Crowded church and diagnosis


For several years I couldn’t attend my protestant denomination because of panic attacks and a fear of crowds. I no longer have the fears but still prefer the small parish where I attend Daily Mass. Like you I always choose a seat in an uncrowded corner, always near the back.



While there definitely was no guitar, they did actually sing.

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.” Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Matthew 26:26-30 (emphasis added)



They went out for the crucifixion.



Yes, but they were still celebrating Passover. They never concluded the rite. The ritual actually concludes when Christ takes the final chalice, the mouth full of wine (vinegar/wine mixed with gall) on the Cross. As the ritual is completed by the action, he then spits the wine out. That hymn is still part of the Paschal mystery we celebrate every Mass. To truncate the representation of the Mass to a very narrow time period in the upper room is to do injustice to the Paschal Mystery (Passion, Death, and Resurrection) which is only began in the Last Supper.



So, the priest says the early Mass with no music and no coffee …



Less music anyway.
And no coffe afterwards



Maybe I’m reading wrong but did you write that you are a musician, in that one post, where you said you were playing with other musicians? Not sure how it is where you are, but where I live they are always looking for extra musicians and singers for mass, and they have special groups you can join. Even if you are not Catholic yet I think they would appreciate it if you were talented that way and you would be welcome to participate. In my parish the musicians sit up in the choir loft together during mass and have a coffee group after mass.



I’m confused on what the issue is - is it that your diagnosis makes it difficult for you to get through Mass in a crowded church, or is it that you are having trouble making friends at church? These are two separate issues, and advise would be different based on which it is.

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My mother when she was alive used to joke about becoming an Easter /Christmas atheist.



A lot of Catholics in Sweden meet other Catholics only in church and therefor talk a lot during “Church coffee”. They have no work or student buddies who are Catholics as the Catholics are about 2% of the population. We often joke about “Church coffee” being the 8th sacrament so it is natural that it can become noisy. It is also a very good way of introducing new Catholics to older as well as those who move to the country to other Catholics and the few Swedes who are Catholics.



May I ask how you know this?



Why do you see them as different?
I see them as differenr but yet simmilar.
It is very important to see that it is still stressful being in a big crowd.
You do not have to talk to them at Mass but you must still analyse the situation in the brain (subcondciously).



I am Swedish.



If you have trouble getting through a crowded Mass, because you get anxious for example, one solution would be to attend a less crowded Mass at a different time or parish. But if the problem is making friends at church, this solution would not apply.

I myself would like to make friends at church but it’s hard because I’m not the kind of person who would come up to people after Mass out of the blue and start a conversation. But this has nothing to do with crowded Masses.


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