just observations. I'm just pointing out distracting things. I just want to share some observations not to be criticized. I wasn't criticizing anyone at least not intentionally.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service (karma: 1)
By FeisDadAndre
On Tue May 26, 2009 12:28 AM
When I was a kid, my family went to Mass at a French church that was part of a nun's retirement home. Many of the old nuns sat in their private balcony at the back of the small church, looking down at the congregation. Others sat down in the pews, scattered around the church. No kids ever played with toys. No one did distracting things. Nobody ever carried on a conversation during mass. Ever. :)

I was an altar boy for many years and if I ever made a mistake, I could almost feel the eyes burning into me. They never said anything about it, they didn't have to; just the looks they gave me...

That's what your Church needs, Majere; a few retired nuns. Forget the Fear of God thing; the Fear of Nuns runs much deeper. :D
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By moara
On Tue May 26, 2009 07:01 AM
When I was 2 and my sister was 1 year old, my parents were missionaries in Kenya. My mom would bring colouring books and grapes and toys to keep us (relatively) quiet during the 2 hour plus services. She notices that the other children there would just sit and not make a fuss like we were, and then she realised that it was because they weren't getting enough food to eat, and so they didn't have the energy to act like children during the service.

Thank God that we live in a country where ou children get enough food to grow and develop as they ought to.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By Ampersandmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue May 26, 2009 11:10 AM
I think the best story I have about this is from this past Easter when I was at church with my family.

Now before the mass during the Easter Vigil there is a whole ceremony of lighting a fire in the back of the church (or outside of it) having all the lights in the church out, and having the new baptismal candle (is that what it is called? I'm blanking on this...) be the only light brought into the church. Then everyone gets a candle to hold that has been lit by the larger one. It's all very lovely and symbolic and etc etc etc.

So during this big procession into the church, with like five priests, two deacons, three boys who were studying to become priests, four girl alter servers, the people who were about to receive sacraments to become members of the church, those people's families, etc. this huge family pushes past the procession in order to hurry up and get a better seat up front. The best part about this, is that the three kids, all had happy meals from mcdonalds in their hands! It smelled like greasy McD's food for the longest time after that. Now my parents were well known for giving us a bag of cheerios and a bag of legos in order to keep up distracted, especially towards the end of mass when we would get antsy, but a whole fast food meal seems a bit much. I don't even go to church that much, I freely admit it isn't really my type of thing, so unless I am going with family on a holiday, I won't go. I would never dream of doing something like that however. There definitely is a line between having small coping mechanism's to help children get through something like that, and then having things that are over the top and get in the way of other people's time there.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service (karma: 2)
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue May 26, 2009 11:14 AM
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2009-05-26 11:16:50 clarification...
A teenage boy texting in church? You can thank God that at least he has parents that care enough to take him to church and you can pray that he will someday be open to hearing God's Word.

Lots of children with lots of toys? I like that in your church families get to stay together. In my church the children are separated from the parents. Thank God for families!

Don't leave your phone on. Some people just plain forget to turn it off. My typical behavior at church is to remember to turn it off right after the music when it suddenly gets very quiet and I'm like, "Damm, d4j, turn off your phone! Oh, sorry God for the damn..."

Don't cut in line. It's CHURCH. If someone cuts in front of me in his enthusiasm to get a bit 'o' Jesus in him I'm not going to quibble. Maybe he needs Him more than me at that moment.

Don't leave right after communion. Well... it all depends on how crowded your church is and how long it takes to get out of the parking lot! ;) But seriously, you don't know the reason for leaving so don't assume.

Don't act like you don't know when to stand up. Sheesh, it may be ingrained in a Catholic since birth, but it's not a performance to be graded. Cut people some slack!

Don't show up late and walk all the way to the front few rows. Sometimes this is the only place where there are open seats left.

Remember you are always seen. I can't think of a better reason to keep someone OUT of church than to think about all the people who are watching you. Ew.

You say you didn't intend to criticize, but you have seven don'ts in your post. The next time you feel tempted to be critical, try praying for the person instead or thanking God for them - it will break you out of critical mode and make you feel terrific! :) Also, as a Christian sister, I want to lovingly remind you that when you are pointing a finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at yourself. Better if we each work on our own flaws, yes?
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By Bridgetbeemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue May 26, 2009 11:28 AM
What was that about letting he who is without sin throw the first stone? I'm sure it was something along those lines...

Surely you, as a Christian, should be happy that these people care enough to attend church? It isn't your place to sit there filled with self righteousness when i'm sure there are more important things in your own faith to be concentrating on.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service (karma: 1)
By BlackTights
On Tue May 26, 2009 11:30 AM
The Catholic parish I attended growing up had separate masses--one more oriented towards families, one that was very early in the morning that was much quieter and solemn, one entirely in spanish, one entirely in Latin, one specifically for college aged kids, etc.

Maybe find a different parish/service to attend when you're home that is more suited to your liking, or just try to focus more on yourself. I realize all these things you've mentioned are distracting to you, but I think it's best to be proactive about your situation if it is important for your own faith. Seems pretty counterproductive to be sitting in Mass noticing all these annoying things.

Comment #8255965 deleted
Removed by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2009-05-26 11:54:35 double post

re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Tue May 26, 2009 11:45 AM
I think the crucial part of your argument is that in college, no one is FORCING the people to go. They don't go out of requirement or out of guilt...they go becuase they want to.

Kids being forced by their parents that don't want to be there? They're going to try to occupy their mind. Not that it's right to text during mass, but imagine how boring the ceremony would be if you didn't care what was going on. :( It's just as bed for them as it is for you watching them.

I know that the few times I was tricked into attending a christian ceremony past the age of five I was bored out of my mind. I didn't text, but I did start focusing on prime numbers and the Fibonacci sequence. That was my way of being respectful in a place of worship that I didn't belong in. I was quiet but I didn't participate.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue May 26, 2009 11:47 AM
I sit and read the song books during church, so is that disrespectful too?

Majority of the time that I'm attending mass, it's not fully by choice, and I find mass boring as all heck. It's just not my thing.

I'm trying to figure out how i'm going to not fall asleep during my own wedding ceremony.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service (karma: 1)
By Sumayah
On Tue May 26, 2009 11:51 AM
^ LOL I kept mine short and sweet. A little longer then "Do you?" "Yes" "Do you?" "Yes" "GOOD, you're married. KISS HER!" But not by terribly much. ;) I hate wedding services that drag on and on.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue May 26, 2009 04:33 PM
I was making a point. Obviously some of you missed it. I was just making some observations. Of course I don't know why they were doing these things I was just pointing out that they are distracting.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By Nyssasisticmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue May 26, 2009 05:21 PM
I know that your intentions were probably good, but your whole post came off as kind of judgmental. I think what you're trying to point out is that when people do these things, it's DISTRACTING and other people can't focus because of it. And because of it, those people are taking away from YOUR spiritual experience. That makes sense.

However, please allow for others to be human. You may be great when it comes to "behaving" in church, but for others it's a real struggle. Instead of addressing the issue in a condescending fashion (because this is a very condescending post), why not do what you can to help others? Offer to watch the children, or even approach the kid that was texting and "challenge" him to take notes, after which you two can compare.

Because, in the end, you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar and you help people more when you're trying to love them instead of talk down to them.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue May 26, 2009 05:32 PM
Nyssasistic wrote:

I know that your intentions were probably good, but your whole post came off as kind of judgmental. I think what you're trying to point out is that when people do these things, it's DISTRACTING and other people can't focus because of it. And because of it, those people are taking away from YOUR spiritual experience. That makes sense.

However, please allow for others to be human. You may be great when it comes to "behaving" in church, but for others it's a real struggle. Instead of addressing the issue in a condescending fashion (because this is a very condescending post), why not do what you can to help others? Offer to watch the children, or even approach the kid that was texting and "challenge" him to take notes, after which you two can compare.

Because, in the end, you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar and you help people more when you're trying to love them instead of talk down to them.


Thank you. I have a tendency to come off the wrong way on the internet.

As a side note:
Most of these people I don't know. Basically everyone my age that I went to Sunday school with is no longer there and stopped coming after they were confirmed two years ago. And this is the largest parish in the diocese there's seven Spanish Masses and only two English. Just thought I'd point that out.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service (karma: 1)
By tapingirl
On Tue May 26, 2009 06:54 PM
What the heck!! Relax people! I think those are all great rules! Why is it being judgmental. Can people really not give 1 hour a week without using cell phones? Why do kids need toys, you need to teach them to behave not play quietly. Pay attention in mass so you know what to do...don't just show up to say you were there. Lucky for the complainers when you truly need God's help he will be there 100% for you. He will not be busy texting St. Peter, He will not be watching Jesus playing with matchbox cars, He will not listen to hlf your prayer and then run out the pearly gates. He will be THERE for you. Give him 1 hour a week!
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By ChristinePremium member
On Tue May 26, 2009 07:11 PM
Despite our very best intentions, none of us can really control our children in church.

My youngest child was better than her brothers, so I often took her with me even though she was very young. On the feast of the Corpus Christi, our liturgy committee planned a special Eucharist...home made whole wheat bread hosts. At the consecration, the priest elevated the huge host and said, "Take this and eat...all of you...this is my body...." and my little darling exclaimed at the top of her voice, "I'M NOT EATING THAT...IT LOOKS DISGUSTING...." and so it goes.

Wish I'd brought a bag of toys.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By tapingirl
On Tue May 26, 2009 07:19 PM
Edited by tapingirl (186522) on 2009-05-26 19:23:43
Why? That is a part of learning how to behave in mass. I had my then 3 year old on Easter Sunday stand up on the pew and yell....I HATE THAT JESUS GUY!!! This is of course because we were at mass on Thursday night, Friday afternoon and Sat. morning. He had had enough!

I was taught that the children are the future of the church Jesus even said to bring him the children. They should be present at mass..in every sense of the word.

When my children reached 4 or 5 they knew that if they didn't behave at mass, they would stay for the next one. I always went to the 7:30am mass...there would be 4 more masses to go to if they needed to learn to sit still. I only had to do it one time with each of the kids.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue May 26, 2009 09:46 PM
No one is saying that you shouldn't be considerate of others. But you kind of have to keep things in perspective. Just let it go when others aren't behaving up to par. No one should be saying can't you give God just one hour, because you (general you) have plenty of stuff of your own that you should be giving up to God and you have no need to take on someone else's relationship with Him.

:)
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