Arm around spouse/ date/"nuzzling" in pews during Mass?

Hi fellow forum posters.

Just curious: Should gentlemen put one of their arms around their spouse/ or girl friend (arm hanging casually around the back of the pew) during most of the Mass, whispering, nuzzling ears, patting heads? I don’t see it often but I’ve told my husband to please leave that behavior for the home or movie theatre. It doesn’t happen often, so I’m wondering what you think? It’s certainly nice to see married couples with children and all couples still in love, and I’m happy to see them relaxed but is this going overboard or too casual? Is this unusual in your own experience? I was in an evangelical church for many years and it was very common there, but I just recently noticed this a few times at Mass and wondered about it. Opinions?

I love seeing couples in mass together. Especially older couples that have been together for many years.

It does not bother me to see them be affectionate. The talking if it was disruptive would bother me. They should be focused on the mass.

I’ve seen it with a couple in their late 40s or early 50s. I don’t think it is proper at all. Maybe in a movie theater but never in a church. And he’s a lector too.

Yes, and whispering constantly is not something I’d do.

I’m wondering if I should ask someone in the parish about this…?

I have no problem with a spouse putting their arm around their partner at all. There’s nothing inappropriate whatsoever about that behavior.

Who? I’ve watched behavior and dress at Mass and know I’m not the only one seeing it. My solution would be for the priest to put a message in the bulletin discussing proper etiquette and dress in Church.

Elderly people holding hands to assist each other is understandable but staring into each other’s limpid pools and nuzzling is not.

I’ve watched a man sit in Mass with his trucker’s cap on until an usher had the guts to tell him to remove it. And twice I’ve watched a guy in a Jim Bean T-shirt strut in. And a Eucharistic minister on the altar with short-shorts. I know the priest has to see this stuff.

Short shorts and Jim Beam t-shirts I can understand. I don’t see anything wrong with headwear on men (unless the cap had some offensive slogan or logo on it, or the hat blocked the view or something). The idea of men doffing their hats while women were always veiled or hatted is a sweet but somewhat old-fashioned notion, certainly not a big enough battle to impose upon people these days.

I see nothing wrong at all with holding hands in Mass.

Gazing into each others’ eyes, nuzzling and kissing - apart from perhaps a peck on the cheek at Sign of Peace time or something - are probably not appropriate

I don’t have a problem with a man putting his arm around his wife, holding her hand or giving her a hug during the Sign of Peace. As I was joining the Communion line one Sunday a saw a friend standing in line behind his wife put one hand on each of his wife’s hips and start rubbing them up and down. I thought this was a too much PDA in the Communion line. I looked down at the feet of the person in front of me and turned my thoughts back to Jesus.

Showing some light affection during mass I think is acceptable, but kissing, groping, anything below the belt and beyond is considered inappropriate regardless what church a person goes to. When one attends church (any Christian Church I am talking about in general) one needs to remember that 95% of forms of affection should remain outside the church. Spouses or dating couples hugging or holding hands during the mass and beyond is ok. I don’t see the problem with a man putting his arm around the girl provided it stays there and it doesn’t go any lower. Adult Christian need to be to examples for the younger generation. If people are exhibiting inappropriate its best to bring in an usher or speak with the priest after it.

I put my arm around my wife’s shoulders frequently in mass lately.

We live in Australia where it’s currently winter granted it’s not freezing but the church has a terrible draft, no heating and is cold. I’m not going to sit and watch my wife experience discomfort because of the perceptions of others.

I’ve had an acolyte come up and tell me to put my phone away during mass. Of course my phone has the missal on it and I was following the mass using my phone.

Sometimes what we perceive and what’s actually happening are two different things.

just my $0.02

Once in a while my husband and I will hold hands as we’re sitting in the pew. Often it’s when we’ve had an argument just before, and I suppose it’s our way of making up. But I wouldn’t ever like it if he was nuzzling me or had his arm around me. During Holy Mass, we should attempt to be focused on the Liturgy, not on the people we’re sitting around. I just think it would be distracting to the people doing it and those around them.

I think that in most environments it is inappropriate for men to wear hats in an enclosed environment, it is not an old-fashioned notion, it is very contemporary. When it comes to the house of worship we should also remember 1 Corinthians 11:4 “Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraceth his head.”

Hand holding and arm around the shoulder are fine to me. My husband and I usually hold hands during the homily. He isn’t Catholic and is pretty indifferent towards the Church so only attends Mass with me sometimes. I like to hold his hand because I’m really happy that he’s there.

Something that does annoy me though, is when the man is rubbing his wife’s or whatever’s back up and down when they stand up. I don’t know why, I just find that too much and annoying.

Perhaps we should all be focused more on the Mass rather than what other parishioners are doing…:wink:

Quite true. At the same time, PDA’s at Mass can be distracting to others. Maybe they should be saved for date night at the theater.

I was wondering how long it would be before this comment popped up. Sometimes people are doing things right in front of you and it’s impossible not to notice. That doesn’t mean that I’m staring daggers and wishing hellfire upon them, it just means I noticed what they were doing. That’s it.

What does an enclosed space have to do with men not covering their heads fer crying out loud? There’s no logical connection.

By the way Paul had been an observant Jew. As was Jesus. Both bound by Jewish law to cover their heads while praying as many Jewish men do to this day. I doubt he meant that paragraph as a universal condemnation of something practiced by Our Lord!

As for St Paul - I suppose you feel that women should also follow his dictum about veiling? Even though the Magisterium has never - not once - given so much as a hint of a hint, ever since all reference to veiling was dropped in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, that they see any problem with men being hatted or women being unveiled at all? Not even a private opinion from John Paul II or Benedict XVI deploring women who don’t veil or men who cover their heads?

In marked contrast to practices like CITH and use of EMsHC, where there are official restrictions and private reservations about universally practicing them?

I’ve witnessed this only once, my reaction is “Ugh, get a friggen room!”:rolleyes:

I see nothing wrong with people holding hands, or doing the arm around, but the back rubbing, the nuzzling…seriously go out to the parking lot, do what you gotta do, and come back when you are decent. It’s a church not your bedroom and we’re holding mass, not your little show.

I think PDA has gone too far, all I see when people do that rub/nuz crud I just see a bunch of attention-seekers…“Hey look at us, we’re so in love.” …no, you’re in doubt, have low self-esteem and you seek the confirmation of others that you’re “in love.”

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