An Elf in the Sanctuary


At mass this morning, there was, placed at the bottom of the alter a toy elf. Is it an overreaction to say that I was appalled?
I really thought someone was trying to be cute and did it as some kind of a joke. After father left the sanctuary I went up and took this toy and tossed it.
Someone who saw me informed me that it was put there by father as he saw some religious significance in it. Is this “toy” not a mythical creature originating from a pagan religion?
I now have very mixed feelings. I believe I was right in removing this from the altar. At the same time, I feel terrible that I have created, what I am sure will be friction, to put it mildly.
I now find myself wanting to send an email to the priest, not to apologize because I don’t believe what I did was wrong, but to come to some understanding with him of how inappropriate it was to place this thing in the sanctuary. The toy first appeared over the weekend when it was behind the presider’s chair on a platform. While I thought it inappropriate at the time, I could not completely see what it was and tried to ignore it. This morning it was moved to the base of the altar. Actually, I found out this morning that someone else, who saw it over the weekend, did take offense and did talk to the priest about it. It was from this person that I found out that the toy had a religious significance to the priest. I am sure if there were 2 of us who took offense, there are others as well. I would really like other views and any advice you can offer.


Sounds as if the priest has a strange religion if it honors toy elves :slight_smile:


Rather than asking any of us – who have no idea what your priest may have in mind – it would make more sense to talk with your priest. Either you will agree with him or you will have the opportunity to discuss with him why you think he’s wrong.


I’d definately send an email asking why he’d placed it at the altar. This is a sacred place.


Trying to imagine, perhaps the “spying on your to make sure you are good and will tattle on you if you are naughty” elf toys are to teach the opposite of the love of Christ?


Without talking to the priest first, I believe you weren’t right at all. And even if you asked his reasons first, and didn’t approve of them, it’s not your place.
You certainly should apologize, at the very least for not talking to him about it before throwing out something that didn’t belong to you.


Welcome to the Forums McMad :slight_smile:
No,it’s not right …it’s a distraction from what’s really happening in the mass.Godbless.


I hope you got it back out of wherever you tossed it. It’s an elf, not a Satan monster doll. Kind of presumptuous of you to assume without asking Father.
It might have been a prop for a children’s Mass, or an offering left by a child, or any number of things.
In any event, since you didn’t know for sure, if you absolutely had to remove it, you should have left it in the office with a note. Not just taken it upon yourself to “clean up” someone else’s property.

I really don’t like it when lay people just take it upon themselves to decide what’s proper and what’s not. I want the priest/ pastor making these decisions.


You seriously think it’s okay to just throw out something of the priest’s without asking? SMH


Did the elf look like this by any chance? If so, given you said it’s been moved to different places, it’s probably your priest’s own version of Elf on the Shelf.

You mentioned the elf has religious significance to your priest. I’ll agree it sounds odd, but at the same time I can imagine that if it came from the grapevine, there’d be some distortion of the original.

Like others, if it bothers you I’d encourage you to ask your priest.


Mabye the preist is trying to make it fun for the younger members of the church or mabye he’s read the Elf on the shelf Jesus style book. No matter the reason you had no right to remove the Elf


Thank you and thanks for your view.


I did not know it belonged to the priest when I tossed it. I know I need to talk to him about it but am not sure what I need to say. Perhaps I was a bit hasty in doing what I did but I looked at it all through mass and found it to be at the very least distracting. I really appreciate all the views here both positive and negative.


I DO NOT NOT NOT like this elf on the shelf thing since it started. It seems so materialistic to me and just not the right thing to do for our Children. I have seen Christian and Catholic similar things to do that I find MUCH better because they dwell on Jesus and aren’t materialistic.


I think this elf looks creepy.

I like stuffed animals but dolls are just too creepy. Just like clowns.


I hate those creepy elves.
I wouldn’t have tossed it, though because it didn’t belong to me

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