Being late for Mass


#1

Today I went to a later Mass - the most popular time and the last Mass of the day in our parish. I was surprised to see people - individuals, couples, families, coming in as much as 35 minutes late. The Mass was totally packed, and these people cruised the aisles looking for seats, even during prep of the altar for consecration. Our church is "in the round" and is massive, so lots of places to look and lots of walking around. They kept loud whispering "are those seats free?!" It was a little distracting! But on the other hand, it's good they came at all.

When I was young, if we were more than 5 minutes late we stood in the narthex for the duration of the service unless there was loads of room in the very back to be seated. Is there a "rule" for how late one can be for Mass, and especially what to do when one is 20+ minutes tardy? I swear, at least 100 people came this late today.


#2

:tsktsk: Now that's awful. I mean, yes it's good that they are coming to Mass, but to be that late and that disruptive is ridiculous and sad. I'm not sure how late one can be for Mass and still fulfill their obligation. The reasons for tardiness are also important factors. I think the pastor needs to firmly and charitably address this issue.


#3

I think it is traditionally said that you fulfill your obligation for as long as you are there when the chalice is "unclothed" (I do not know the proper term). Coming late is never recommended though, but what can you do except for being on time your self?


#4

I was always taught that if you weren't present once the Gospel was started you shouldn't receive. We are to feast on the word before we feast on the flesh.


#5

[quote="JackieMom, post:1, topic:315350"]
Today I went to a later Mass - the most popular time and the last Mass of the day in our parish. I was surprised to see people - individuals, couples, families, coming in as much as 35 minutes late. The Mass was totally packed, and these people cruised the aisles looking for seats, even during prep of the altar for consecration. Our church is "in the round" and is massive, so lots of places to look and lots of walking around. They kept loud whispering "are those seats free?!" It was a little distracting! But on the other hand, it's good they came at all.

When I was young, if we were more than 5 minutes late we stood in the narthex for the duration of the service unless there was loads of room in the very back to be seated. Is there a "rule" for how late one can be for Mass, and especially what to do when one is 20+ minutes tardy? I swear, at least 100 people came this late today.

[/quote]

35 minutes late is not acceptable. They would probably miss all of the liturgy of the word, the offering and even the beginning part of the consecration. In my standard, I would not consider that as a full mass. I can understand the thought that matters but this is wrong.

If it is due to an unavoidable circumstances, then perhaps it is alright but if one knows that it will be going to be 35 minutes by the time one reaches the church, then it should be postponed to the next mass. The best thing is to prepare for the mass the day before; that it is an event for the day. We have children and they would wake up late on Sundays. We do have choices to go for the mass though, which church and which time. But if either my wife and myself are on duty in the liturgy, we would tell the children and everybody in the house, that we would go for the particular mass the next day and that everyone must be prepared for it.

Perhaps if the trend is noticeable in your church, your priest may want to comment on this during his homilies to discourage people from coming late for the mass.

God bless.


#6

[quote="JackieMom, post:1, topic:315350"]
Today I went to a later Mass - the most popular time and the last Mass of the day in our parish. I was surprised to see people - individuals, couples, families, coming in as much as 35 minutes late. The Mass was totally packed, and these people cruised the aisles looking for seats, even during prep of the altar for consecration. Our church is "in the round" and is massive, so lots of places to look and lots of walking around. They kept loud whispering "are those seats free?!" It was a little distracting! But on the other hand, it's good they came at all.

When I was young, if we were more than 5 minutes late we stood in the narthex for the duration of the service unless there was loads of room in the very back to be seated. Is there a "rule" for how late one can be for Mass, and especially what to do when one is 20+ minutes tardy? I swear, at least 100 people came this late today.

[/quote]

I've seen that a few times at our parish :(

Another thing that's most disconcerting, are those who leave before the priest leaves. They'll receive communion, go to the back of the church, bow, then out the door they go. They didn't even wait for the end of the service blessing.

A few months back, we had a bishop attend mass, and thankfully, he mentioned about this in his sermon.


#7

It it’s the same people every week, they’ll miss the homily.


#8

[quote="Nils, post:3, topic:315350"]
I think it is traditionally said that you fulfill your obligation for as long as you are there when the chalice is "unclothed" (I do not know the proper term). Coming late is never recommended though, but what can you do except for being on time your self?

[/quote]

I believe it's: unveiled.


#9

It's only right that the Priest leaves first, this call RESPECT !.......:thumbsup:


#10

[quote="Dolphinseven, post:9, topic:315350"]
It's only right that the Priest leaves first, this call RESPECT !.......:thumbsup:

[/quote]

I see that a lot too and I don't like it. I don't understand what the hurry is. I've only left Mass directly after receiving Communion twice- both were weekday Masses and I had no choice as I had an important event to attend.

Another thing that bothers me is when people keep their coats on all during Mass. Sorry but I think it's rude. Some argue that the church is cold, but the solution to that is to dress warmer, not to leave one's coat on. There's something to be said for reverence-in postures and gestures, in demeanor and dress. We're there for Jesus, to render Him due worship and adoration.:highprayer:


#11

[quote="One_Sparrow, post:4, topic:315350"]
I was always taught that if you weren't present once the Gospel was started you shouldn't receive. We are to feast on the word before we feast on the flesh.

[/quote]

Yes but you do not fulfill your Sunday obligation by receiving. Personally I do not eat Him if I am late at all...


#12

[quote="detoutcoeur, post:8, topic:315350"]
I believe it's: unveiled.

[/quote]

Thank you! English is not my mother tounge so I sometimes lose the words...


#13

[quote="One_Sparrow, post:4, topic:315350"]
I was always taught that if you weren't present once the Gospel was started you shouldn't receive. We are to feast on the word before we feast on the flesh.

[/quote]

I've heard this as well.


#14

As we are obliged to attend mass every Sunday and Days of Holy Obligation, we should consider that attending "part" of the mass may not count as having met our obligation.

The mass begins with the entrance antiphon/hymn and ends with the dismissal.

Whether or nor we receive the Most Holy Body and Blood depends on our state of grace.

In short, dropping in only to "consume" just doesn't cut it in my mind.

New, but still learning.


#15

Well it was the **last **mass and there are always these little personal emergencies that can delay people...not that I'm supporting or condoning the practice.

My last battalions SOP for mandatory formations was that if you were not 15 min early, you were late. And that has become my SOP for all appointments.

Idea being suppose now I go out to my car and the door is frozen closed...whoops. Now I have a few extra minutes to go in the garage retrieve a suitable pry bar to open doors...after that unexpected delay I'm still early enough for Church.

There was a time priests would scold latecomers but with diminishing attendance tptb have to tap dance carefully around unintended lack of respect.


#16

Boy I'm sure glad we have all these self righteous people in here to keep the rest of us slobs on the straight and narrow! :D


#17

The other parish I go to is growing by the day (praise God) and the Masses are PACKED. And I mean PACKED. If you're not there 5 minutes early, good luck finding a seat! Masses are always standing room only. Always tons of people standing in the back. But I've never seen people wandering around looking for a seat in the middle of Mass. There are ushers who discreetly and quietly look for seats, and then invite some of the standing people to sit down. I think this is a great method.

For everyone expressing surprise at how many people come late, if the Mass is not full, you wouldn't notice it, because the people can come late and slip in the last seat. But when the Mass is jam packed, you will notice the late people more than you usually would.

As to how late is "too late" for Mass, the Church doesn't specify. "When the chalice is unveiled, at the Gospel", etc., these are all personal/traditional beliefs.


#18

[quote="JackieMom, post:1, topic:315350"]
Today I went to a later Mass - the most popular time and the last Mass of the day in our parish. I was surprised to see people - individuals, couples, families, coming in as much as 35 minutes late. The Mass was totally packed, and these people cruised the aisles looking for seats, even during prep of the altar for consecration. Our church is "in the round" and is massive, so lots of places to look and lots of walking around. They kept loud whispering "are those seats free?!" It was a little distracting! But on the other hand, it's good they came at all.

When I was young, if we were more than 5 minutes late we stood in the narthex for the duration of the service unless there was loads of room in the very back to be seated. Is there a "rule" for how late one can be for Mass, and especially what to do when one is 20+ minutes tardy? I swear, at least 100 people came this late today.

[/quote]

I am wondering where the ushers were so that when people who did come in rather late, they weren't wandering around disturbing others. Since the Mass has two parts, liturgy of the word and then Eucharist, it is important to be at both. It is hard to judge others because one doesn't know what personal circumstances there were that might have prevented someone from coming on time such as car trouble, traffic, train stuck on the railroad and there was a detour etc. Probably due to poor instruction, too many people see the Mass as only receiving and if they are just there for that part, they have fulfilled their Sunday obligation. However that is not true and if you witness many more coming then it probably is a poor lack of commitment and instruction than unforeseen circumstances.
The only behavior you can control is one's own. It would be up to the priest to try and encourage people to come to Mass on time if there is a large problem with late comers.
Likewise, it seems like if this is a problem with this Mass, it would seem like the ushers should be in more control and direct latecomers to stand in back and not wander around bothering others. One the opposite side of the coin, I know of one parish posted a sign above the door directed at those who leave Mass early. Its says "Judas left early too".


#19

[quote="robwar, post:18, topic:315350"]
I am wondering where the ushers were so that when people who did come in rather late, they weren't wandering around disturbing others. Since the Mass has two parts, liturgy of the word and then Eucharist, it is important to be at both. It is hard to judge others because one doesn't know what personal circumstances there were that might have prevented someone from coming on time such as car trouble, traffic, train stuck on the railroad and there was a detour etc. Probably due to poor instruction, too many people see the Mass as only receiving and if they are just there for that part, they have fulfilled their Sunday obligation. However that is not true and if you witness many more coming then it probably is a poor lack of commitment and instruction than unforeseen circumstances.
The only behavior you can control is one's own. It would be up to the priest to try and encourage people to come to Mass on time if there is a large problem with late comers.
Likewise, it seems like if this is a problem with this Mass, it would seem like the ushers should be in more control and direct latecomers to stand in back and not wander around bothering others. One the opposite side of the coin, I know of one parish posted a sign above the door directed at those who leave Mass early. Its says "Judas left early too".

[/quote]

And if I ever saw a sign posted like that at my parish, I'm pretty sure I would have a chat with my pastor about it. Sorry, but a blanket sign comparing anyone who leaves early to JUDAS is uncharitable and disrespectful. Is that the message that parish wants to send to a fallen away Catholic who shows up to Mass for the first time in 30 years? Or a questioning atheist who has never set foot in a church before? Or the woman who is leaving early to make it to her job at a fast food place on time, since her husband lost his job and she has to work as many hours as possible? That last person is me, by the way.

Sorry, I've heard that "cute" phrase before, and it really burns me up. This wasn't directed at you because I know you didn't put the sign up, but rather to anyone who thinks such a sign is a good idea.


#20

[quote="robwar, post:18, topic:315350"]
I am wondering where the ushers were so that when people who did come in rather late, they weren't wandering around disturbing others. Since the Mass has two parts, liturgy of the word and then Eucharist, it is important to be at both. It is hard to judge others because one doesn't know what personal circumstances there were that might have prevented someone from coming on time such as car trouble, traffic, train stuck on the railroad and there was a detour etc. Probably due to poor instruction, too many people see the Mass as only receiving and if they are just there for that part, they have fulfilled their Sunday obligation. However that is not true and if you witness many more coming then it probably is a poor lack of commitment and instruction than unforeseen circumstances.
The only behavior you can control is one's own. It would be up to the priest to try and encourage people to come to Mass on time if there is a large problem with late comers.
Likewise, it seems like if this is a problem with this Mass, it would seem like the ushers should be in more control and direct latecomers to stand in back and not wander around bothering others. One the opposite side of the coin, I know of one parish posted a sign above the door directed at those who leave Mass early. Its says "Judas left early too".

[/quote]

Oh, there are ushers. But with 1,300 people at Mass, it's hard for them to control the flow of latecomers. Especially since we have chairs, not pews - it's not like we can just scoot down and squish together. This Mass has the children's liturgy of the word, so until the presentation of the gifts there are some empty seats here and there, but those are reserved by parents for when the kids come back for the liturgy of the eucharist. The ushers do try, but the church is 17,000 square feet and without one main aisle, finding seats is hard.

Plus, even the ushers ask seated folks if seats are available. It would be nice if after a certain point, people and ushers were not trolling the rows. I know stuff happens but yesterday was nuts. If you're 30 minutes late, it's not that hard to stand in the narthex for the rest of Mass.


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