Just icing on the cake

I was reading the St. Louis Review (Catholic News) this weekend and there was a letter to the editor that just made me climb on my soapbox and rant at DH.

The letter, written by a Grandmother, outlined the various grievences that she had with the Mass and people attending said Masses. Her points included:

-people not genuflecting/ bowing before entering the pew
-young people not paying attention
-young children hanging on their parents, turning around, not using books,
-chewing gum and then receiving Communion
-the presence of loud music and singing of songs that are “anything but hymns”

She closes by saying:

What on earth will our faith be like 20 years down the road? Will my young grandchildren have a strong faith to see them through life’s hard times? Singing and shaking hands will not do much with standing by a hospital bed. It all makes me sad and very tired.

So of course, the CCM got all up in arms and was ready to fire her own letter to the editor when I decided to bring it here instead.

Now, I can see some of her points. It does irritate me when I see kids playing on their Nintendo DS or PS3 or iPods during the Mass, my husband does not genuflect and sometimes I just want to tie my 3 year old to the pew, but then I remember a few things:

1. My 3 year old is, after all 3. What I expect a 3 year old to accomplish during the Mass is totally different than what she CAN accomplish.
2. All the other stuff: other people’s behavior, music selections, skills of the choir, quality of the homily, is not why we are there.

We attend Mass to take part in the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist, all of that other stuff is just extra. I try my best to remember that fact and when I find myself being disparaged by the extra stuff that I don’t like, I offer it up. Offer the suffering that you might be experiencing because of the extra stuff up for a poor soul in purgatory and pray that the Lord helps you to stay focused on the task at hand.

At our Parish, we are fortunate to have a multitude of Masses to choose from: If you want an early meal, try the 5pm Vigil Mass; want a more contemplative Mass, 7am; want a more grown up Mass, 8:45a; contemporary? 10:30 is for you and if you want to raise the roof with Praise and Worship songs, hit up the LifeTeen Mass at 12:15p.

The writer asks how her grandchildren’s faith will be shaped in 20 years. To that, I have to respond with the hope that their faith is firmly grounded in a love for and of Christ which can only be done with the Church and the Domestic Church (home) working in concert.

And as Saint Augustine said: “Cantare est bis orare.” (To sing is to pray twice.)
__________________________________________________
Tomorrow is “Ask CCM Tuesday!” If you have questions about Catholicism, conversion, RCIA, Natural Family Planning, Breastfeeding, Cloth Diapering, Frugal Living, Knitting, Crochet, Biology, Forensic Science, Marriage, Parenting, Gentle Discipline, etc., etc., please send me an email at:

CaffeinatedCatholicMama (at) gmail (dot) com

In your email, please include your first name and your location and let me know if you want your name withheld when I answer your question on the blog.

I have no prizes to offer for your questions other than the knowledge that you might be helping others with their questions!

Pax Christi!

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3 Comments

Filed under Catholic, sacraments, tradition

3 responses to “Just icing on the cake

  1. DeAnne

    My husband was raised Catholic and I was raised baptist. We are now both Bible believing Christ followers and attend a non-denominational church in Chesterfield (The Crossing) – basically a Bible believing church if you are not familiar with what non-denominational is all about. My husband actually works there now and we are both very involved and volunteer regularly.

    Anyway, we embrace many things the Catholic church does but one thing I have struggled with is why they don’t have a children’s church or area of ministry geared towards children? I was raised in a church where I was taken to a children’s sunday school and was taught Jesus on a “child’s level” from a very early age and loved it. This is where I got my strong faith in God from such a young age.

    My husband on the other hand was dragged to catholic mass and like you stated in your blog squirmed and figeted in the pew and has bad memories of sitting for hours on end. It was not appropriate for him because it was not put in child-like terms – mass is really geared for ADULTS – not for children. How do adults expect children to sit still for that long of a time period. It is ridiculous to expect that.

    Our church has an amazing kids ministry and it is not just a nursery or babysitting. There are awesome volunteers who are passionate about what they do. They train and have a curriculum that is Bible based that teach the children the word of God every weekend. We have 6 services every weekend at the Chesterfield location and more at the Fenton location and hundreds of children who are taught the lessons in the Bible and are loved on and shown God’s love with fun songs, puppets, crafts, etc. Think vacation Bible school only better. 🙂

    Why does the Catholic church not see the value in doing this? And how could others in the church have the nerve to complain about kids squirming in the seat but not give a logical solution to the problem? That is why the kids are bored. It is a message that is not on their level. They need it to be taught in words that they can understand. It is simple as that. You wouldn’t start teaching a child physics before you teach them simple geometry or algebra. They need to hear it from the beginning and hear God’s word simply put, fun Bible stories, simple scriptures, memory verses, catchy songs they will remember. Some of the stuff I learned when I was 3, I remember to this day and have taught my girls. I know most people of faith know these things but it amazes me that people still make their very young children sit through hours of mass expecting them to sit still and wonder why they won’t listen to a sermon.
    Just my 2 cents! 🙂

    • Hi DeAnne!

      Thanks for reading and your comment! I, too, was raised Baptist and I remember Sunday School with the fondest of memories. To answer your question:

      I can’t speak for all Parishes, but we do have a ministry geared toward children called “Children’s Liturgy of the Word.” It is mostly for the K-5 set I believe and the kids are called to the front after the Opening Prayers and they leave the sanctuary to hear the readings geared toward them. In two weeks, Sunday Pre-school of Religion starts for the 3 and 4 year olds as well, but not all families opt to take part in cLOW or the preschool.

      I believe the reason there isn’t a strong push for a children’s area or children’s liturgy other than what we have is the Catholic Church’s view that families should attend the Mass together with the whole of the church community.

      I honesty think that people who complain about children squirming in Mass just forgot what it was like to have little kids of their own in Mass. Add that to the fact that your average Sunday Mass lasts anywhere from 45 minutes to just over an hour, and you get people who really think everyone should be able to focus and give their all to Christ for that bit of time.

      Thanks again for reading and God’s Blessings on you!

  2. DeAnne

    Thanks for the explanation! Good to know.

    Blessings on you too!
    DeAnne

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