a little something to hold you over
Even though I haven’t been able to produce any decent blog posts worth publishing recently, there are plenty of other bloggers who have come up with some pretty good stuff. So I decided to share a few of those with you to hold you over until I can get my writer’s act together.
For starters, Marcel over at Aggie Catholics wrote a nice little reminder about Mass Etiquette. I try to make it to mass once or twice during the week, in addition to my weekly Sunday obligation, but I still found the list helpful. Maybe that’s because more often than not, I was applauding that certain issues made the list. Many of them are things that I think go without saying, but considering how many times I’ve seen the don’ts done and the dos not done, I’m glad someone said something. Here are a few of my favorites (I have been known to speak in italics so my comments are naturally… in italics):
WARNING: Some of my comments are more feisty than usual.
4. Never chew gum in church! It breaks your fast and it’s distracting! (For reels!)
6. Dress modestly and appropriately. Wear your Sunday Best. As Catholics we believe that God comes down to meet us at every Mass. Why would we not dress up? (Preach it, brother! I’ve heard many excuses – some lame, some not-so-lame – for wearing jeans or shorts and t-shirts to mass, but I just don’t buy them, even the not-so-lame ones. Especially when I see people take more pains in their appearance when going on a date or going to the bar or in preparation for game day or whatever. Even if “Jesus meets us where we are at”, we should make a small effort to meet Him halfway… dressed in our Sunday Best! Side Note: The Crescat wrote a post early last week about a similar subject.)
8. Cell phones should never be used in Mass for calls or texting. The ONLY exceptions are emergencies (big ones, not everyday ones) and if you are using the phone for readings or prayers. (Really? This needs to be said? Oh, wait… I think someone just tweeted during mass… Yup. This needs to be said. Wait until afterwards, folks. It won’t kill you to wait. But it might kill you if you don’t wait: You never know when the hand of God will strike… Yes… that last part is a joke, but tweeting in mass isn’t.)
15. Respect Boundaries others may have. You might want to hold hands to pray, they may not. They might be sick and not want to shake during the sign of peace. These are all OK. Do not make any unnecessary judgment because they worship differently. (This one is a personal favorite! I remember one time Fr. Geno reminded us at mass that no one wants to be arm-wrestled into a relationship with God; they want to be inspired. My immediate thought was ‘No one wants to be man-handled at mass, either.’ And that had just happened to me when I was praying with my hands folded, head bowed and eyes closed and someone felt the need to put their arm around me because I wasn’t part of the ‘circle of prayer’. *shudder* I agree that this is something we shouldn’t get hung up over, so let’s just respect each others boundaries: No man-handling the non-hand-holders.)
These are only four of the great reminders Marcel included in his list (though surprisingly the issue of clapping at mass didn’t make the cut… but I’ll just let Pope Benedict handle that one). Be sure to check out the rest of the list. Many require extra effort, thought, and a little sacrifice, but that’s what Lent is all about, right?
I hope that holds you over, Reader… We’ll see what tomorrow brings…