[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.
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.