Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Translation, Same Old Bad Behaviors

I went to the vigil Mass at 5pm at our parish last evening.  Rebecca was lectoring and even if she wasn't, I confess I would have gone anyway just to be able to herald in the new translation of the Roman Missal.  I have to say that our pastor prepared us well for the changes and there were no glitches of which I was aware.  However...

The same old lady who walks around before Mass discussing the most inane topics, going from pew to pew to ask her cronies what they ate for Thanksgiving dinner.  I went to confession, even though I wasn't "due yet",  to avoid having to listen and to resist the temptation of shouting at her: "What part of KEEP A RESPECTFUL SILENCE IN CHURCH OUT OF REVERENCE FOR THE BLESSED SACRAMENT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?"

That leads me to the next touchy subject - badly-behaved parents who bring out-of-control children to Mass.

Let me say this outright, at the risk of offending some:  Your right to hear Mass with a screaming, uncontrollable child in tow ends where it impairs my ability to hear ANYTHING.  Some of the folks who come to the vigil Mass with children have taken to sitting together, with the belief that if their little darlings have companions readily nearby they'll be more apt to sit quietly.  I have yet to see this theory yield any success.  I think one of the mothers must be totally oblivious because she makes no effort whatsoever to silence her child, who likes to amuse herself by listening to the sound of her screaming voice.  Once this child was wailing in agony over something as her mother wheeled her stroller up  the handicap ramp and into the church.  Anyone else with a lick of common sense would have waited for the tantrum to end before subjecting the entire congregation to this commotion, which prevented us from being able to hear anything. I don't know how the priest manages not to explode.

Last night, the cacophony began with the usual suspect yelling, followed by the children in front of her loudly banging the kneelers up and down (until enough of us shot the parents a look) followed by one of the mothers answering her cell phone DURING THE CONSECRATION.  I thought I was going to lose my mind.  Changing my seat wasn't even possible because the church was very crowded and the only recourse would have been to stand in the back, which is not permitted.

I do not mind the sound of a child cooing, fussing slightly, or even babbling but there comes a point where parents have to draw the line.  You either have control over your kids or you don't.  I'm not going to get into parenting abilities and whether it is possible to silence a two-year-old with a mind of their own.  The point is, if your children behave like the ones I described above, you should not bring them to Mass until they are able to sit without disturbing others.

It strikes me, and I may be wrong, that these parents are the kind that let their kids roam freely in a restaurant, risking injury to themselves and the servers carrying hot food and beverages and disturbing the peace for other diners.  Dining out is not sacred.  The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is.  Get a sitter, get some control, or stay home.

There were other things to send my blood boiling last night.  A sometime visitor who thinks she can sing, who belted out the Our Father so loudly that she drowned out the priest.  Next, during the Agnus Dei, she bellowed at such volume that we could no longer hear the cantor.  Hey, if you have a nice voice, or rather, if you think you have a nice voice, by all means sing, but DO NOT sing so loudly that you make a spectacle of yourself.

Then there was the crazy guy who skipped back to his pew after Holy Communion.

Was there a full moon last night?

The new translation?  No problem.  The same old "me first" and "hey, look at me" behaviors?  That's a whole other story!

Thank God we have the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, where this nonsense does not take place.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I have to say we don't have that many distractions at our mass. When they do happen, I hate it too. Thank God it's not very often. Occasionally we do have that baby crying. I know it's good for children to be brought to mass, but really I wish they didn't. It ruins the service for everyone else.

    Just remembered. We brought Matthew with us for the Baptism lesson we were to receive. We really didn't have a baby sitter and so we thought since it's supposed to be around a half hour, no big deal. Well Matthew just couldn't sit still. And he didn't whisper. I did what I could but I was just hoping Father would rush through it. Unfortunately it wasn't Fr Veras, but the our other priest, who doesn't have much of a sense of humor and apparently not skilled in dealing with children. It was a struggle. Now I really have this fear how Matthew is going to react during the Baptism. He's not an infant. Baptism by the way is set for Dec 11th.


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