View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mass report: Good and bad.

The Good Looking One and I went to the Saturday evening Mass at St. Theodore's.

Our parish got out of the habit of kneeling during the Consecration back during the renovation of the church (Masses were in the gym, with no kneelers), even though we are supposed to. Weekdays, I kneel. On weekends when I am in the pews rather than playing and singing with the choir/Rock of Faith, and not wanting to cause a fuss, I've stood with the rest (feeling all the while uncomfortable).

Last night, though, a woman and her son knelt at the right time in the pew in front of me.

After Mass, I complimented her. She said she didn't used to kneel, but she realized it's the right thing to do, so she's started to do it. When I mentioned that to the Good Looking One, she said she'd be happy to kneel. Next weekend, the kneeler goes down.

During the Mass, though, there was a "bad" moment.

The women behind me were carrying on a conversation throughout Mass - every time there was a pause, music, or Father was praying.

While we were waiting to go up for Communion - and while I was trying to pray and focus on that miracle - they started up again.

Finally, I turned to the chatty ladies and asked in my teacher voice, "Could you please save the conversation for after Mass."

They stopped.

They also left right after receiving Communion.

Probably muttering about that rude guy.

Wonder what they'll do next weekend if I kneel in front of them. Or in the same pew!


Blogger Ben Anderson said...

one thing no one can knock on you, Lee, is your openness to sharing your inner thoughts.
"In the dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some other good reason."
The woman in front of you is correct and I bet more people would do it if they knew. Once a few people start doing it, probably everyone will follow suit. Usually the excuse used is that a church doesn't have kneelers. However, I've heard many times that that doesn't constitute a good reason. Having bad knees is probably a good reason. I've decided that holding a squirming child is also a good reason for keeping part of my bottom on the pew.

I think most people just do what the priest tells them to do. You really can't argue w/ that until you yourself are enlightened as to the rules. An individual priest or bishop is not allowed to change the rules. Probably many priests don't even know. I'm coming to think the number one problem in our diocese is sheer ignorance.

I've been in a similar situation when I've attended masses with the UR newman community at the interfaith chapel. I don't want to appear "holier-than-thou", but I knelt while everyone else stood. It's somewhat awkward, but the rules are the rules and who would I rather offend - my Lord or my fellow churchmen?

As to your comment - I don't think you need to feel bad one bit. It's not rude to ask someone to stop talking during mass. It's rude to talk in the first place. It's unfortunate when we're put in such situations and we must address the it in love, but at some point something needs to be said.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's great to hear that you will begin kneeling. The best thing one can do is to lead by example. Hopefully your example will inspire others to do the same over time.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Janny said...

During the Mass of my daughter's baccalaureate from high school, I turned to two men having an active conversation and told them, "If this is not an emergency conversation, save it for outside church." They appeared stunned that anyone would object to them talking during Mass...but they DID shut up. :-)

More of us need to do this, if the gentle "buzz" from some pews is any indication.


12:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home