Forum: Arts / Religion

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re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 04, 2009 09:04 PM
I honestly find the direction this thread has gone to be very interesting. Thanks for all the responses. Keep arguing if you think you need to. :)
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service (karma: 1)
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 04, 2009 09:29 PM
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2009-06-04 21:47:10 pronoun change...
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2009-06-04 21:47:52 oh never mind...
If I notice that someone is texting or I am bothered that the people sitting next to me are talking through the entire song or kids are noisy or whatever, can't I use that time to pray for those people? Can't I thank God for the opportunity to learn patience and forbearing? Can't I practice looking at them through Jesus' eyes - eyes that are softened with Love? Do I spend my time in church actually LOVING people or am I there just for myself and what good feelings I can get out of the service?

So people can be selfish and rude - whoop-de-doo. When someone is selfish and rude why not pray, "Lord, I know I can be selfish and rude too, please help me with this, I want to be more like you." When children are noisy why not pray, "Lord, thank you for Your abundant life in that precious child." I believe the Lord allows distractions and irritations in our lives to teach us, to show us, to give us opportunity to actually practice what is being preached at the pulpit. Sorry, but the LAST thing in the world I should be doing in church is given anyone a dirty look. What if, when I give that dirty look, I am seen by someone who is at church for the very first time, seeking and wondering about God, and there I am with my scornful face? Yep, they won't be back and they will tell others about the hypocritical Christians. We are all too good at this kind or reverse evangelizing...
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By KayEllePremium member
On Sun Jun 07, 2009 01:01 AM
^ Y'know, generally speaking, I don't like organized religion and I don't believe in any of it. But if I were to ever change my mind it would be because of people like you.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By MrsFinnigan
On Sun Jun 07, 2009 09:16 AM
But see, you are assuming that the people who do point out breaches in church (or generally public) etiquette don't also pray for those who behave disruptively or inconsiderately.

I didn't know that the guy snoring very loudly behind me at Mass was perfectly healthy, had narcolepsy, or was on meds that made him sleepy, so I kept my mouth shut and my mind open.

I have seen people taking calls in the middle of Mass. Doctors and EMT's mostly. I know if the weather is severe, many people keep their phones on, and on vibrate in case there is an emergency. That's fine.

Some people are in a rush to get to work. (And having had a job that required me to work Sundays, I fully sympathize.)

All these things are acceptable if there are extenuating circumstances, and for the most part, if someone is sleeping, texting, or taking a call during Mass, it doesn't bother me. But there is taking things too far. Texting out of boredom throughout the whole service, bringing whole happy meals to feed the kids, sleeping if you are perfectly capable of staying awake, cutting in line and habitually ducking out early are not all right.

And just so you know, forgiveness doesn't mean letting people get away with anything. Jesus didn't tell the woman caught in adultery that she was completely off the hook. He said, "Go and sin no more." In other words, "You are forgiven. Don't do it again."
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By kandykanePremium member
On Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:51 PM
A happy meal, texting or falling asleep in church is on the same level as adultery? That's a bit of a stretch. I'm not going to debate sin with you. Start another thread if you wish to do that.

Just keep in mind what d4j said. Church members who frown and disapprove of others in church run off prospective members who may be visiting. I've heard many stories like that, especially from people visiting "certain" demoninations.

kk~
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By MrsFinnigan
On Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:05 AM
Edited by MrsFinnigan (35713) on 2009-06-08 10:09:18
I didn't say they were. However, I'm also not the one who first quoted "let he who is without sin cast the first stone," which Jesus said to halt the stoning of the adulteress.

And you are assuming that I do frown at people who are being disruptive. Who's being judgmental now?

(Although, to be perfectly fair, a kid who spends a whole service texting friends probably doesn't want to be there anyway.)
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By kandykanePremium member
On Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:30 PM
Edited by kandykane (157761) on 2009-06-08 12:47:46
See, that's what exactly I'm saying. If it isn't right for me to assume, then it isn't right for you to assume either. We DON'T KNOW people's motivations!! The kids with the happy meal may have spent the whole night at the hospital with a sick grandparent. The family may have wanted to go to church but the kids needed to be fed. Would you truly begrudge them a happy meal?

The kid texting may have been at church purely under parental pressure. He's not really listening, anyway. But he may have actually said the first prayer he's said all week. Five minutes of prayer is better than a whole week of no prayers.

If any of these are truly against church policy, let the minister deal with it. That's part of her job. But, I'm guessing she won't because then those people might not come and she wants them there, in church.

My minister gently teases the nappers. She is not judgemental at all.

And yes, my minister is a SHE! Times are-a changing.

kk~
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By popergerm
On Mon Jun 08, 2009 06:02 PM
talking loudly is always frowned upon in a mass unless you are asked a question, its the supper of God and the Reliveing of the sacrifice Jesus once broken, so powerful the sacrifice is still able to be offered, we dont want to detract from that, or the people that might be trying to be drawn in by the mystery that it is to us Kids of God.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service (karma: 1)
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 10, 2009 09:11 AM
Can I just say that at my church (yes it's Catholic). We don't care if the kiddos are loud, cell phones are on, or pretty much any other thing listed on this list.

Mainly because the people at our church services are mostly mission essential government that are required to carry a cell at all times. These same people have families, and children make noise. (In fact our one priest will encourage a screaming child to scream louder!)

I get the impression the church is just glad you are there! Reminds me of a discussion I once had about if it was ok to wear jeans in church with my step father. I told him, "Dad, God doesn't care what I wear, he is just happy I'm there"
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By shmcdona
On Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:55 AM
Edited by shmcdona (92187) on 2009-06-10 11:56:13
Hylndlas,

You are the type of Christian that I respect more than anything. Someone who is not judging anyone else for what they are doing or saying while they are in church. Thank you for keeping me believing that there are non-judgemental Religious people are out there. I'd actuslly like to go to that Church service.

Anyways, to me any Religious service should be a celerbation of life, the joy, the beauty, the variety. God, is amazing and gave us so much wonder and beauty why should we be concerned with others doings during that service. Kids are kids, let them laugh, play with toys, be kids...that's how God made them. Who knows why they have their phones on...who cares, who are we to judge. So they don't stand up or sit down at the exact moment its required...does that really make a difference to how they feel?

Relax.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By Felsamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:51 PM
If someone texting and a baby crying are your biggest complaints in life consider yourself lucky.

At my old church we had a soundproof room where parents could go with the crying babies but still hear the service via speakers. Young children could bring toys and people would not look at them and go "I can not believe that 4 year old child can not sit still for an hour". The priest would shake the children's hands or give them a high five after. Everything was laid back. Does it mean I didn't learn anything? no.

I no longer go to church. This topic is why. One wrong move and every one calls you names.

Why not put that energy into helping people in third world countries?
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 10, 2009 01:19 PM
talking loudly is always frowned upon in a mass unless you are asked a question, its the supper of God and the Reliveing of the sacrifice Jesus once broken, so powerful the sacrifice is still able to be offered, we dont want to detract from that, or the people that might be trying to be drawn in by the mystery that it is to us Kids of God.


Yes, it is powerful, beautiful, magical, mysterious and awesome and should be respected. But what is the point of partaking in such an experience if you (general you) will not be the face of Jesus for others? My mental image from your description was someone saying "shhh" to the rude person next to you because YOU, special "Kid of God", want your special experience. How about putting your arm around that rude person next to you and say, "Hey brother, check it out, this is the cool part, isn't it awesome?" If you really want to partake in the sacrifice of Jesus, then be willing to sacrifice your special moment with Him for another and drawn them in with you to Him. You are part of His Body - be His Hand and reach out.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By Sumayah
On Wed Jun 10, 2009 01:58 PM
The main thing I've noticed from this thread is that there's a reason for the different denominations and a reason why there are so many different churches.

Perhaps you'd consider the church I go to a bit old fashioned because we still wear our Sunday best and there are certain expectations each person assumes to make the experience they best they can for themselves and others. I'm visiting God's house and I'm taking my lead from the bible. The Isrealites wouldn't sacrifice a sick or mediocre animal or crop, they sacrificed the best. Even if their best wasn't all that much, that they gave the best of what they had - the old woman only gave two coins of little value but it was her best. If I can dress a little nicer and show respect that I'm in God's house I feel I should. I wouldn't show up to a business meeting in worn out jeans and tee-shirt, I'd dress the part - similarly when I go to church, I want to show that respect for God.

If I don't have extenuating circumstances I'm going to be polite and at least silence my cell phone and if there's an emergency I'll leave the main area so I don't disturb others. Most parents don't bring a lot of toys or playthings to the church I attend and for the mom with several small children different women in the congregation will take turns sitting next to that family and holding the baby or taking the three year old to get a sip of water that way the parent(s) can try to listen and get what they can from the service as well. If I'm having a bad day or have a headache and it took all I had in me to even be a church and I don't want to listen to small children talking or be distracted by them, then I go sit somewhere else. For the most part there are few distractions at our service, people listen and open their Bibles. Before and afterward the congregation is noisy with lots of talking and people catching up with one another and children running around and playing and they practically have close us down before everyone leaves and even then a lot of times groups will meet up at restaurants and continue talking and enjoying fellowship.

But that works for me, I'd go crazy in some of the more laid back churches. I like the structure and organization of the church I attend, it fits with how I want to worship. I do acknowledge that for some people they're more comfortable in a come as you are God loves everyone we're happy you're here environment. For some people the idea of putting on a dress and sitting attentively for an hour seems like drudgery and lacks appeal and would turn them off of returning, much like to me the idea of screaming babies, children running around and people texting would leave a bad taste in my mouth. I think primarily what's going on in this thread is just differences in how we worship. Only God knows our hearts and only He is fit to judge any of us, and that's why we search until we find a place that fits us.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By popergerm
On Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:49 PM
There is a time to socialize, and at some masses that are small and informal like where its in a side chaple there is some exchange between the priest and the people where we decide impromtu the song for the intro, or giving invocations out loud during petitions, or if someone is needed to help serve father he will ask one of us. but the sunday mass is more formal and its rude to talk, especialy about gossip detracts from the service besides I also attend a latin mass sometimes and that is really about reverance. and has greater formality to the sevice then the average novus ordo mass of today.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:14 PM
I agree it is interesting to see how different denoms approach the issue. We can all agree on what is supposed to be the "proper" behavior and those things are very important. But for me, as an evangelical, they are not as important as my walk with my Lord in that very moment when I am representing Jesus, Christianity, my denom, and my church. If my negative action of frowning at the "infraction" (or complaining about it later) causes that person (or others who hear me complain) to turn away from Jesus instead of considering Him then I am guilty of spreading The Bad News about Christianity instead of The Good News.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By kandykanePremium member
On Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:47 AM
Make no mistake, I have always wanted to find a home church that was full of people like you, D4j.

I am not perfect, by any means, far from it most days, but I have sooooo wanted and wished for acceptance in a home church. I have looked for many years and I am constantly dismayed by behaviors I witness in the people who are so public about witnessing to me. I guess that's why I get so riled up by church folks who will talk the talk, but not walk the walk.

And I am NOT talking about anyone on DDN, obviously I have never been to church with any of you. But behavior goes both ways and this thread has brought that subject home to me.

If church goers want other church goers to mind their manners, it only seems fair for those church goers to mind their manners, too. And that includes so much more than not texting, etc. in church. Church should not be an exclusive club. We should ALL be welcome, regardless of social standing, sex, age or transgressions or how we say our prayers. A church is a hospital for sick souls, not a museum for saints. Another of my wise mommy's sayings.

kk~
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By MrsFinnigan
On Thu Jun 11, 2009 03:30 AM
On the other hand, there is the parable of the guy who showed up at the wedding feast without a wedding garment.

The point is that if you accept an invitation to worship, by all means, worship! I think Majere's objection is to how people behave when they demonstrate a lack of interest in worship in stark contrast to her congregation at school where all who attend Mass want to be there and show it by how they behave.

As I have stated repeatedly, I have no problem with fussy or active kids in Mass or people such as doctors on call keeping their phones on. But sometimes inconsiderate behavior needs to be pointed out in order for it to be avoided.

I like hearing how different congregations and denominations conduct their worship, but one thing seems remarkably similar across the board. With the exception of extenuating circumstances that, say, demand phones be kept on, basic rules of public behavior all apply.

As for the Happy Meals in Church, that was also addressed in Corinthians. If you're likely to get hungry at church, plan to eat (or feed the kids) before you go or wait until you get back. Don't gorge yourself there, as it's inconsiderate to everyone else.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service (karma: 1)
By Liritmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 11, 2009 03:54 AM
I don't know... I've been following this debate with a lot of interest. I remember when I was a teenager getting into some nasty fights with my dad before High Holy Day services (particularly the morning ones), screaming that no, G-d doesn't care what I'm wearing, I don't want to dress up.

Bottom line? Daddy always won.

When we were younger, we had service at the JCC with a million families who had children exactly our ages. Those services were loud and interactive and there was never any worry about who's kid was being loud and disruptive. Most kids weren't because the rabbi involved us. (For instance, every Friday evening BEFORE Shabbat, we had a Shabbat dinner where two girls and two boys from the nursery school got the opportunity to sit up at the front table with the Rabbi and Rebbetzin and share in the duties of Mom and Dad. Seriously one of the highlights of my childhood was saying kiddush with the Rebbetzin.)

On the other hand, even when my brother or I got too fussy - at the JCC at a service geared to children - I have vivid memories of my mom taking either of us by the hand and out of the sanctuary until we were calmed down enough to return. Sometimes that meant nursing us (well, my brother anyway. I have no memories of nursing, obviously.) sometimes it meant distracting us, and on at least two occasions I can recall, that meant going back inside to get the other one and making a quick exit. I remember seeing my friends parents do likewise - and while I thought it was weird or was bummed that I couldn't say goodbye, looking back I think it absolutely taught us all a lesson in what sort of behavior was okay when.

Now that I'm older, I have a couple of friends at our synagogue with a young son. (He's a bit more than 2 now.) During the prayers before and during the Torah/Haftorah readings, he's been known to wander away and talk and all that, but if he gets fussy, Isabel picks him up and removes him up and takes him from the sanctuary and they don't come back until he's calmed down. No one minds Asher acting like a baby because he is one. But even I - and they're my friends - would take offense if they didn't know or chose to ignore - when Asher needs to be removed from the situation so everyone else could get on with it.

Maybe it's different though, because even our Reform congregation is a bit more traditional than most. No one there would admit to having a cellphone turned on with them if they had one, because Shabbat is the day of rest and using a phone completes an electrical circuit (and therefore falls under the prohibition of lighting a fire on Shabbat). *shrugs*

I digress. This has all been my long winded way of saying that I just don't see how expecting a certain level of behavior in a place it's generally accepted that one is meant to be at one's best falls under judgmental. *shrugs*
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By Clodaghmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 11, 2009 07:32 AM
ok im gonna tell you two storys of Catholic mass, one where i live, and one at my holiday home ie. with different parish preists.

Home: At the beginning of each mass the priest welcomes newcomers, asks all children to come up to that alter and then asks them if they are all going to be really good for the mass, to which they reply yes, and then he asks them to help their younger siblings to be good also.

This results in mostly a quiet church, however obviously sometimes people show up late with a bunch of kids and he just gets on with mass, or a child will run up the aisle and he will ask them to come up to the alter and help him read the bible, etc.

Holiday Home: Last Easter i went to mass there. The priest started mass by saying 'i see alot of new faces, pity you couldnt bother coming any other day of the year'. A woman came in about 5 minutes late, on her own with 5 kids including a baby and a two year old, all impeccably dresses, really made the effort like.

And the preist stopped the mass and stared them the whole time they walked down the aisle and to their seat. Then about 5 minutes before the end of mass the baby started to cry, and the priest stopped again and said 'stop that child crying'.


My point is, its not the denomination, its the way the preist in this case ran the mass. Both were Irish Catholic masses, but they were so different. If you are put off a certain denomination becaause of one experience then id say to try another parish out, cos the dynamic can be so different.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By kandykanePremium member
On Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:07 AM
judgmental or judgemental
Adjective
making judgments, esp. critical ones, about other people's conduct


judgement - the act of judging or assessing a person or situation or event


disapproval - the act of disapproving or condemning


disapprove
1. To have an unfavorable opinion of; condemn.
2. To refuse to approve; reject.


value judgement - an assessment that reveals more about the values of the person making the assessment than about the reality of what is assessed



The Free Dictionary

That explains how it is judgemental.

kk~
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:39 AM
I love reading about how different church services/traditions work! I'm culturally a Catholic and so totally understand and appreciate a more formal approach to worship.

And don't get me wrong, my church isn't a free-for-all where anything goes. There are detailed instructions right in the bulletin about where the cry room is to take your baby, and messages about cell phone use, etc. I think that where the difference may be is that it sounds like most of the worship services described in this thread are comprised of people who are already "believers", either spiritually or at least culturally and so it's assumed that everyone is on the same page. In an evangelical church there is (hopefully) a percentage of seekers and/or brand-new Christians who don't know the ropes so to speak. So for instance, our biker group might bring a non-Christian biker friend. Or a scene kid might bring an emo friend. This is why you might see all manner of dress, people who don't know about rules regarding kids, teens who text, etc. But I'm not holding up my church as perfect (there is no such thing) and we have judgmental people like anywhere else. I'm just super-enthusiastic about my faith (having come to it late in life at forty) and it hurts me to see people give cause for others to turn from Jesus over superficial reasons when He could be considered and accepted/rejected for deeper ones.

:)
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By MrsFinnigan
On Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:44 AM
d4j wrote:

And don't get me wrong, my church isn't a free-for-all where anything goes. There are detailed instructions right in the bulletin about where the cry room is to take your baby, and messages about cell phone use, etc. I think that where the difference may be is that it sounds like most of the worship services described in this thread are comprised of people who are already "believers", either spiritually or at least culturally and so it's assumed that everyone is on the same page.


That's not the case, either. It's just in the Catholic Church, conversion is not as simple as an impulsive altar call. People who want to be there but don't know the ropes at least make a courteous effort to learn as they go. And of course, rules for public behavior, as I've noticed, tend to cross religious lines. It's pretty much common knowledge. Unless somebody's life depends on you keeping your phone on, turn it off (or at least silence it) in the movie theater, the concert hall, the classroom, and religious services out of respect for everyone else there. I do believe this is common knowledge even among non-believers.

At my wedding, we had a lot of guests who'd never been to a Catholic wedding. Some had never even seen the inside of a Catholic parish. But because they knew what's generally acceptable public behavior, everything went smoothly.

I do think it's odd that it's judgmental when some other church mentions there's a cry room for screaming babies or instructs people to keep their phones off or silent, but it's fine when yours does the same thing.

Maybe a newcomer at your church is feeling judged by the friendly request in your bulletin to keep the phone off or silent.
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:16 PM
It all just seems a touch complain-y to me. As I've mentioned several times now it is perfectly reasonable to have rules of etiquette, but I honestly do think it is somewhat in poor taste to bring it up. Like, if you're going to have rules of etiquette, then it goes both ways. If someone breaks etiquette by being rude, then it is also rude and breaking etiquette to bring up their rudeness - lol! Sorry, that's just me.

:)
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By kandykanePremium member
On Thu Jun 11, 2009 02:26 PM
Let's look at this another way. Table manners.

You are at a formal dinner. Formal dress, white table cloth, three forks, etc.

A person at the table with you doesn't put their napkin in their lap first thing. They dip their soup spoon in the soup going towards them, instead of away. They use the dessert fork for their salad. They hold their knife in the left hand. They hand the waiter their empty plate.

Do those things truly affect YOUR personal dining experience and enjoyment of the food? Would you tell your tablemate the things they are doing wrong? Or give them a cool look of disapproval? Or complain about it to others? Because if you do, then that is also bad manners.

This peson did make the effort to dress nicely and not put their elbows on the table. But, they may not have had the formal table ettiquete training in their life that others at the dinner did.

So, in this case... who is being rude?

kk~
re: What NOT to do at Mass or ANY church service
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 11, 2009 03:01 PM
Edited by majere (186163) on 2009-06-11 15:52:22 better diction...
If someone texting and a baby crying are your biggest complaints in life consider yourself lucky.

Hmm...I never said this is my biggest complaint.
MrsFinnigan wrote:


The point is that if you accept an invitation to worship, by all means, worship! I think Majere's objection is to how people behave when they demonstrate a lack of interest in worship in stark contrast to her congregation at school where all who attend Mass want to be there and show it by how they behave.

That is correct.
I just don't see how expecting a certain level of behavior in a place it's generally accepted that one is meant to be at one's best falls under judgmental.

I don't see how it's judgmental either.

Holiday Home: Last Easter i went to mass there. The priest started mass by saying 'i see alot of new faces, pity you couldnt bother coming any other day of the year'. A woman came in about 5 minutes late, on her own with 5 kids including a baby and a two year old, all impeccably dresses, really made the effort like.

And the priest stopped the mass and stared them the whole time they walked down the aisle and to their seat. Then about 5 minutes before the end of mass the baby started to cry, and the priest stopped again and said 'stop that child crying'.

Wow, that would actually make me mad.
judgmental or judgemental
Adjective
making judgments, esp. critical ones, about other people's conduct


judgement - the act of judging or assessing a person or situation or event


disapproval - the act of disapproving or condemning


disapprove
1. To have an unfavorable opinion of; condemn.
2. To refuse to approve; reject.


value judgement - an assessment that reveals more about the values of the person making the assessment than about the reality of what is assessed


The Free Dictionary

That explains how it is judgemental.

kk~

True, that is the dictionary definition. But I feel as though that is irrelevant.
It all just seems a touch complain-y to me. As I've mentioned several times now it is perfectly reasonable to have rules of etiquette, but I honestly do think it is somewhat in poor taste to bring it up. Like, if you're going to have rules of etiquette, then it goes both ways. If someone breaks etiquette by being rude, then it is also rude and breaking etiquette to bring up their rudeness - lol! Sorry, that's just me.

It's not like I said any of that to these people. I'm sure they knew they shouldn't be doing those things.

~~~~

I may have just dug myself into a hole there but whatever.

To make it clear - because several of these comments seem to be implying that I think my behavior is perfect at Mass - I know I'm not perfect. I do things that would probably annoy other people. But oddly enough I only do these things when I'm sitting with my family. My mom likes to whisper random comments in my ear and expects a reply - some times it's relevant to the reading but most of the time it's stuff like "what's your dad doing" and I'll look over and he's pointing to stuff on my brothers shirt etc.

so...
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