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re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By Cridh
On Wed May 27, 2009 11:09 AM
Ah topphilly...the joy of children! That sounds like something my daughter would have said.

At the church we went to while I was growing up all, the children were only present for the first little bit while everyone sang hymns. Then they were ushered off to Sunday school.

The last time I set foot in a church was when my daughter was baptised (at her father's insistence). We had to attend the local church for several weeks/months before hand, and the minister was always welcoming of the children in the service. My daughter was toddling by then and loved to wander about the aisles, hymn book in hand, mimicing the minister. We have pictures of her taken during the service prior to her baptism, standing at the front of the church next to the minister, hymn book in hand, giving her own version of the sermon.

She was distracting, I'm sure, but the minister just incorporated her wanderings into his sermon. The first time she escaped from our pew he stopped the sermon, told us to let her wander, asked everyone to keep an eye on her, and then continued. Everyone had a good little chuckle about it. The few times she went back to the Sunday school with the rest of the children (she did NOT like the Sunday school teacher and wouldn't go unless a specific lady was there helping), we were told by several families that they had missed her during the service.

What's distracting and what's acceptable/unacceptable probably varies widely with the religion/denomination, structure of the service, personalities of the clergy, and attitudes of the congregation.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 27, 2009 11:11 PM
You think Mass is bad?? Psh!

Y'all need to try going to a Quaker Meeting for Worship. It's totally quiet. No preacher, no singing. Someone makes a statement when they are "moved by the spirit." You just sit there (and think about God). It is very, very quiet. Total silence.

And that is why Quakers do not bring children to Meeting. :D

We would go to Sunday School (First Day School, for Quakers) and come in for the last 5 minutes of church (Meeting). Which is the best arrangement if you ask me (you didn't)... kids are included, but for an expanse of time more suitable to their attention spans.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By DancingDiva736member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu May 28, 2009 08:29 AM
I don't think the OP was being judgemental either, I think she was simple pointing out things that she has learned were inappropriate for church. I'm in agreeance with a few-I hate cell phones going off in church. There is obviously going to be the case where someone forgets to turn them off, but somehow it seems to happen every week. As for the texting-no need for it. If for some reason you get a text message that must be attended to at that very moment(an emergency), it's not hard to step out of the pew and away from the view of the other people.

I am okay with young children having toys at mass, but once they are of school age(like first grade, about 5-6 years old) I think they should be able to participate rather than play. In the Catholic church, they make their first communion in second grade, so for about a year before that they should start learning how to properly attend mass.

It is kind of funny that you posted this though, because my nephew(bless his heart but he is a rowdy child) had a little outburst last Sunday at mass. When the priest said "The mass is ended, let us go in peace.." my nephew decided to shout at the top of his lungs "Thank God!". Some would chuckle,others would be ashamed, but it's funny that this fits so well into the post.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By MJeanette
On Thu May 28, 2009 09:49 AM
I definitely agree with the original post. It's not a matter of judging people or making picky rules, it's just that it's rude to other people to do things that will distract them. God is forgiving and will forgive people who are rude and disrespectful in church just like he forgives people who are rude and disrespectful at home or school or work or the grocery store or wherever, but that doesn't mean it's all right with other people if you do things that you know will annoy them.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By kandykanePremium member
On Thu May 28, 2009 10:04 AM
^^ Aren't we supposed to be forgiving as well? :?
It seems that is a fundamental principle in christianity that many people forget to practice.

kk~
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By ShadowLunaCatPremium member
On Thu May 28, 2009 11:00 AM
^^ Forgiving?! KK!!

I was nothing less than Horrified that, during a memorial service, when there was a solemn service going on, I found that people would NOT turn their cell phones off. This woman's phone rang, and she started talking, on the phone, during the service, in a loud voice!

Lady! Turn it OFF!


Also, when the choir is singing. It would be SOO lovely if the mothers with the crying babies would be so kind as to take the baby elsewhere, if the kid needs to cry. I know that babies cry for quite a few reasons.. but.....


I quite cracked up laughing at Sara's comment and post in regards to
"churches were supposed to be places to go and be free of judgment. Of any kind. Or, at least, any good Christian isn't supposed to judge, right?"


The Church I went to had quite a few judges. I guess I was one of the flock who needed to have judgement passed on me. People harassed me because I was rather overweight, people harassed me because I asked questions, people harassed me, because I wasn't "dressed suitably...."

A few years ago I was invited to the choir party, as I'd felt and figured that maybe it would be all right to go to that church again; even when I'd so many bad experiences from the past. Well, I guess others weren't so ready to leave things alone.

I showed up at the hostesses house, promptly went in to help in the kitchen, and promptly wound up being harassed, ridiculed, condescended to.

This person thought it was HIS business to see that I was somehow "humbled", by insisting that I was (am) all sorts of things.... probably some poor, white trash..
"So, what brought you to sing in the choir, fat girl?" And then, he's wanting to prove (to himself? I don't know/I don't care) that I'm some sort of American Nazi (when my father's family managed to get out of Germany in the nick of time?) and he's saying all sorts of assumptions about me: like how "I MUST prefer Wagner" (whom I really can't stand), and I'm into real military music, and all this other business. what, am I supposed to pull out a white hood, or something? Sheesh!

And, this man is supposedly supposed to be one of the "gentlest and welcoming people in the church"..... WTF????

I took it for awhile, I didn't want to cause a stink.

But, after awhile, I realized that he needed to really be brutal to someone, so, I retaliated by mentioning how knowledgeable the "Nazi population" was to music of Mahler, who is a Jew. And whose first symphony I ADORE. Now, granted, there is some Mahler that sounds like Wagner.. but, it's ALL Mahler. I also brought up Mendelssohn, and, found out that HE didn't know about a lot of Mendelssohn's string quartets.

I felt bad, but I was able to talk this guy off of me, actually, had him rush AWAY from me.. as if he'd been burned... But, at least from that point on, he left me alone. Thank God.

Oh, and he never apologized. I guess I would be expecting a miracle on that sense. But, I'm not holding my breath for his apology, maybe it's too much for him to handle.

And, you know? I don't think I would EVER go back to that church, except if I'm absolutely FORCED.

So, DO TELL me about all these judgemental people.. and how they get their rocks off.. and their being "Holier than Thou."

Oh, Criminy!


By the by, do you all THINK it would be possible to have an intelligent thread proceed, WITHOUT people going on pointing fingers at eachother?

Could we just share eachother's input without going into the "She said", "but she said", bit?




I'll start passing out the rotten tomatoes if THIS keeps up!

:P :P :P


Shadow.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By dancer_LAF
On Thu May 28, 2009 11:36 AM
Before I start I have to say it's very rare for me to go to church. However many of my family still go every week. Our Minister is really cool though. The kids that go to Sunday school come into the church for the first 20mins or so. The service revolves around them and it's fun. They are then led back to the Sunday School where it's all fun and games. If they have to stay in the chuch for a longer time they are issued with crayons and colouring pages to keep them ammused and quiet. I have to say that texting in a church is just plain rude. I can't stand it when people feel they can't live for an hour or so without their phone - How did we survive a few years ago?
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service (karma: 1)
By kandykanePremium member
On Thu May 28, 2009 01:34 PM
At least they are IN church.

Went to a funeral last week. Several babies/toddlers were there with their parents. One child screamed loudly, in protest at having been restrained so long. The minister said "Amen!" And the crowd laughed tolerantly.

kk~
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service (karma: 1)
By MrsFinnigan
On Thu May 28, 2009 01:57 PM
It's easy for someone to preach nonjudgment and forgiveness and essentially condemn someone for pointing out basic rules of Church etiquette (which also often apply outside of church, like movie theaters, college classrooms, and other places where most people prefer not to be distracted) when you aren't often in a position to have your own worship interrupted.

Some things cannot be helped. Small children will fuss sometimes. We have cry rooms if they get disruptive. Sometimes they also add to the service. (I know a couple who would end every prayer with "Lord, hear our prayer," or "Amen" shouted at the tops of their voices, to which Father would sometimes respond encouragingly, "That's right!")Sometimes people honestly forget to turn off their phones. Others are doctors, EMT's, or social workers on call and need to keep their phones on. There's no excuse for texting during Church, however, or persistently neglecting to switch off all nonessential communication devices. And at our Easter Vigil this year, quite a number of the school's second graders braved this late night, 4 hour Mass to see their teacher's Baptism. I can hardly find any fault with them that they couldn't stay awake for that, but for those old enough and healthy enough to stay awake should at least make an effort.

Cutting for Communion suggests that you think your reception of the Eucharist is somehow more important than those of the people you've cut in front of, or that you are in a much bigger hurry and your obligations after Mass are more important than theirs. If you leave immediately after Communion, you miss a part of the service. The sending forth and final blessings are important in many denominations, and so important in Catholicism that that's how we get the word Mass (Missa in Latin, from the sending forth, "Ita Missa est.") I can understand some people in a rush to get to their jobs or other appointments, particularly if the service runs late, but skipping out on the final blessing is not a good habit to get into. Basically, while sometimes it can't be helped, some worship requires a bit of time away from the daily rush.

Finally, another point about judging. If you refuse to go to church ever again on account of some people's bad behavior, aren't you judging religion in general by how people fail to follow its teachings.

If the teachings themselves are good and the worship itself is good, don't let the people who annoy you keep you away from them.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By kandykanePremium member
On Thu May 28, 2009 02:14 PM
Edited by kandykane (157761) on 2009-05-28 14:16:54
Edited by kandykane (157761) on 2009-05-28 14:32:56
Edited by kandykane (157761) on 2009-05-28 14:43:02 last time, promise!
^^ Tolerance seems to be lacking on both sides of this discussion.

Tolerance to worship as one sees fit on a personal level.
And tolerance of others who worship (or don't) as they see fit on a personal level.

That is one of our basic freedoms in the US.

At a recent service, I was texting my son who was warning me of a bad storm coming my way. He was without power and I was trying to view the weather on my phone because he was in a tornado warning and I was trying to get him information to keep him safe. An extenuating circumstance that I find excusable for anyone in the same position. It was a small congregation and no one was on my pew besides my best friend, who did not find fault with me. We really don't know why someone would be texting during a service. They might very well have good reason.

I choose to leave Mass when everyone goes to communion because I do not receive communion at the Catholic church, for personal reasons I do not wish to get into here. Everyone gets up to line up and I take my exit. That is my choice and my right.

I've also gotten up and left church suddenly, in the middle of a sermon because I had diarrhea. If I appeared rude to someone watching me, too bad.

Worship is a personal experience, concentrate on your own personal experience and the actions of others might not be so distracting.

I don't know why I am beating this dead horse. This kind of thinking that is imposed about what one "should" do in religion has gotten me down for years. Let's all just live and let live.

kk~
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By JustDancing4Fun
On Thu May 28, 2009 05:32 PM
I would just like to add in that some children cannot sit still for a couple of minutes (including my nephews!). So my mom and I bring them RELIGIOUS books, Religious colouring books and crayons, toys (we have a stuffed Noah's Ark that they can play with, but no talking). But I am a firm believer that once they turn 5/6, they can sit and listen to mass without toys and such because they'll be making their First Communion and Confirmation once they're in Grade 2.

I am Catholic, and have been to many different parishes, and no two parishes do the sitting/kneeling/standing all at the same times. It could be why some individuals are hesitant to move first (myself being one of those individuals, especially if I'm not at my own parish).

Please do not judge others. I understand that you were just observing, but people do have places to go and things to do. My grandparents always would leave right after Communion. Yet, our family stays until the priest is at the back of the church.

Let us be thankful that these individuals attend church on a regular basis.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu May 28, 2009 06:25 PM
Once again the majority of you posting don't understand what I was saying and why I was saying it.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By kandykanePremium member
On Thu May 28, 2009 06:27 PM
^ Yes, I do. It's about socially accepted, respectful behavior. I just don't agree with the thought process behind your comments. I'm sure you meant well.

kk~
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu May 28, 2009 06:40 PM
kandykane wrote:

^ Yes, I do. It's about socially accepted, respectful behavior. I just don't agree with the thought process behind your comments. I'm sure you meant well.

kk~


:) Okay.

Sometimes I don't clearly put into writing what goes on in my head.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Fri May 29, 2009 05:50 AM
Heart wrote:

You think Mass is bad?? Psh!

Y'all need to try going to a Quaker Meeting for Worship. It's totally quiet. No preacher, no singing. Someone makes a statement when they are "moved by the spirit." You just sit there (and think about God). It is very, very quiet. Total silence.

And that is why Quakers do not bring children to Meeting. :D

We would go to Sunday School (First Day School, for Quakers) and come in for the last 5 minutes of church (Meeting). Which is the best arrangement if you ask me (you didn't)... kids are included, but for an expanse of time more suitable to their attention spans.


Agreed.

Except when my family went to Quaker Meetings, I was probably 6 or so, and we were in the Meeting for a good 20 minutes before we went to Sunday School, and we still had to come back at the end! It didn't work out so well, and we stopped going after not very long.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By MrsFinnigan
On Sat May 30, 2009 05:53 PM
kandykane wrote:


I choose to leave Mass when everyone goes to communion because I do not receive communion at the Catholic church, for personal reasons I do not wish to get into here. Everyone gets up to line up and I take my exit. That is my choice and my right.

I've also gotten up and left church suddenly, in the middle of a sermon because I had diarrhea. If I appeared rude to someone watching me, too bad.

Worship is a personal experience, concentrate on your own personal experience and the actions of others might not be so distracting.
/q]

Actually, communal worship is not just a personal experience. You can have a personal, private devotion easily at home. When you worship as a group, it's not just a private, personal thing any more. You are participating as more or less a part of a community and therefore it's only reasonable to behave accordingly.

As I come from a long line of Catholics who marry non-Catholics, those who don't receive Communion still have the option to receive a special blessing, or you can remain seated if you don't even want to do that, and nobody will judge you.

If you have to leave because you're not well, no one will hold that against you. If you leave because you think it's your individual right to interrupt a communal worship service for whatever reason, that does come across as disrespectful, and, well, you miss out on extra time to pray quietly, sing, and receive further blessings.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By kandykanePremium member
On Sat May 30, 2009 06:14 PM
Mrs. F -

Apparently, you did not read my post. I said I have reasons that I DO NOT WISH to get into here. If you'd like to PM me that would be more appropriate on your part rather than taking me to task over something I already stated I did not wish to discuss here.

kk~
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By emilytheprincess
On Sat May 30, 2009 08:38 PM
I like when people text, get calls, be noisy, etc, because then I know I'm better than them. Duh.


Not really, but kinda. :P
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By Sumayah
On Sat May 30, 2009 09:42 PM
I get where you're coming from. It's a matter of respect. Respect for yourself, for others, for being present in God's house. I do agree that it's easy to get distracted by the small toy with an entire bag of playthings sitting in front of you. It's hard to block them from your peripheral vision and focus on the sermon. At my church we will have nights where things such a proper etiquette are presented to the congregation. My church discourages lots of toys and encourages ways to keep even young children listening and occupied (and helps older folks to stay focused on the material at hand). It requires effort on the parents part at first but it does help in the long run.

1) Bring a pad of paper and a pen. Even small children can do this. Write or have the child write JESUS at the top of the page and every time they hear Jesus in the sermon, they tic a mark on the page. Once they've got the hang of it, next time they listen for JESUS and GOD. Not only does it helps them to develop listening skills but it keeps occupied. I'll grant you the novelty wears off after and while and soon rainbows and cars appear on the page but it's a start.

2) Once they're old enough, they then start writing down each scripture they hear read or cited. And then look it up in the Bible. Again, it's a good listening skill and helps them to be more familiar with their copy of the Bible.

3) Finally, and this is good for anyone, write down the main points of the sermon and all the scriptures - any analogies or stories that catch your attention. Just like in school, if you write it down you're more likely to remember what's being said. Plus if a really good point is made, you can refer back to it and the scriptures used - good for ministry work.

I know the big problem is the world in general has gotten much more casual and multitasking and soundbite attention spans are much more prevalent. Kids can hardly watch an entire movie now days without getting bored, so how do we expect them to sit thru an hour sermon if they aren't trained to do so. The movie theatre I attend always has great clips to encourage people to turn off their cell phones. The latest one has Danny Devito talking about how people have lost that respect for movie theatres because we're so accustomed to being in our living rooms and having that relationship with movies. This lack of respect in public places isn't only in church, it's the movie theatre, the dance show, the concert. People have forgotten common courtesy to their fellow patron.

I'll grant you, there are reason and exceptions for lots of things and just because you see someone doing something you find distracting doesn't mean they don't have reason. As Kandykane said, she was texting because there was a major weather event happening; I know people who have a (older) sick child at home but have their phone on in case they need something; my service run two hours and I have gotten up and left in the middle because the lights can give me really bad headaches; some children are antsy and just don't sit still ever. There are reasons and exceptions and no we don't want to judge others - we don't know what it took just to get them to the service that day, but I do agree that for our part as we're able, we should strive to set the example by being polite and respecting those around us.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By ayyyshugamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat May 30, 2009 11:19 PM
...annnnd THIS is why I'm an atheist, ladies and gentlemen.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By KayEllePremium member
On Sun May 31, 2009 01:33 AM
^ Not gonna lie, I've been following the thread, and I have to admit I've been feeling the same way.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service (karma: 2)
By Sumayah
On Sun May 31, 2009 06:01 AM
LOL! I like how it's my post that finally reconfirms the atheists on their religious standing. ;)

I will say that the pen and paper trick does help - when my nephews were young I just wanted to backhand them in church and ticing off the paper at the very least kept them occupied for a little bit. I'll also say I almost never do it myself unless its a topic that really grabs me.

However concerning general public respect, I do think it's being lost. We just had recital and I can't tell you how many parents, the minute their child was finished dancing, came got their kid and left with the parting words of lets go home and play! We generally encourage everyone to at least stay for the act their child is in and take them at intermission, but if they want to leave they can. Everyone has reasons, but it just struck me as rude that they had so little respect for the other dancers that all they wanted was their child onstage and then they could care less. Same thing with movies. The people who talk thru a movie are showing major disrespect to the other people around them. Or the parent who brings their 3 year old to the R rated thriller - I understand that maybe the babysitter canceled and you had pre-purchased tickets but just because you can ignore their nonstop chattering and focus on the plot doesn't mean the rest of us can. Yes, it's your prerogative to act how you choose and if you didn't want to be at the recital in the first place and could less about dance, fine; if you want to talk thru the movie because it's your freedom of speech, fine; if you want to bring an entire toybox of noisy toys to church, fine; however it does have an impact on the group setting.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By houndrfriendPremium member
On Mon Jun 01, 2009 04:26 AM
This is so much to read just now but at least the they went even if they did not do everything right.The person texting should have sort of hiden it under his shirt and not bothered other people but at least he was there.This whole thing needs more thought.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By MrsFinnigan
On Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:39 AM
ayyyshuga wrote:

...annnnd THIS is why I'm an atheist, ladies and gentlemen.


Aaaand I suppose you also never go to plays, movies, concerts, recitals, or classes- all places that require the same courtesies. The only difference is that, instead of interrupting people's communal entertainment or education, at church, the same things that disrupt people watching movies, plays, et cetera disrupt people's communal worship time too. It's rude all the same.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By Cridh
On Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:07 PM
I'm not Christian either, but like others, have been following this thread with interest. Take the religious references out of the OP's list, and it could apply to many many different public situations, including, as MrsFinnigan in movie theatres, plays, etc. In fact, many things on that list (along with a few others) echo exactly my own personal complaints about the behaviour at
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