Advice with an ongoing disturbance during mass?


#1

I know that we all have them from time to time and some are able to completely block things out of their minds such as the background noise or even close their eyes and pray to the holy spirit for help. My question is what if none of it seems to be working?

An example would be a mother-in-law who is indifferent to the mass and wants to chit chat during mass instead of letting my wife and I focus on the Lord and why we are there. I know some will just say to let it go, pray for her, or deal with it. As of lately we have been, but to be honest it is seems to be becoming a problem at Church. Is there anything that can be done, or should be done besides dealing with it and moving on? We have spoken out politely to her to be try to be quiet, but it hasn’t worked. I think honestly that she might think of this whole mass thing is a social gathering and that bothering us in the middle of prayer is ok. Is there really anything that can be done with relation to this being a family member instead of a random person. It’s not like we are able to move pews either.


#2

I really dont have any advice for you but I am empathetic. I hate it when people chit chat before mass as I am typically praying. When people do it during the homily or something I have to restrain myself from cursing at them. Whats funny is, sometimes its people who should know better. Like the lady who reads the scripture reading. She comes in and talks in a normal conversational tone when its obvious Im praying, typically from my Monastic Diurnal for an hour of the Divine Office. Old women do it all the time and Id love to tell em to shut their damn disrespecting mouths. I mean seriously, you cant show some reverence and shut the hell up for two seconds in the House of the Lord? This ISNT a social call. This is where we pay our respects and Homage to the Almighty. If it was before or after mass I wouldnt have a problem with it if it was done quietly and reverently. If I ever talk it would be quietly, and usually about Church business like going on a retreat or vocation related stuff. If I were talking about something during mass, Id probably be explaining something to someone new during a Tridentine Mass and what to do,or ask what hymn we are singing because I cant see the numbers, and NOTHING ELSE.

If this was a family member I would be assertive with him/her. Tell them they need to show more reverence for the Lord and their fellow parishioners who some of which might just be there to worship our Lord and Savior, not to shoot the ****. You can talk after the mass in the rec room or whatever room after the mass outside of the actual Church, or quietly and reverently in the Church if necessary. One hour of one week is all that is required of you, thats pretty easy if you ask me.

The problem is, some people really don’t see it as anything more than a get together or something they ‘have’ to do and would rather be someplace else. Now, the dick in me thinks, well go do something else and don’t corrupt the people who are here to worship. But I know if they got discouraged and left because of me being an *** and never came back, that would be on my conscious and rightly so. So I pray for them and hope they understand just what is going on in the midst of their yaking, because they only do it because of one of two things. They don’t quite understand what is truly going on, or they just don’t care.
“How dreadful is this place! This is none other than the house of G^d, and this is the gate of Heaven.” Genesis 28:17 (KJV)

Have a blessed day.


#3

[quote="dfp42, post:1, topic:224610"]
I know that we all have them from time to time and some are able to completely block things out of their minds such as the background noise or even close their eyes and pray to the holy spirit for help. My question is what if none of it seems to be working?

An example would be a mother-in-law who is indifferent to the mass and wants to chit chat during mass instead of letting my wife and I focus on the Lord and why we are there. I know some will just say to let it go, pray for her, or deal with it. As of lately we have been, but to be honest it is seems to be becoming a problem at Church. Is there anything that can be done, or should be done besides dealing with it and moving on? We have spoken out politely to her to be try to be quiet, but it hasn't worked. I think honestly that she might think of this whole mass thing is a social gathering and that bothering us in the middle of prayer is ok. Is there really anything that can be done with relation to this being a family member instead of a random person. It's not like we are able to move pews either.

[/quote]

This is weak.
Solve your problems or someone else will and maybe not in a polite, charitable or patient way.

As kids we all learn to be silent or quiet in church and libraries , no excuse for adults doing this.
Loud talking or chatter in church, leads to others doing the same.
Sometimes, the elderly can be the worst, hard of hearing, engaging in chit chat, some of them think that gives em' license to talk as loudly as they need during or before mass.

Two months ago, me and my girlfriend/fiancee sat in Church some 10 minutes before it starting. 2 Older ladies were sitting behind us talking loud,...I waited maybe 2 minutes, turned around and asked just as loudly 'When does the entertainment start?'. They quickly shushed.


#4

[quote="dfp42, post:1, topic:224610"]
I . I think honestly that she might think of this whole mass thing is a social gathering and that bothering us in the middle of prayer is ok. Is there really anything that can be done with relation to this being a family member instead of a random person. It's not like we are able to move pews either.

[/quote]

or possible she has a disorder that makes her talk incessently which is a possibility you should explore. How do you react when she does this in other inappropriate situations? I have a relative who simply cannot come to the movies with us for the same reason. She simply cannot shut up but feels compelled to comment--often uncharitably--about everything she sees or hears. If you knew her you could see at once this behavior is compulsive and feel pity for her.


#5

Sit in the very front row. Chatty people tend to sit in back.


#6

My suggestions include:

(1) Tell her that her behavior is rude and inappropriate and not to talk to you during mass anymore

If she doesn’t listen to you then:

(1) Sit in the front pew
(2) Give her absolutely NO recognition when she talks-- keep your head bowed and eyes closed. If it’s during the homily-- look eyes forward the whole time like you have not heard her at all.
(3) Get up and move. Yes, really.
(4) Refuse to sit by her. Tell her she is welcome to sit by you when she can behave appropriately
(5) Go to a different mass or parish than she does

If it’s some sort of mental issue-- alert your priest and try to come up with some sort of resolution that is charitable and respectful of her problem with the priest.

Otherwise, if she’s doesn’t have any sort of mental problem causing this and is just rude, you might want to engage the priest in approaching her and asking her to be quiet.


#7

I hold the opinion that this and other problems are down to poor catechesis. We don't seem to get any guidance/instruction from the clergy any more. I would describe my parish priest as traditional, e.g. he celebrates the Mass ad orientem and he celebrates an EF Mass once per week. But, we never hear anything from the pulpit about appropriate behaviour in Church. I'm sure he must be aware of the noise because the noise levels are so high in our parochial church before Sunday Mass I'm sure it must be audible in the sacristy.


#8

Oh my goodness!! Hilarious!! :smiley: I wish I had the cojones to do that to a couple of older ladies who do the same thing at my parish!


#9

Is she actually trying to talk to you or is she one of those people who babbles on to no one in particular? If she is trying to start a conversation with you in the middle of mass, remaining silent and refusing to acknowledge her (even eye contact) might help. If she talks even when there is no audience, it's a bigger problem.

So you've already talked to her about it? How to-the-point was the conversation? Just casually mentioning that she tends to talk a lot in mass isn't going to cut it. You need to tell her in a firm but loving way exactly what the problem is and what is going to happen if it doesn't stop (i.e., you can't sit near her during mass anymore.)


#10

Funny, I was considering posting a similar question myself - I attend daily Mass with my 2 kids, aged 2 and 4, and there is one elderly lady who has magnetised to my kids, and comes over before Mass talking at the top of her voice. We sit at the back of the Church in case I ever have to bring one of them out (I haven't so far), but I honestly am at a loss myself. I'm trying to pray, she tries to talk to the children - loudly.

I behave quite charitably, as in smile sweetly, but try and dead-end her questions, as in, "that's lovely now, god bless" or "I'll have a chat after Mass". No good. I timed my going to Mass so we'd arrive after her. No good - she gets up out of her seat when she sees us arrive and comes over, talking loudly. I sat at the very front once, but was so afraid the kids would misbehave, my focus was on them instead of the Mass, plus I felt a little mean at deliberately trying to avoid her.

Pray. I'll start now for the both of us. As in ask Jesus to resolve the situation. Tomorrow I'm going to try this, I will purposefully kneel in prayer before Mass with my head down trying to look deep in prayer in the hope that this works. maybe my sitting down makes her think I'm open to conversation, I don't know. Maybe she will get the hint then - it's getting embarrassing because the Mass is very well attended.


#11

If you have the time after Mass, why not say to her “Let’s visit after Mass; I really want to teach the children how to be quiet in church.”? Also, I think sitting in the very front is a good idea - don’t worry about the children until/unless they actually do start to misbehave. Most people are understanding about this, fewer are so about chatting. :wink:


#12

Many people would give anything to have their relatives go to church.


#13

I am thinking the talking is done more out of a spite of jealousy towards my wife and I. (seriously). Ever since we’ve been making an honest effort to get our lives together with God, got married in the Church 4 months ago, it almost seems as if she is in a way “mocking us” at mass. There are many things she’s done to discourage this. I’ve talked to my wife about this and she agrees, but she says, what can I do, its my mom and she treats me this way and I can’t be rude. She recently discouraged my wife from receiving the precious blood because she told her she will get sick if she puts her mouth on the same cup and people are dirty. This comment was made to her by her mother a few weeks after my wife for the first time ever took the cup on our wedding day. I truly think it may be jealously because of her **own **situation (divorced, no annulment, dating men) objectively it’s clear to see this by the way she lives her life. We all come out of mass and she drops profanity like nothing. Sexual jokes and all the like within 40 minutes after communion. It’s a struggle just thinking about it and dealing with it over the last year but she intends to hop along with us to mass every time we go. It’s hard to focus and know she is looking at us while we pray almost mocking us in a way for at least trying to be Catholic. Oh if only you knew…


#14

Everytime I have this problem 3 things usually work:

1, I tell them to keep quiet or go outside if you want to talk.

2, Give a very big and loud ssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh .

3 , I’m lucky to have a priest who reminds the parish regularly that there is no talk whatsoever in the church at any time, either during, before or after mass. When you walk in it’s silent prayer and that’s it (apart from group prayers/rosaries which he allows to be said out loud every night at 9.30). He’s not afraid to to tell it how it is.

I think in the end it is down to the priest and how he instructs his flock.


closed #15

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