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Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Why am I not at mass?

ES1 & I should be heading to mass. As the only usher without any gray hairs, I'm sure my presence will be missed. ES1, however, was reminded by her mother what today was. Today is something we just don't feel like dealing with.

A few years ago, our church decided that 1st communions should be rolled into a regular mass. In addition, they decided that it should be the 4:30 Saturday Mass, not the dedicated Children's Mass every Sunday at 10:00 AM.

Firstly, 4:30 Saturday Mass is for people with busy schedules, so they can still go to worship. 1st communions tend to severely increase the length of a mass. They do this without giving any warning that the next week's mass will be longer.

If it were that alone, we would suck it up and deal. What is most annoying, however, is the people in attendance. There are vast crowds of people showing up and treating this like some typical family event. Adults are talking in the pews, children are playing with toys, people are running back and forth to say hi to Aunt Marge (this is during the service, mind you) and the whole group is generally demonstrating a severe lack of decorum. It is quite clear by their behavior that the last mass they attended was their own wedding, or perhaps Christmas 1997. There is no respect, no reverence, and absolutely no clue as to why we are here in church.

In addition, the organization level rivals that of that of the Alliance/Reaver battle in Serenity. Each kid is given their own pew for their family to sit in, along the center aisle. Invariably, however, they also have random family and friends who, having shown up late, are scattered throughout the church. When time comes for communion, the kids are called individually, and every 13th cousin, seated between 2 elderly regulars, climbs over people to get up, and the rest of us have to wait until the trampling is over. Then when those of us who, like actually go to mass every week and stuff, are finally called, we have to climb over 15 people who've already gone. They've tried actually asking only those family members in the pews with the children to go up, but that is ignored by the mass of oblivions who just climb over people anyway. Rules are just for us Jesus freaks anyway.

We love our church. The 4:30 masses always have a good crowd, we have a dedicated parish community, a great school, and a pretty vibrant church overall. What annoys the bejeezus out of us is people showing up and turning it into a freak show. ES1 has to be on 24 hour call tomorrow, so this was her only chance to go. She's none too thrilled about missing mass, but then, it doesn't really end up feeling like a mass, just a fsck'd up excuse for one.


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