Today was First Holy Communion, and when I walked into church, people were talking and treating the church as a social hall. I felt so bad for our Lord. Eventually, the guitarist got up to the microphone and sternly told everyone, “This isn’t a party. This is a church!” I wanted to get up and clap, but that wouldn’t have made anything better. What are your thoughts when you see/hear the church being treated as a social hall? I feel really bad in regards to our Lord. What has happened when someone got fed up with the chatter?
Thank God, I rarely see that. The closest I came to that was at the Easter Vigil, but I figured it was because there were a lot of tourist Catholicsw who visit the parish once a year. :shrug:
on 1st communion day?
thank your Lord for sending the families of these children to church today, especially those who haven’t been here in a coon’s age
I was really happy for the children being there and the large crowd, no doubt, but the social aspect can wait for the after-parties.
For special Masses/liturgies–like first communion, weddings, funerals–there are frequently non-Catholic or lapsed Catholic extended familes in attendance. Yes, the chatter should wait for the after and the church hall, not the sanctuary, but it can be difficult to control everyone. Some of the talk may have been explanations of what would happen, etc. Each individual comment seems OK–one whispered remark–but when 500 people do it, it gets noisy.
If you don’t have a first communicant, it may be best to choose a different Mass. Since we have so many receiving First Holy Communion, our pastor schedules a separate Saturday morning Mass.
I did have no intentions of going to this Mass, but I got called to serve. Other than the chatter and “gather 'round the Altar” events; the Mass was beautiful overall. I love seeing the little ones receive Jesus for the first time!
For 10 years we had the first communicants sit with their families and they came up to receive with their families. Things were usually no noisier than a regular Mass. Last year they changed catechist and this one had the kids sit by themselves in the first pew. It was a zoo. One kid was all over the sanctuary before Mass so mom could take 100 pictures – or so it seemed.
The catechist made all the difference. One kept things reverent for 10 years, the other one caved to everything the parents wanted. One made sure that the only thing the kids had to think of that day was their first reception of Jesus in the Eucharist. The other one assigned them all the readings (done in parts), intercessions (they each had one), the offertory procession (one by one they brought up pins which they presented to Fr. who blessed them and handed them out later). But everyone thought it was sooo ‘cute’. GAG!!
I’d promised myself I’d pass on this year’s First Communion, but now a member of my extended family is a first communicant so for her sake I have to go.
On many occasions I, as Pastoral Associate, have gone to the microphone before Mass (usually Confirmation or First Communion, but even at faculty masses,) to remind the assembly that they are in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and could we please show reverence and respect. At sacramental celebrations, I suggest that they use this waiting time to pray for the young people who will be receiving First Communion or Confirmation.
We had first communicants at every mass today and will next sunday also. But at least our pastor made sure that the proper reverence was showed.
In my parish, a previous pastor had encouraged people to socialize before and after Mass. Over the past few months, the new pastor has been regularly reminding people that the Blessed Sacrament is always present, and that distracting other people in prayer is a sin in itself. Slowly, people are getting the message and are beginning to take their conversations into the vestibule, but some still feel justified as “followers of Fr. X” to continue his legacy. This is proof that liturgical error that takes five minutes to instigate can take five years to eradicate.
You must be in my parish. We had a former pastor who was real liberal and ran the parish as if it was a protestant church or more like a social hall well we have a priest now who is very traditional and his love for the Eucharist is so obvious because he will make the announcements and include something about the blessed sacrament being present and showing respect.
That’s my problem with first communions, weddings, and any other liturgy that involves flowers, people dressing up, or children doing something in front of the congregation. People are so distracted by how ‘cute’ the kids are (or how pretty the bride’s wedding dress is…or any other superficial thing) that reverence goes out the window (even, at times, with otherwise good, faithful Catholics).