Arriving at or Leaving Mass Early - without a really good reason


#1

Why?!

I guess this is probably just going to be a vent thread, because if there were a magic solution to the problem we wouldn't have the problem.

Being late: Many, myself included, have made time errors, or had to wait for the elderly person we gave a ride to who moves slowly, that sort of thing.

Leaving early: Plane to catch? Sudden sickness? :shrug:

This morning there were people coming in clear into the homily. Father has talked till he's blue in the face :rolleyes: and there's just no getting through to these people. Also it is upsetting when the Johnny and Janey Come Latelys and their little Lately children come right down the middle aisle (round church) - there's no way he can miss seeing them.

People just don't get it. Like I've heard somewhere, many people work hard to avoid missing the beginning or ending of a movie or ball game. But for their Lord and Savior Who died on the Cross for their souls, Who gives His Precious Body and Blood in the Eucharist - :confused: What's up?

Should a parish post a sign on the outside of the door "Mass begins at (time) - if you are late, please consider attending another Mass at (list of parishes with later Mass times)"? And a sign on the inside door "Judas Left Mass Early?" :mad:


#2

Why is it a bad thing to arrive at Mass early?


#3

Oh, dear, I messed that one up, didn't I? :o Hopefully I've edited the title successfully....


#4

I can understand your frustrations about those who arrive late. My priest (and the one we had prior to this one) has also talked till he's blue in the face about those arriving late (not to mention the fact that he definitely gives them "the look" as they're traipsing down the aisles half an hour into Mass!). I personally feel that if you come in half an hour late, just attend the later Mass! We have families who do it CONSISTENTLY, every Sunday. To me, that's no accident, just a lack of respect. :mad:

I don't think posting anything on the door would do any good, honestly. If people cannot respect the priest enough to take to heart his words on the matter, a sign probably won't make much difference!


#5

I am so edified every Sunday to see a family of eight, with four children under the age of three, arrive fifteen minutes early every Sunday for Mass, and remain in the Church praying for ten minutes after the Mass has ended. :)

The mother has confided to me that she and her husband get up three hours early to get everyone ready, so there's no doubt in my mind that there is sacrifice involved - but it's absolutely clear what it is that is important to this family - they love their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, with a sacrificial love. :thumbsup:


#6

Retitling the thread to change it to "Arriving Late . . .etc." works when I post but it doesn't carry over to the thread title as it appears on the forums. I am sooooo embarrassed I didn't catch that error from the get-go.:blush:


#7

The few times I remember leaving mass early, I felt guilty. Once was at a mass that was taking place right before I was to teach Catechism to a class of roughly fifteen 7th graders. I left when a couple was talking from the pulpit just before the Final Blessing. I felt even more horrible when there was someone blocking the side aisle and I had to walk down the center aisle when I was sitting near the front. I kept my head down and didn't look at anyone. What made it even worse was that the couple was talking about working at a Pregnancy center and their experiences at Pro-Life rallies. I felt TERRIBLE.

Usually however, my sunday schedule is an 8:00 (or 10:00) OF mass and then a 1:00 EF mass. I arrive for both 30 - 45 minutes early. I usually stay for 10 - 15 minutes after the 1:00 EF mass while I usually head home right after the OF mass so I can eat something before the fast.


#8

I know…let’s not let anyone attend mass if the aren’t there from the start…and while we’re at it, nobody gets to the father by a deathbed confession; they should have been clean from the start!

Oh yeah, an you converts? Sorry, only cradle Catholics in the Kingdom!:smiley:

:smiley:


#9

i know...my husband mentioned this as an usher...how many people come in late.

BUT....think of the people that get there early.....and pray before hand....

And there are plenty of people (like myself) who forgo their lunch hour to attend daily Mass....and have to woof down lunch on the go....

All we can do is pray for those people who are cronically late....pray that someday they will "get" it..


#10

[quote="Annabelle_Marie, post:9, topic:290013"]
i know...my husband mentioned this as an usher...how many people come in late.

BUT....think of the people that get there early.....and pray before hand....

And there are plenty of people (like myself) who forgo their lunch hour to attend daily Mass....and have to woof down lunch on the go....

All we can do is pray for those people who are cronically late....pray that someday they will "get" it..

[/quote]

Well, as a father of two very small young kids, all I can say is we're always ready to go early enough to get to the church early (5-10 mins early) but with kids it's always a gamble.


#11

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:10, topic:290013"]
Well, as a father of two very small young kids, all I can say is we're always ready to go early enough to get to the church early (5-10 mins early) but with kids it's always a gamble.

[/quote]

I don't have kids...so I can't really comment on that...and I don't think it's those with young kids that are necessarily the problem.......

However I don't remember us ever being late as a kid...and we always had to sit up towards the front...and behave....but it's a different world today....


#12

I know quite a few people that come into Mass late, but they are firefighters, nurses, doctors, and law enforcement.

Their schedules are so bizarre, they never know when they're going to be free and able to rush to Mass, so yes, many times they slid in late.

These same people get "paged" out of Mass for emergencies.

I have also seen other people get up and leave Mass early, appearing quite calm and collected, only to find out they had some sort of emergency that required them to leave.

I try not to pay attention to the comings and goings of people during mass, but if by chance I do see someone coming in late, or leaving early, I simply add them to my prayers in hope that if there was some sort of emergency, that everyone involved is safe and sound.

Think about that when you want to post a sign that says Judas left early.


#13

[quote="Annabelle_Marie, post:11, topic:290013"]
I don't have kids...so I can't really comment on that...and I don't think it's those with young kids that are necessarily the problem.......

However I don't remember us ever being late as a kid...and we always had to sit up towards the front...and behave....but it's a different world today....

[/quote]

They say its an extra 15 minutes per kid in terms of preparation time. But even though we try to get ready earlier and aim to leave earlier, we're still late half the time.


#14

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:13, topic:290013"]
They say its an extra 15 minutes per kid in terms of preparation time. But even though we try to get ready earlier and aim to leave earlier, we're still late half the time.

[/quote]

I know at one Mass we have a regular group of adults (who should know better) who leave early...they have a standing reservation at a pizza parlour...and don't want to miss it...

I pray for them!

Ps...I'll pray for you too with the squiggly children...:D


#15

[quote="Annabelle_Marie, post:11, topic:290013"]
I don't have kids...so I can't really comment on that...and I don't think it's those with young kids that are necessarily the problem.......

However I don't remember us ever being late as a kid...and we always had to sit up towards the front...and behave....but it's a different world today....

[/quote]

Here's the gamble part with really young kids. I hate to be late anywhere, and we rarely are. I have it down to a science. We know when we need to start getting ready and when we need to walk out the door. I lay out clothes ahead of time and make sure we can find the shoes. We don't want to arrive too early, because the little ones will get restless inside the church, but if we let them play outside for a few minutes, they have trouble settling down. I aim to arrive 5-10 minutes early. It should be time to park and go to the bathroom. We need to leave at 9:25 to accomplish this. At 9:23 (as we're loading up), I realize that the baby has a dirty diaper. I pull him out of the car seat, and discover the hard way that it is a "blow out". It is all over me, I have to change the diaper, the baby's clothes, wash myself and change my clothes. While my husband and I have been dealing with this disaster, the kids have scattered to the four winds and have to be gathered back into the car. No, this scenario is not common, but it has happened more than once and is just one example of the many things that can derail a family with young children on the way to mass.


#16

Hi everyone!! It does tend to "boil my blood" when i see people saunter in late...BUT I close my eyes and focus on the fact that I'M at Mass...a lot of times I'll keep my eyes closed to focus better on the IMMENSE MIRACLE that's taking place, and not the people around me (sometimes these young ladies today are VERY immodest!) and I thank God over and over again that they CAME and I say to myself "I love them, I love them, I love them"...who am I to speculate and judge their circumstances?

In the end, these souls are receiving GRACE by being there...just by showing up! So even though I wish I could instill in them the sanctity and great BEAUTY of the Mass, I will suffice with knowing that by MY being there on time, I'm strengthening the Body of Christ, my fellow brothers and sisters will benefit as well as me! I heard a quote once "Be careful when observing others, for you yourself are being observed!" Do your best to praise God while you're there and pray for those who didn't come to Mass at all!! God Bless!!


#17

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am generally very punctual. I hate to be late and I feel that it is disrespectful to arrive late without a good reason or without notice (be it Mass or anywhere else). But, I'd like to share my story of how I changed my opinion on being late to Mass.

This story took place about 20 years ago. I was in my early 20s and regularly attended Mass (for which I was never late). My older sister hadn't been to Mass in a long time. One morning, I invited her to go with me. Much to my surprise, she agreed to go. At that time in her life, my sister took a long time to get ready to be seen in public. She required perfect make-up, hair, coordinated outfit. etc. I waited (impatiently) for her to get ready. Finally, she was ready to go and we left, about 10 minutes after I had told her that we needed to go. Of course, we were late. For a noon Mass. Noon was never my first choice, but I knew I could never get her out the door for an earlier Mass. The Mass was quiet and quick: no music, perfunctory homily, shortest option for all the prayers. It was a little strange, but this wasn't my usual parish. (My usual parish didn't have a noon Mass.) Finally, at the time for the announcements, the priest stood up and began a lecture with these words: "That's as quick as I can make it, folks." He proceed to talk at length about how he was just fed up with people coming late all the time. Having arrived late, I was mortified. My sister was angry and hurt. She didn't go to church again for years. I decided after that experience that the time that somebody arrive for church is a private matter and there may be reasons that I don't understand. I do know that if people are made to feel unwelcome because they arrive late, don't dress well enough, their kids are noisy or whatever, they are likely to not return, particularly if their faith is in a fragile place and their connection to the Church is tenuous.


#18

This story took place about 20 years ago. I was in my early 20s and regularly attended Mass (for which I was never late). My older sister hadn't been to Mass in a long time. One morning, I invited her to go with me. Much to my surprise, she agreed to go. At that time in her life, my sister took a long time to get ready to be seen in public. She required perfect make-up, hair, coordinated outfit. etc. I waited (impatiently) for her to get ready. Finally, she was ready to go and we left, about 10 minutes after I had told her that we needed to go. Of course, we were late. For a noon Mass. Noon was never my first choice, but I knew I could never get her out the door for an earlier Mass. The Mass was quiet and quick: no music, perfunctory homily, shortest option for all the prayers. It was a little strange, but this wasn't my usual parish. (My usual parish didn't have a noon Mass.) Finally, at the time for the announcements, the priest stood up and began a lecture with these words: "That's as quick as I can make it, folks." He proceed to talk at length about how he was just fed up with people coming late all the time. Having arrived late, I was mortified. My sister was angry and hurt. She didn't go to church again for years. I decided after that experience that the time that somebody arrive for church is a private matter and there may be reasons that I don't understand. I do know that if people are made to feel unwelcome because they arrive late, don't dress well enough, their kids are noisy or whatever, they are likely to not return, particularly if their faith is in a fragile place and their connection to the Church is tenuous.

I have seen what you mention here time and time again. I am very happy you posted this in order to encourage others to go, even if they are a bit late. Those who are already there should be focused on the Liturgy and not the comings and goings of those around them.
Once I made it 15 min late because I had to take down some signs and banners that had blown down from an open house across the street onto the Church property and return them to the homeowner. I had every intention of being on time as I usually am, but life sometimes gets in the way.


#19

I've found that kids manage to manufacture all sorts of really good reasons to be late for Mass. Whether it's missing shoes, forgetting to rinse out the shampoo, dirty diapers, a little one undressing while you're in the other room lacing up your shoes, etc. I was actually quite proud of myself for getting all our kids out the door and to Mass on time this morning despite oversleeping and not being able to get myself moving.

While I tend to ignore families with young children arriving late, we've had several people over the years who seem to make a sport of it. One guy and his wife would always show up about 10 minutes late, parade down the center aisle then make a big show of taking their regular places at the very front of the church. After several homilies about tardiness and even a couple occasions where the priest stopped mid-sentence and tried staring them down as they did their almost choreographed stroll down the aisle, the ultimate, and what should have been obvious, solution to this was when another family decided to start sitting in their regular seats.

The early-leavers bother me more than the late-arrivers, whether it's the ones who take Communion then walk right out the side door without returning to their seats, or the ones can't extend the courtesy of staying that extra two minutes while the choir finishes the recessional hymn. I've heard people suggest everything from angry homilies to the ushers blocking/locking the doors to cut down on this. The only thing that I've ever seen that was effective was my second-youngest daughter. A few weeks ago, she was having a banner day at Mass, throwing tantrums the whole time, throwing books, slamming down the kneelers, etc. I spent half the Mass in back walking her around. She had another explosion on the way back to our pew after Communion. I went straight to the door instead and stood there holding her. The nearness to the exit quieted her down. However, as the early-leavers started flowing toward the door, she piped up again, waving and saying "bye-bye" to each of them as they came by. That guilted about 80% of them into not leaving. So instead of a whole bunch of people leaving early, we ended up with a big crowd standing in a group around the back door, trying to avoid my daughter outing them with her waves and goodbyes.


#20

[quote="Gordon_Sims, post:19, topic:290013"]
I've found that kids manage to manufacture all sorts of really good reasons to be late for Mass. Whether it's missing shoes, forgetting to rinse out the shampoo, dirty diapers, a little one undressing while you're in the other room lacing up your shoes, etc..

[/quote]

I have experienced all of these things while trying to get out the door for Mass. Missing shoes is probably the most common. In fact, we deal with missing shoes nearly every time we leave the house. Toddlers are very fond of dragging shoes about. I do try to put aside appropriate shoes for Mass the night before, but those darn toddlers can always find a way. My current toddler went to church without shoes this morning. I found the missing shoe in the toilet this afternoon.


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