Fr. Erik Richtsteig placed this in his bulletin.
Over the last month or so, several incidents have occurred that necessitate reiterating the obligation for each parishioner to work to keep our church clean and new. Parents have allowed children to draw on the baptismal font with crayons, to draw on the pew seats with pens, to walk on the pews with shoes, to litter the pews and floor with snacks, and spill drinks with no effort to clean up afterwards. Lest you think this is just a problem with careless parents, older people have used the kneelers as foot rests, failed to replace the missalettes and hymnals in the pew racks, and left their trash in the pews.
Our church is the house of God. It must be treated with care, reverence, and respect. (It is not a playground or a family room!) Please observe the following rules:
1-No gum is to be chewed in the church.
2-Silence cell phones before you enter the chapel.
3-Save conversations for the entrance area or the social hall.
4-Please do no let children draw in the church with pens, pencils, crayons, or markers.
5-If your small child must have a snack during, it is YOUR responsibility to clean up after them. Also, no snacks that are sticky or have the potential to stain.
6-Please no juice or milk in bottles. Water only in the church.
7-Don’t let children walk on the pews wearing shoes or to stand with their shoes resting against the pew seats.
8-Kneelers are for kneeling. The are not footrests.
9-Straighten up your own pew before you leave. Replace books in the rack, take any trash with you, and leave the kneelers in the upright position.
All parishioners, please help us keep these rules. If you see someone who is out of line, please gently remind them of their obligations.
So few seem to understand kneeler etiquette, especially when going to Communion and you know there are others that will need to shuffle past your kneeler left in the down position. Though it is easy enough to do the toe-kneeler-life as you go by so that others following you don’t have the same problem.
I have seen less problems with food, though sometimes there is the leftover Cheerios you sometimes notice or other cereal fragments.
In some churches it seems that as soon as Mass ends you could use a decibel meter to measure a gigantic increase in the noise level. I don’t know if there is any true causal relationship to what I have observed, but I have noticed that parishes with the more pop style music and less reverent liturgies are also the ones that have the largest problems with noise after Mass.