How to tell people they are distracting others?

I’ve worked in a few parishes as both CCD teacher and College Missionary. I love the Catholic Liturgy and respect both those who want Latin songs and older traditions or people desiring guitars and what not.

My question is what do people see as the best way to approach others and help illuminate their failures to offer their concerns with love when they struggle with our parish’s offering of the liturgy?

Often I head 'Traditional Catholics" upset that there aren’t more latin songs, that there are extraordinary ministers, or other concerns in ugly and dispariging ways. Then 10 minutes later, I have another person approach complaining that the celebration of the mass isn’t slanted more in the opposite direction.

I think at most the services I've attended the priest and liturgical committes try very hard.  Of course they don't get suggestions at their meetings or in writing...they get complaints and griping. 

What’s a friendly way to get people to change their approach? (especially with people who like to agree, "you’re right *other people *do get very ugly with their comments - missing that they keep doing it)

Don’t understand your question. The word distracting is mentioned in the thread line but doesn’t show up in the body anywhere.

Turn around and glare at them. If they don’t get the message, put it in words of one syllable.

I don’t know what the OP was referring to but this is good title for my question.
Today at NO mass there was a beautiful family probably visiting our parish.
I say that because mom and the daughters were veiled. The 2 sons and 8 daughters were exceptionally quiet and attentive during mass. I cover also so I felt very happy to see others covering so comfortably even the 4-5 year old girl.
Because the mom’s pew was full dad and two children sat in another pew across the isle.
This wonderful Trinity (Whit Sunday) we also had reason to give thanks for our head priest’s 25 year anniversary, one associate’s 30 years in the priesthood and our newest associate’s 1 year anniversary PLUS his 50th birthday.
Needless to say there was some applause when these things were announced… And before the dismissal we sang happy birthday to our associate. I know. I know.
At several points in the mass the dad in this lovely family appeared very disturbed. He glared across the isle at an elderly man I suspect was the family member who brought the family to our parish. When the Birthday song was sung dad put his hands over his eyes and shook his head in a way that made him appear very angry.
He dropped to his knees apparently to pray. The children having heard the Birthday song seemed surprised but sat down next to mom to wait for the conclusion and dismissal.
Dad stormed out after the dismissal. Mom and the children walked quickly out behind him.
Distraction. Yup. I tried to stay focused. But dad did exactly what so many people find unpleasant whether Traditionalist or non-traditionalist. He acted up.
Blessedly his children and wife had quiet dignity. Wish they were a regular part of our congregation. But dad? What do you think? Bad behavior or righteous indignation?

The father had a right to be angry. I would have been angry too! Why do people expect Traditional Catholics to never do anything against modernism and let the modernists/contemporaries do everything and “walk all over them”. Seems like a double standard to me.

true but, he should be a little more polite if he is visiting a parish. you dont show up to somebodies house and pout if you dont like thier carpet. did he have the right to be upset? yes i think so. but he also didnt have the right to skulk out and and act that way. (lets face it he was acting like a child taht didnt get his way) and i mean no disrepsect and no offence to this man. but especialy in front of his children he could show a little more self control. just my opinion

Did he have a right to be angry?
Or did he have the obligation to maintain his composure and be a good representation for his children. Mom obviously did not participate in the “birthday singing” but knelt down quietly and continued her prayers.
My point was about distraction.
Dad made a commotion all be it a small one. He stormed out. He “harrumphed” when the congregation sang the inappropriate song. He covered his face as if he had seen something vile.
Mom sat down. Then knelt. Which by her example brought the children to their seats and knees.
Dad caused the focus of the people around him to be placed solely on him.
In fact I was distracted by him from my quietude. But seeing mom and then the children brought me back down to my knees and to my prayers.

We’ve got to break this culture of constant complaints about minor matters. Either it is Eucharistic Minister dressing the wrong way, or the Precious Blood is offered / is not offered to the faithful, or the songs are not right. It gets very distracting.

The answer is, think very hard before you say something negative yourself, and try to do positive and constructive things as your participation in parish life.

Catholics have a right to be angered by Liturgical abuse and things that belong outside the Liturgy being worked into it. The foremost focus of the Mass must be on the Divine Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This is more important then the congregation; this is more important then the preferances of these Liturgical Committees; and this is even more important then Father’s birthday.

When extra-liturgical elements come into the Mass we should not be surprised when reverance and the sense of the sacred leave it.

Hey, you’re being distracting. :smiley:

It always amazes me when people complain about the reactions of others to imappropriate behavior.

The root cause is to stop the inappropriate behavior.

That is no way to act in church- before the Blessed Sacrament. If someone who was struggling their faith saw him, they likely would have been driven away further. This is right up there with the traditional Catholic couple who chewed out the waitress for offering them meat on a Friday during Lent (maybe the waitress knew them and should have known better…I don’t know…but so much for being a good witness of the Faith)

When people do that, they turn people OFF to more traditional Catholicism. Religion isn’t worth it if it’s just about watching someone to make sure they follow the ceremonials as perfectly as you want them to.

Bad behavior, definitely. That is a sin against charity, and I do not think someone who goes to Mass with this attitude is in a proper state to receive the Eucharist. Unfortunately, people like this are raising a future generation of traditional Catholics to be this way. Do not raise your children to be traditional or progressive; liberal or conservative; Democrat or Republican…just raise them to be saints (and there are, undoubtedly, saints from each of the groups I just mentioned).

I completely agree. If I were put in this situation, the pastor would recieve a letter on his desk the next week from me explaining my frustration with that. Liturgical abuses should not be tolerated. There is ABSOLUTELY NO excuse, however, to be uncharitable. You can get angry- sometimes you can even walk out of Mass (It has to be something really out there- like a clown Mass, or an invalid Mass- which isn’t a Mass at all- or something like that- not something like this), but we must always be charitable. We can’t just love God and thumb our nose at our neighbor. We weren’t given the two greatest commandments and told to follow one- then follow the second one only whenever we feel like it. In the separation of the sheep and goats, we are judged by how we treat each other. If you truly loved the Church, you would, as St. Francis did, respect all priests- even if they aren’t particularly holy or reverent- they still bring us the Sacraments.

I have a different take on it to you. People may have noticed what he was doing, but it wasn’t for drawing attention to himself, it was for drawing attention to the abuse.
Some of the parishioners might have known there was an abuse going on (like you) and hence only been distracted, but some of the others might not have known there was an abuse. And when they saw him act like that, what would come to mind? “Hey, that guy is angry about something - maybe we’re doing something wrong”. And maybe they’ll learn from this and won’t repeat the abuse - then he won’t have to get mad about it any more.
In fact, if others who also knew it was an abuse, such as you, had acted in a similar way, then people would definitely get the point that there was something wrong going on. Ya know? Maybe we should all be making more noise about liturgical abuse so that we stand up for what is right!

Speaking of distractions-
My husband and I sit in the very front row (the one everyone is afraid of:)) at Mass. So that our five children, and our daughter’s boyfriend/fiance’, get a perfect view of the miracle at Mass.

 So needless to say we are first in line to receive Jesus! My husband's family sit way in the back. At the Mass we attend everyone stays standing until the Body of our Lord is placed back in the tabernacle.
 So we are standing (upfront) my husband's uncle after receiving the Body of Christ has to walk past us to the receive the Blood of Christ. 
Every Sunday (when he attends) uncle stops after receiving the Body of Christ and comes up to each one of us and hugs each one of us!Thats 8 hugs for 8 people standing in the front row! **Then** he moves on to recieve the Blood of Christ!

 My husband who along with the rest of us is in deep prayer when this happens. And when we leave my husband is at a loss for words. He shakes his head all the way home.:( 
We don't know how to bring this up to him.  My husband spent alot of time explaining our faith to him.(he is Catholic but fallen away) And has recently returned. I know my husband has prayed for his return, and is happy for his return, but now this:(  Any ideas? Any tactful ideas?

Our children behave better upfront also, because they can see everything going on. And they don’t want to miss anything.(nobody standing in front of them) And when older siblings Altar serve, the little ones get excited!

So I really don’t want to move them to the back.

Forego sitting up front, and sit together…both your family and your husband’s family. Perhaps sit together in the middle of the church.

Or, make it a point to meet in the parking lot or vestibule before Mass.

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