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.
My experience is also that the more modern the music, the noisier the congregation. I would go so far as to apply it to chatter during the Mass as well. I believe the casual liturgies and musical selections make it easy to forget one is in God’s house, rather than a Catholic community center. In that atmosphere it can be easy to lose sight of decorum, in all its facets.
Granted, I swapped my local parish at the beach (which is literally 100 feet from the sand) for a traditional chapel, so for me it was quite a contrast. Believe me, you don’t see many bikini tops peeking out through t-shirts at the Tridentine Mass.
Ultimately, I think the key word is reverence.
In my current parish, voices drop to whispers once people enter the vestibule and cease entirely once you’ve entered the nave. There’s no mistaking where you are, and what you’re there for.
Once the reverence level is correct, things like gum chewing (!), cell phones, talking, littering and kiddie graffiti pretty much disappear. Father’s list becomes a note on kneeler etiquitte.
Our kids also are better behaved when we sit in the front.
I would hope that folks have some forebearance for those of us with young children (we have 3 kids 5 years old or younger, with another arriving next week) as we bring them to Mass. We want them to learn to be full participants, and really are doing the best we can to keep them under control. But, as you can imagine, that can be hit or miss with several that young.
I’ve been to parishes where parents with small children are persona non grata and are escorted to the “cry area” to watch behind sound-proof glass. Fortunately, our parish isn’t like that. Instead, we get knowing smiles from others sitting near us at Mass, and an occasional “It’s okay, we’ve been there, too.”
Also, I hope an exception can be made for my 9-month pregnant wife to use the kneeler as a foot rest. It’s difficult enough for her to sit in those hard pews for an hour with our 14-month old squirming and crawling all over her.
parishes with the more pop style music and less reverent liturgies are also the ones that have the largest problems with noise after Mass.
Don’t you believe it….
Unfortuantely to your last statement, I’d have to disagree. I go to Mass at a church with very reverent liturgy and relatively non-pop-ish music, yet at Sunday Mass, the decible level still pops up.
Last Sunday, at the Indult Mass, the only people speaking in the sactuary after Holy Mass were toddlers. About half the congregation stayed behind after the final hymn for thanksgiving prayer. Come motu proprio!
Sorry to butt in, but what do you make of this Jeff:
I’m devastated and confused.
8-Kneelers are for kneeling. The are not footrests.
I’m a bit shaken by this one. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about *not* using a kneeler as a footrest. It just never struck me as an issue.
And now that I think about it, yeah. I guess it *is* problematic, if we’re kneeling on dirt from our shoes.
Now, let’s add to the good Father’s list:
10. Dress like you’re coming to worship God in public not like you’re headed to the nudist beach and don’t want to waste time undressing once you get there.
11. Get to the church at least ten minutes early and stay ten minutes after the final hymn. Mass is one hour and fifteen minutes out of your week. Are you consistently late for work, leaving early? Are you late for doctors’ appointments? Do you go back to work early after a vacation?
12. No one cames to Mass to be entertained by your child. No matter how cute, how cuddly, how sweet, once the child starts screaming, running around, talking out loud, stomping up and down the pews, etc. it’s time to gently, kindly take the child somewhere else. We all hear the child, see the child, and no, none of us is amused. And please don’t start shouting that this isn’t a child-friendly policy or that any parish that does this doesn’t welcome children. I would say the same thing to teenagers, young adults, adults, seniors, etc.
Can you tell I’m not a pastor? Fire away! 🙂
Fr. Philip, OP
13. If you know that your kids are a bit hard-to-manage, don’t sit at the front pews so that they don’t distract everyone else at the back.
14. Make sure your kids have received First Communion before they line up, and see that they receive reverently. I saw one kid take the Host out of her mouth and I chased her down and told her in no uncertain terms to swallow It.
15. Chatting in front of the Tabernacle in those churches where it is not railed off from the rest of the area is a big no-no, even if a priest (who should know better) is involved).
As the father of a 16-month old, I dutifully sit it in the back and take my daughter out when she gets too antsy (usually about every five-minutes). That being said, here’s a couple of observations:
1) Try getting a pre-verbal toddler to NOT stand on the kneelers or climb onto pews. See if you can do it for just five minutes – I DARE you.
2) Snack food and bottles are the only way we have found to get her to shut up. We try to police up all the fragments, but short of whipping out a hand-vac afterwards, I am not always successful.
3) Why do so many *ahem* seasoned citizens feel the need to sit in the back in the kiddie section and then give you the evil eye when your little one makes the slightest peep? Oh yeah, that’s right, it inturrupts the senior citizen gossip hour. And I sit in the section that is outside the main nave of the church. There are families standing back there without seats because the *ahem* seasoned citizens can’t be bothered to walk into the main part of the church where there are PLENTY of seats.
4) I would love to go to the indult mass, however I wouldn’t dare bring my daughter until she is older. Ironically, it would have been easier when she was younger as at least she wouldn’t be mobile.
5) Lest I get flamed, let he who has perfectly behaved toddlers cast the first stone. I used to get annoyed at the antics of young kids at mass. Now I have nothing but sympathy. If the kids are old enough to understand commands, that’s one thing. But sometimes kids look deceptively older than they really are. My daughter frequently gets mistaken for a 2-year old as she is taller than many two-year olds. But she only turned 1 on Dec. 30th!
Of course kneelers are footrests! You just make sure your shoes are clean before they touch the kneeler surface, that’s all; and nobody wears dirty shoes to church if they can help it. (Besides, if you don’t use the kneeler as a footrest, you’re either clattering ’em up and down all the time or kicking the supports inadvertently.)
Re: “stay ten minutes after the final hymn”
Doing what? Chatting? Getting in the way of the people coming in for the next Mass? I mean, obviously everybody gets there 15 minutes or more early, to pray. But that means that after Mass, the next bunch are _already arriving_. If you had more than a few people staying _after_ to pray, the church traffic jam would be even more snarled than now. And the Latin even says you’ve been dismissed, so you should get going, no?
Not that I have anything against there being Sunday Masses all day from 8 AM to 6 PM and 1-2 hour spaces between ’em, but that’s what there’d have to be. ‘Cause I don’t see how the logistics would work for just Sunday morning Masses that way.
I would add that sitting towards the front lets my 2 year old see whats happening, as opposed to getting an hour of staring at people’s backs.
When our children were toddlers, we found that sitting near the front, where they could see what was going on, made them better behaved. Of course, if they got antsy or otherwise ill-behaved, we took them out immediately. We also found children’s saints or prayer books, saints coloring books ( never were they permitted to color on the pews! ), and, alas, Cheerios were very helpful. And we usually received compliments on their behavior.
Here is my opinion IN DEFENSE OF SCREAMING BABIES:
Why do so many *ahem* seasoned citizens feel the need to sit in the back in the kiddie section and then give you the evil eye when your little one makes the slightest peep?
The seasoned citizens are the noisiest ones of the lot, and the most resentful when you ask them (politely) to put a lid on it!
I wish I could say that Cheerios and crayons are the worst things that have been found on the floor at my parish. Hosts have been found there — not only on the floor, but in garbage cans, and smashed between the pages of missalettes.
Priests should be allowed to get married and have a family with lots of toddlers. Like us ‘separated brethren’!
I don’t want to sound harsh here, but there never was a time when my mother, or her mother, or her mother’s mother, brought Cheerios or juice to church. It just wasn’t done until this generation. For as long as I can remember, we just never ate for an hour before Mass started, and if we were going to the 8 o’clock, we didn’t eat breakfast until after. (Babies are different, of course, but that’s a breastfeeding thing.)
It’s not wrong to bring babies and toddlers to church; no, it’s right. But it’s also right to keep home toddlers and babies who can’t handle church, or to utilize the nursery. There were a good number of times when Mom was dropped off at church and Dad took us back home or sat with us out in the car, and that was the usual procedure before we were old enough to remember.
When we did go to church, my parents separated us with their bodies (easy with two parents and three kids); and if any of us got rambunctious, we knew we weren’t going to stick around more than a nanosecond – and that we’d be in disgrace afterward. We got in trouble for whispering too much, or being restless, or smacking each other surreptitiously. But we knew absolutely that we were not to make a peep during any of the important bits of Mass, and we knew what they were. We knew that all resentment and feuding had to cease at the Sign of Peace. We also knew that we were not to bother other people around us. It was just engrained in us.
I will say that it probably helps if you teach your kids to read along, because that helps the kids pass time and know how much longer things will last. We all could follow along in the missalettes pretty well, because we all started reading at 3-4 years old. Before that, of course, our parents helped us follow along when we were old enough to start understanding. Singing along with the hymns and a parent’s finger running along the music and indicating the place is something I don’t see people do, but it’s so simple and fun! (And it increases reading speed, of course, as well as giving some sense of how reading music works….)
To those who managed to get kids to behave when they sit up front (probably because they know so many older people can easily stare them down), props to you. It just doesn’t work in my parish church (in fact because there is a wide-open floor area in the front they have more space to run around), sometimes I have to give the eye and the shush finger to the children when nobody else will. And the parents rarely, if ever, take them out unless they really holler and make a ruckus.
Most folks at our parish are pretty good about taking antsy, noisy babies and toddlers out of the sanctuary during a service. We’ve just instituted for one of the masses a nursery service. So we’ll see how that works out. As to the kneeler etiquette that doesn’t seem to be a problem either. However, get out of the way at the end of mass because the rush to start the Catholic 500 from the parking lot is more dangerous than the Wal-Mart parking lot on payday! I get irked by those who after taking communion head right out the door with the host still in their mouths. One family who does it, the mother is a Eucharistic minister. Apparently no one is headed off to work either because I’ve seen the entire family at Barnes and Noble later on in the same afternoon. I try to be understanding about a lot of things because I have sinus problems which often results in my throat drying out which end up in coughing fits. Therefore I never sing (which exacerbates the problem)but I do try to hum. I used to chew gum to help alleviate the problem but got too many dirty looks. I always took the gum out when the consecration took place. Now I use cough drops but still get dirty looks. So I try not to be too judgemental about others because of my own problems.
I have always noticed that the loudest conversations are among the elderly, whom you think would know better, having experienced the pre-Conciliar Mass. Nevertheless, their conversations about medicines, doctors appointments, and what’s in the bulletin are distractions. Mass has become a social event for them.
I don’t have children yet myself, but I try hard to be understanding and forgiving for the families with young children. It seems to me that what the Catholic Church teaches about openness and generosity to new life ought to apply to Mass as well. Sometimes the younger children are noisy and distracting, but we ought to look on them with patience and love. I’m not saying that children having tantrums should not be taken out of the nave by their parents, but we ought to be charitable to parents that are making an honest effort to control their children.
There is only one thing worse than a Church with screaming children. A church without screaming children.
Regarding kneelers, just so you are aware of diversity in the Catholic Church, “kneeling’ is neither Catholic dogma nor doctrine, e.g.:
1) the Byzantine Catholic Churches (aka Eastern Catholic Churches), all in union with Rome, do not install kneelers. When one kneels, less than in the Roman rite – they stand alot, it’s on the marble floor. For “seasoned” worshippers, if it’s too difficult to kneel, sit, and get off your high horse and let life be life.
(Sidebar fyi regarding children in church: Byzantine Catholic priests in the US, all in union with Rome, are often married with children – always have been; always will be. [So much for “Catholic” prohibition of married priesthood.] They and their wives have the same children issues. Methinks Byzantine Catholics are more sanguine on “children in church” since one-month-old babies at Communion time receive the Body and Blood of Christ from the priest as the parents hold open their tiny mouths. Yes, one-month-old babies baptized, confirmed and first communion recipents since the three sacraments of intitiation – Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist – are celebrated at the same time.)
2) In the Catholic Church – Roman rite – in Chad, Africa, worshippers are invited to SIT during the Gospel reading and Eucharistic prayer as a sign of respect.
Regarding pro-forma “reverence” in church, our Gospels tell us of when Jesus stood up in the synagaogue to read from Scripture during Jewish liturgies, lively questioning, discussions and debates ensued. So much for hushed tones being reverent in houses of worship. I’ve noticed there is a lot of personal, family chatting going on in Jewish houses of worship before and after liturgies. I imagine Jesus being a good Jew must have been a good talker in the synagogue. The only time I recall Jesus talked about posture during worship was when he talked about showing off in prayer.
Regarding the less-than-reverential affect of modern, animated liturgies; do you think the worshippers stood stone-faced while David danced before the Arc of the Covenant?
Be respectful of diversity and “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.” But self-righteous judgment of others as to the right way of being reverent -kneel, talk – is not catholic.
Oh, Albert…you need to get a revised version of the Leftie Liturgist’s Talking Points Booklet! 😉
1. No one claims that kneeling is dogma. Straw man.
2. Married Catholics priests are hardly a secret. Their presence in the church in no way mitigates the gift of undivided love that celibate priests give to their people. Think: do you really want the RCC to start imitating our Eastern Rite communities? Thank hard before answering!
3. We do need to go to the restored rite of initiation. It’s high time we stopped using confirmation as the carrot to the CCD’s stick.
4. Sitting during the gospel in Africa is perfectly fine. Your point? Are you in a parish in Chad, Africa? Are you African? Chinese Catholics pray all fifteen decades of the rosary before Mass starts. Again, do we imitate this in suburban Denver or Miami?
5. Jesus was preaching and teaching during a synagogue service not during a temple sacrifice. During the sacrifice in the Holy of Holies there were no loud discussions or shouting, b/c the laity weren’t allowed in there. Comparing apples and oranges.
5. My fav canard for liturgical dancing: David. I doubt very seriously if David’s audience sat quietly while he danced. He danced naked. And, again, your point?
6. Predictable Liberal Hypocrisy Alert: “But self-righteous judgment of others as to the right way of being reverent -kneel, talk – is not catholic.” Thank you for showing us how to be self-righteous while being accusatory and condemning all in one breath! Bravo.
Fr. Philip, OP
I just want to make a comment re: modern music and lack of reverence in Mass leading to lots of conversations in the church right after Mass. I have yet to go to a church where this does not happen. I’ve been to many different kinds of Masses in my life, ranging from very lax with the rubrics and modern happy-clappy music to “do the red, say the black” with lots of Latin and chant and traditional hymns. In every place, as soon as Mass was over everyone would be chatting it up inside the church, unheedful of the poor souls trying to pray. And no amount of announcments from the pulpit or blurbs in the bulletin seem to be able to cure it. I don’t think it’s a strictly Catholic problem either (but I don’t know of any Protestants who make it a habit to pray in the sanctuary after services are over). Even in one famously conservative New York City parish (my regular parish for the past 5 years) it’s a problem. No, it’s not a problem of reverence or lack thereof. I believe it’s a human problem. A group of people, after sitting together and being quiet for an extended period of time, once dismissed will naturally congregate and talk, talk, talk, as if to make up for lost time. It’s even worse if it’s a tight-knit parish where everyone knows each other. I don’t know what solution to offer. I just wanted to disabuse the notion that increased reverence will cure it.
Sorry you missed my points.
Kneeling is not dogma, as you say; nor is it doctrine. But in my Catholic Church in the US, kneeling is “true Catholic.” My point is that in Chad, they are just as Catholic. I did not say to adopt Chadian forms of worship in the US. I did say: “when in Rome…..Romans do.” The point is clear.
In pointing out to American Catholics there are other diverse viewpoints on the same subject of Jesus (God in the OT) and His Church is not accusatory nor condemning; historical, sociological and anthropological perhaps.
If the Church is “the people,” then billions of people will experience Church in a myriad of ways.
You are vowed but not cloistered and therefore are aware of the bias of many American Catholics – the “defenders of the Faith” – to a homogeneous interpretation of what is reverent and holy and good and orthodox and Catholic.
Celibate vowed life is valued in the Eastern Church – in the monasteries. Married priesthood in the public square filled with married and single people is the norm. No criticism of celibacy in my words.
But yes, stop requiring celibacy for presbyteral orders as the two vocations are different and separate. Perhaps no longer taught in our seminaries as one vocation, but it certainly was until the ordinandi voted with their feet.
Meanwhile, we are suffering from a lack of sacramental ministers “in the West.”
David the canard?: the point is dancing is a form of worship, g-string or no.
Pointing out that Catholic is not catholic is not self-righteous if we are to fairly educate our Catholic faithful.
My parents didn’t bring us kids to Mass until we were old enough to go to school . My mom would go to 7am Mass while Dad stayed at home w/us, then he’d go to the Noon mass & mom would be on kid-watch. To this day, I still remember my first time walking into the sanctuary at the age of 5 hanging onto my mom’s hand. We were drilled w/the idea that this is God’s house and we acted accordingly. Never were we allowed to talk, walk around, look around (or we’d get swatted), or let our behinds so much as graze the pew. As for the general noise level in our Church, I’ve noticed the decibel level go supersonic after the 12 o’clock youth mass. But then when I attend the 7am Mass, there’s usually a handful of seniors talking LOUDLY either in the vestibule or the pews … about NOTHING. It’s frustrating. But I’m glad they’re there all the same despite their inattentiveness to my preferences for reverence.
No milk in bottles?
Hey, even the security screeners allow this at the airport.
As a parent, I would have to say I find this post a bit offensive and unwelcoming of children.
Do we really need milk nazis at Mass?
Do we need milk nazis at Mass? Probably, not. But neither do we need parents who blissfully stand by while their children squirt or shake it around them and make no effort to clean it up.
“The seasoned citizens are the noisiest ones of the lot, and the most resentful when you ask them (politely) to put a lid on it!”
The reason they talk so loud is because they have hearing problems! Of course, they could also put away the newspapers too…
I have sometimes done the split mass thing, wife goes to one mass time, me to another, little munchkin stays home. I usually find that’s the only way I can concentrate at mass without worrying about what my daughter is about to do to the missal.
Unfortunately, most parishes in my neck of the woods (NYC) don’t have nurseries to dump the kids during mass.
If I’m at an exceptionally large parish, I sometimes let her wonder around in the back out of sight as this usually keeps her quiet. One day she found her way to the baptismal font and started splashing it with her hands, however…
All the suggestions about keeping the kids in line only goes so far for a kid who is less than two years old.
the Byzantine Catholic Churches (aka Eastern Catholic Churches), all in union with Rome, do not install kneelers.
Except the ones that do. Which is pretty much all the ones in Western Canada, at least. Shocking but true!
Albert, I can’t help think you’re missing the point of this whole discussion. It’s not about what Church *rules* are, it’s about *parish* decisions for maintaining a worshipful and clean atmosphere, and not inconveniencing other people as well. It’s all about prudence, not rules from on high, and no one here thinks differently.
My husband and I decided that, except for babies needing to nurse, we would not do snacks at Mass for our kids. It does frustrate our toddlers when they see others having lots of snacks and sippy cups and juice boxes. More than once I had to physically restrain my 2 year old from prying flattened raisins from the floor. Seriously people, raisins? We figure the kids can sit for one hour without a snack or drink.
I had to laugh when my in-laws were bragging about their non-denom. megachurch where they not only have a coffee bar, but congregants are welcome to bring their lattes into the service! I guess even adults can’t be expected to sit for one hour without their sippy cups…
Re: feet on the pews- It really is hard to keep toddlers (esp. when mom and dad are outnumbered) from keeping feet off the pews at all times. I do my best. I really dislike padded pews and always figured they are much harder to maintain.
Then the article needs clarification. I am quite firm with my children and would never “blissfully stand by while [my] children squirt or shake it around them and make no effort to clean it up.”
Sometimes a snack or a milk bottle is just a way to keep young children quiet so that everyone can participate in the Mass without distraction.
Your article is offensive. I’m sorry but that is just how I feel. I agree with your general intent to promote discipline but believe it lacks tactfulness.
I’m a little surprised the discussion of Father’s bulletin announcement has become focussed on children’s behavior in Church.
Of his nine requests, four are directed at small children: no drawing in church, no sticky snacks, water only and no shoes on the pews.
Is it really anti-children (or in at least one case, offensive) to make these seemingly reasonable requests?
Given the crayon markings on the baptismal font and other damage, banning drawing in church makes sense.
Please notice, non-sticky, non-staining snacks are still OK. Cheerios are still kosher (I wonder if they really are; I’ll have to check the box).
Most churches get cleaned on Saturdays, so spilled juice or milk that isn’t noticed can both attract insects and get downright nasty in six days. I mean, Lazarus was pretty ripe after only four.
Finally, Father’s problem seems to be with shoes on the pews, and the kneelers for that matter. No one wants their church clothes soiled just by going to church. So, the simple solution would be to remove the kids’ shoes. Most parents I know don’t allow their kids on their furniture in their shoes, why should church pews fall below that standard?
This certainly wasn’t an attack, and Father was not chiding children. Parents control what children bring into church, and are responsible for any mess that might result. Had the parents in this parish simply cleaned up after their children, four of Father’s requests would’ve been unnecessary, and we could all gang up on those old people talking.
File this one under “it’s all fun and games until someone draws on the baptismal font.”
I totally understand what you are saying. Most of the request are not anti-children but there are enough things in the post to make a parent with children feel unwelcome at Mass.
For instance, forbidding children having milk is unreasonable. Most kids don’t start drinking water until they are two. Also, children are naturally going to want to stand on the kneelers because they want to see whats going on up front. If they kneeled, they would be looking at the bookrack. But according to the #8, kneelers are for kneeling. So I guess they’re going to have to sit quietly behind me with a coloring book instead. Oh wait, no crayons allowed.
Believe me, I’m not much of a hive-poker, but I think you be might be a little oversensitive on this one.
Granted, I think parents with children in church have more than their hands full, and sadly, many congregations can be very intolerant of
un-adult-like (did I really just type that? ugh) behavior. I can see where you might feel put upon or harassed.
Personally, kids being kids in church doesn’t bother me, unless it rises to the level of kids being bad kids in church and the parents don’t intervene. I also believe there’s no place for glaring in church. Ever.
BTW, in the comment section of his blog, Father sounds like he might reconsider the milk ban.
But is the milk ban (assuming it stands) unreasonable? There is an argument that many generations of Catholics made it through Mass
without a drink.
However, assuming it stands, it certainly sounds like it could be inconvenient for a number of parents. I’m not a parent, so I’m not going to tell you it would be easy to figure something out; that’s well beyond my expertise. But remember, had the parents cleaned up after their kids, milk wouldn’t be on the endangered list (again, it’s all fun and games…).
Regarding the kneelers, the no shoes in the pews approach would solve that problem as well. If Father objected to kids in socks, then you should cry foul.
I realize I may be picky about words, but I just don’t think Father’s requests rise to the level of offensive, especially when I think no offense was intended. Chiding, yes. Offense, no.
I took Father’s bulletin announcement as coming from a priest who’s recently completed the long task of having a new church built, only to have those it was built for start destroying it before it’s lost its new-church smell.
Hey Greg –
When you finally have kids maybe you will understand me on this one. Until then, I don’t think you will quite get where I am coming from. Am I hive poking here? It is just these are the sorts of things that make parents “oversensitive.” In other words, I think sometimes that we orthodox Catholics get a little to used to pointing the finger at everyone else in the pews.
One of the changes in the last generation of Mass goers is the clueless parents bringing misbehaving children to Mass. It is a problem of ignorance and lack of parenting skills.
Children could be taught in previous generations…..why not in this one?
Feed them before they go to church and no snacks are necessary, even as a diversionary tactic. I notice a continual stream of kids going to the bathroom and being a distraction during Mass often during the consecration. Parents are responsible for this. Make sure they go potty before they come. Keep a tight leash on noisy wanderers. I believe it best to stay home rather than allow undisciplined children disturb a sacred hour for others.
I agree it’s not about “rules,” it’s what the local Church decides in discerning their Catholic faith responses. My point is global:
I did say “when in Rome……Romans do.”
I’m not for universal or general prescribing of rules of Catholic behavior. But I sense many of our Catholic communities are prone to this understanding.
I don’t intend to sound unilateral in a left-wing style.
Peace be with you all!
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