behavior in Mass


#1

In Mass yesterday I saw a women nearby me keep tapping another family on the shoulder trying to get there attention, this other family kept asking the women to stop.

I then walked over (I was in the aisle) to the lady and asked her to stop tapping these people while there praying (after the prayer was over ofcourse) she then proceded to say “excuse me” to which I responded “you are excused” she gave me a look of rage and stormed out. after that she watched me through the glass doors from the vestibule, after about 10 minutes she left.

was I right in my reaction to her bothering these people during the our Father


#2

I guess I would have wanted to know what was so urgent that she would interupt prayer:shrug:


#3

Mass is a time to worship and thank God. The whole Mass, from the time you walk in the door to the time you walk out (and beyond), is a prayer.

We always should look at a situation from different perspectives. Why was this woman trying to get the attention of the family in front of her? Maybe something about that family was distracting her from prayer? Maybe they had dropped a priceless gold watch on the pew as they stood up, and she was afraid they were going to sit on it? Maybe she had mental problems?.. … The possibilities are endless.

It was acceptable for you to approach her, although it is still good to look at the situation from her side.


#4

Very odd–pity the poor family she was tapping. I’m not sure I would have approached her but I don’t know what the right thing to do would be.

We have a family in our church that attend 12 noon Mass every week with their 4 very small children. By the time Father is consecrating the host, seems like they all need to use the rest room. Off they go, across the front of the alter!!! They have done this several weeks in a row. My own kids say to me “mom, can’t you tell them not to do it”. I would love to but I don’t feel it is my place. One week, Father stopped the Mass and waited for the children to be seated.

I didn’t answer your question but I feel your pain.


#5

I would have to venture to say this woman has problems of some sort. You say the people she was tapping asked her to stop, so surely it wasn’t that she was trying to get their attention for a valid reason (unless they were being unreasonably obstinate in ignoring that reason, but I can’t imagine why she would keep persisting if it wasn’t that important to them.)

Out of curiousity, what did the people say when you asked her to stop? Did they thank you? Did they even notice?

I still don’t know that it was your place to say anything (I’m assuming you were a fellow worshipper in the pew, not an usher), but it’s obvious her actions were far from discreet since they were distracting to you (and probably a few other people) beside the family in front of her. If this is a continual occurrence, you might want to bring it to the attention of the priest or the ushers and they can be alert for any further harrassment (especially if it’s directed at the same family all the time.)


#6

How strange. Let me guess, when the collection basket came their way they looked up at the usher and said, “Sorry, I’m tapped.” :shrug:

Seriously, how weird. I agree with bluerose; the tapper must have some issues.

So Catholic - I think you did an admirable thing. People seem inclined to look the other way in all sorts of settings too often these days.


#7

You know… Maybe she was testing out the readings for the day… … Persistence in prayer!


#8

I think you were just as disruptive as she was being. Sorry, but I think that she was targeting her distracting actions toward one set of people. It is THEIR place to deal with her, not yours. They told her they did not want to be disturbed. You do not need to be the pew police for the rest of the parish. Mind your own business. If the family in question wishes to take it up to the priest or ushers it is their place to do so, not yours. You need to be paying attention to Mass, not to what other people are doing to someone else. If she was disruptive to the entire congregation or you personally, then that’s a different story. But because she was tapping on someone else, and you were paying attention to her and not to the Mass, well then, close your eyes and pray.

Sorry - but you did ask. :rolleyes:

~Liza


#9

Charity abounds! Yea, the OP asked, but I don’t he asked for a left hook. Wow!

I think you were just as disruptive as she was being.

Not really. Not if everyone else had a trance-like focus on the Mass. You know… the kind you admonish the poster to have.

If she was disruptive to the entire congregation or you personally, then that’s a different story.

Uhhh… seems kind of obvious that she was disrupting the guy you just lambasted. You should hope that if you’re ever getting harassed somewhere, be it at Mass or elsewhere, that everyone around you doesn’t think like you do.


#10

Hey - I was asked for my opinion. :shrug: So I gave it.

~Liza


#11

I think the above sentence says alot about the woman. Why would telling her to stop an annoying behavior provoke a look of rage and why did she see fit to watch the OP for 10 minutes? Either there is more to the story from the perspective of the tapped family and this woman…or she might be a bit of a loon with serious side issues. Either way…maybe the ushers should handle her in the future…for your own sake.

:heart:Blyss


#12

Negative, Lizaane is correct. Personal focus on the mass is more important. Causing Scandal during the mass is MOST innapropriate in any circumstance.

I’m not saying that the OP should not have intervened. HOWEVER, this intervention should have done in a more charitable sense and NO ONE short of the clergy has the authority to “excuse” someone from the mass. That may not have been the intention of the OP’s words, but the message they conveyed was vastly in the wrong.


#13

Paul, brother… you’re all over the place! I say that in the kindest way possible. :slight_smile:

Causing Scandal during the mass is MOST innapropriate in any circumstance.

If the OP is guilty of scandal, so is the tapper, but he was supposed to just ignore it.

Personal focus on the mass is more important.

This is the most illogic part of your argument. If one should be so singularly focussed on the Mass that someone else’s behavior shouldn’t be a distraction, then anyone the OP disturbed has only themselves to blame.

I’m not saying that the OP should not have intervened. HOWEVER, this intervention should have done in a more charitable sense

Now you think he should have intervend? Man! You’re hard to keep up with! And you can tell he was lacking in charity from all the way over there? Really? How you do that?

NO ONE short of the clergy has the authority to “excuse” someone from the mass. That may not have been the intention…

Nice of you to allow that he didn’t mean to throw the tapper out! But you still blame him somehow…

What if I was so offended by Lizaane’s blistering post, not to mention you having her back, that I left the message board for good? Not your intent, but the two or three people here who find me tolerable could hold you accountable. How unfair.

This thread is turning out to be a lot more interesting than I thought. :slight_smile:


#14

We are only accountable for our own actions - no one elses. Yes, I am my brother’s keeper (before someone pulls that one out on me) in spiritual matters - but if someone is going to be offended by my opinion when I was directly asked for it, then I don’t believe they should be asking in the first place. I believe the OP is not doing him/herself any favors by being a busy body. My opinion - I was asked for it.

~Liza


#15

Actually yes I was an usher waiting for it to be time to collect the offering and she was in the back row and easily accessible without bothering anyone.

im cursed with a bad memory for names and faces I wouldn’t be able to put it together if I saw it again…


#16

yes and I figured I would get some reprimanding…

But I was an usher so was it still wrong?


#17

:blush: heh that’s not what I meant at all but I almost wonder if that’s what she took it to mean O_O

I just responded to her words with the typical response…


#18

no, the OP SHOULD have handled the situation without causing MORE scandal.

This is the most illogic part of your argument. If one should be so singularly focussed on the Mass that someone else’s behavior shouldn’t be a distraction, then anyone the OP disturbed has only themselves to blame.

minor issue: woman taps a family on the shoulder.
Major issue: another person, who is without authority to do so, crosses the aisle and “excuses” the woman from mass, who then storms out causing a scene in front of the whole church and distracting the entire congregation from the liturgy.

Now you think he should have intervend? Man! You’re hard to keep up with! And you can tell he was lacking in charity from all the way over there? Really? How you do that?

As the OP Points out: the OP never asked why the woman was doing the tapping or if there was anything the OP could do to help. He simply crossed the aisle, told her to stop, and then dismissed her from God’s holy mass.

Nice of you to allow that he didn’t mean to throw the tapper out! But you still blame him somehow…

Of course he shares some blame! his INTENTION was good, perhaps, but his WORDS carried a meaning which was wholly incorrect

What if I was so offended by Lizaane’s blistering post, not to mention you having her back, that I left the message board for good? Not your intent, but the two or three people here who find me tolerable could hold you accountable. How unfair.

Unfair is not the issue… the issue was that he chased a person from Mass (presumably Sunday, causing them to violate their obligation and enter a state of sin). If liz chases you out of mass, i will be very upset with her. If she chases you out of the forum… well, I like the fact that you debate curtiously, but I wouldn’t be overly upset by your choice to leave.

This thread is turning out to be a lot more interesting than I thought. :slight_smile:

Haha, stick around, at least we’ll make things interesting.


#19

ah, see, as an usher you DO have a responsibility to intervene, and you should have pointed that out before. However, you have a greater share then in responsibility to NOT use the typical response because people will take it as serious (which it may or may not be) and authoritative (which, in this case, it was not)


#20

You never stated in your opening post that you were an usher. That is a major point to leave out of such a story. :rolleyes:

I think that in that case you could have just handled it differently. I would have waited till after Mass to speak with her and ask her if everything was ok. I have to agree with the other person who mentioned it that she may have taken your response as a motion to leave Mass, which is always wrong.

I had thought from how you wrote your OP that you were just sitting in the pew and reached over and told someone to be quiet. You being an user does change things slightly.

~Liza


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.