Bad manners in church are wreaking havoc

July 1, 2013

Thank you Bishop Frederick Henry for bringing to the fore a real problem in our churches and which causes hard feelings among parishioners (WCR June 10, “Respect, courtesy matter in life, at Church”) – bad manners and lack of consideration.

Before and right after weekday Mass, one would think you were at a hen party in someone’s kitchen. There is no reverence or respect for where they are, for what is about to happen or for what has just happened.

Where is the love of Jesus and good Christian behaviour they are all talking about when they cannot even have consideration for other parishioners who would like quiet time for prayer, preparation, thanksgiving and reflection?

It is generally the same small group who are disruptive. It is as though they have become so familiar with the premises as to show contempt for its purpose and others right to use it.

As Bishop Henry wrote: “Now is not the time to talk to your friends. Gathering areas or vestibules are good places for this. But in church talk to God (pray and prepare to celebrate the Eucharist).”

Sunday is a time to come together and celebrate. Talking and visiting before and after Mass are a given and can be a sign of a lively community.

However, it puzzles me why people with children who present behavioural problems insist on sitting in the front row where their antics are front and centre, taking everyone’s attention away from the altar, the Word of God and the homily.

We live in a stress-filled world and it is necessary to find a quiet oasis in which to renew ourselves so we can go out and take on the world again. Let’s be more considerate of each other and practise the love Jesus has taught us.

Bertha McLaughlin
Sherwood Park