End-of-pew blockers


#1

Why? Oh, why do people block the ends?..Plenty of room (sadly) to slide towards the center. Singles and couples mostly do this at our parish.

Yes, yes I know..'Get there earlier' 'They are older' 'Ask them nicely to slide over' and all that. Why is the onus on us (4 kids ranging from 4 months to 15 years). It is a small miracle that we even make it on time. We are usually stressed out enough after all the prep work that goes into Sunady mornings! Then I have to be the bad guy and beg some relaxed, well rested and care-free person to slide over?

A rant. Bad mood today and I'm gonna face this situation again Sunday. Maybe I should do a prayer request instead.


#2

They’re just not thinking, that’s all. Good for you for ensuring that your family gets to Mass - sorry others aren’t aware of their surrounds, but rest assuredly that I’m certain they’re not doing it intentionally.


#3

I am one of those people, and if you tell me to slide over, I will tell you no. Actually, if you want to sit next to me with your four kids, I will be more than happy to give you the entire pew and find another end of the pew to sit. I don’t want children disrupting me and getting in my space.

Yes, I am single, and I don’t want your cry-me-a-river story about your tough life you chose when your opted to get married and have children. You could have chosen to stay single and celibate, but part of marriage is children and having to make sacrifices. Accept it and offer it up.

Don’t make assumptions that the single life is some relaxed easy-going life because it isn’t. I have school, deadlines, work, and a house to maintain myself. I accept it as part of my life and relax as soon as I enter in the church. How can you be all stressed and tense when in the presence of Jesus? :shrug:


#4

Extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist and people who have been asked to take up the gifts normally sit at the end of the pew so they can get out easily. There are also some people with health issues that feel more comfortable sitting at the end of the pew so they can get out easily if need be.


#5

Mass is emotionally draining on me (long story), so I sit on the ends so if I have a panic attack, I can leave. Once, I was blocked in by people, and I passed out. In fact, the thought of Mass freaks me out. It takes an herculean effort to get me to Church. On the outside, I’m a housewife, so I might look relaxed and carefree, but appearances are distracting.

Rest assured I’m not carefree and relaxed if I am at Mass. Being penned in at Mass makes me freak out. I can’t breathe. I NEED that escape if needed. For someone to take that from me means I have to leave Mass. That is why I like getting there early, so I can be sure I can get my back row aisle seat. I wonder why I even bother going, since it causes me anguish.

Maybe I should stop going so someone can have the aisle seat.


#6

Does the cheek say to the ear: “I don’t want you in my space”? Even since before Benjamin beget Asbel, Ahara, Nohaa and Rapha, we all have had to accept a lot of things living in society, including families sitting next to others in communal worship. The easy-going life includes being able to sit in a pew and face contentious seating requests, as many churches in the world are so crowded with the devout that there are no pews in them at all, so as to allow many more to stand before the Sacrament.

Keep in mind that gentle and humble Jesus had the easiest and least burdened of life, and if asked to move over He would have replied ‘How far?’ as well as, ‘How else can I alleviate your burdens?’


#7

As a single gal, I sit at the end of the pew next to the center isle. It’s easier for me to get in and out for one thing, and honestly, I don’t want strangers on both sides of me.

As as one gal already said, I truly don’t want children on both sides of me either. I also sit way up front since those with children, in my church, tend to sit further back. I have a bit of ADD and don’t really want children in front of me to distract me.

I arrive plenty early to get my seat, and in my church, it’s rare that there isn’t an empty pew, but if I were at a larger church, I would arrive early enough to get my end seat.

I guess I would suggest that you get up 30 minutes earlier to get the children ready for mass. Perhaps you might even think about going to a different mass, a later one, so that it would be easier to get your children ready to go. I raised boys and I do know what a chore it can be to get children motivated for mass in the mornings, probably why I LOVED noon mass on Sundays when my boys were young!


#8

I was not always married with 4 kids dude. I was single at one time with all the concerns you listed (dare I say a cry-me-a-river story). Single is easier and since you don’t have a basis for comparison, case closed. Unless you are widowed and your kids are grown or something…

And, it is our space…not your space. All in the presence of Jesus. So…you go ahead and hog the end and say ‘no’ if asked. It may be YOU being asked for a small sacrifice by graciously sliding over. You know…a sacrifice as part of being single and celibate.


#9

I detest this habit. Why is it done? Assuming they are not elderly or getting up to present the offertory, it is because they do not want to be surrounded by people. At least that’s why I used to do it. I didn’t want to be hemmed in by others. Now, if we are the first ones in, I always try to simply sit in the middle of the pew out of consideration for those who will come in later. Fear and anxiety are not good things.


#10

whats it really matter where you or they sit.


#11

Well, that is being very considerate of you. But I would suggest to those who have not reached your point of understanding that if they feel the need to sit at the end of the pew to try to pick a pew with people already in it over an empty or almost empty pew whenever possible. And to those families who come late not to be so judgemental of those who may need or prefer to sit at the end of the pew. They may have good reason.


#12

If you have a lot of people to get seated in the pews, I would suggest getting their earlier. I am also a person who sits on the end and while I will get out of the pew to let you in, I will get my end spot back. I don’t like being in the middle of a bunch of strangers. I sit on the end, in theaters, and even at tables in restaurants. I am more comfortable there and I think that if I felt coerced into moving into the middle in church, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the Mass and instead be stewing in the middle of the pew.


#13

It does not matter one iota…as long as there is a place. The pews I’m talking about are loooong enough for 20-25 people. They are blocked by 1 or 2 people at each end. There are 2 rows of 30 pews.

Okay, I asked the question and I’ve gotten a couple of medical / psych issues and one unabashed selfishness as reasons. Keep 'em coming! I want to know…


#14

Wow, talk about making an assumption about what is going on inside people’s heads!
:banghead:

Some of us prefer to have a better view of the altar and sanctuary. :hmmm:


#15

Well, “I just don’t want to” seems to be winning over “I like the view” or “I have a condition”!


#16

YES! We were taught to move in when we were children and I still do it at the odd times we are early enough.


#17

lol!!! Clearly, you have never had children… and I say that lovingly, as I thought similarly before I had my first and now have a typical wild toddler and 5 month old.

Whenever I am not cantoring for mass and am in the pews with my husband and children, I usually am not paying attention to mass because I’m either attending and disciplining the toddler in the vestibule or nursing the other. I don’t want to be disrupting anyone’s spiritual life by my toddler and I’m constantly on edge because I know how other people can be. From what my older family members have told me, you spend most of your young parenting years hardly paying attention to mass and stressed out. It’s a trying time and you get through it. That said, I’m usually working as a musician for mass, so I have my own single seat and don’t have to worry about being crowded in. :stuck_out_tongue: My husband usually bears the brunt of the stress unless my parents are there to help. I do have to say, though, that when I hear or see my daughter not behaving from the musician’s seat, I do get all sweaty and stressed.

I’m certainly not complaining or making excuses. Like you said, I’m one of those who chose to be married and have children and it’s part of life when you have a young family. I wouldn’t trade any of the extra stress and difficulties I may have from this life even though being single or childless was much easier than I thought when I was in those stages of my life.

In regards to the OP, I personally believe that I should never expect anyone to move in. I have always been and will probably always be an end sitter no matter where I am, whether in church, on a train, on a couch, etc., so I completely understand people’s preferences and reasonings. It’s on me to do what I need to do in order to get to mass early enough for an end pew. But I can also completely understand your frustration. I was just telling my husband yesterday how I remembered the days when I could be out the door in 10-15 minutes or less. Now I have to allocate at least 1-2 hours just to get my kids ready. What should take 5 minutes just to put on a pair of socks and shoes on a toddler and change a diaper will somehow suddenly become a 40 minute task. lol! I laugh because negativity helps no one, especially me. :smiley:


#18

This subject comes up every so often. It’s usually worded in such a way as emphasize inconvenience (whether the inconvenience is being asked to move or of having to climb over.)

But the underlying question is left hanging: Should there be perks for arriving early, such as the right to sit near an aisle? (Note that this is not asking if it is polite to sit at the end; it’s just asking if it is a perk.)

Unfortunately there is not general agreement. Some people say that there is definitely a “right” to sit at the end and others say no way. Some people are of the opinion the right exists when there are chairs but not when there are pews.

I am of the personal opinion that it is a chair versus pew issue. I do not see “arguing” in parishes where there are individual seats rather than pews.


#19

I’ve spent most of my adult life single, so I know that the single life is not easy. However, this post is shamefully uncharitable, and reveals you haven’t a clue as to what you’re talking about. I’ve seen it from both sides. Being a parent of a small child is much more difficult than your “cry-me-a-river story of the single life” (which I’ve actually lived-wasn’t married until I was nearly 36). As to your final question, again, it just reveals that you don’t know what you’re talking about. With a toddler, it is nearly impossible just ro relax anywhere, anytime, even when you are in the presence of our Lord.


#20

That is why pews are such a bad idea. There should be no pews


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