How young is too young to attend a long Mass?


#1

I attended a special Mass with a ceremony that my aunt (my dad's brother's wife) was a honored participant with about 30 others (commissioning as a lay minister). The church was pretty filled up with family and friends of the honorees. The whole Mass with the ceremony lasted about 2 hours total at the diocesan Cathedral.

Behind me where I was seated with my parents were about 3 or 4 kids all between age 3 to 7. They kept getting up, running around, talking loud at times, making noises etc and there were 2 adults with them. I turned around several times and placed my finger against my mouth as a signal for them to be quiet. I know I should have not done so but I wanted to hear the service/ceremony as I was also doing non flash photography in the front row of the balcony to capture my aunt's important day (as her husband was in the choir and could not do so).

I would say all of them were too young to be there for a service that long. I say unless a child knows better to stay seated and reasonably quiet, they should not be there (unless a parent cannot make arrangements for child care). I am not against kids but an important event that my aunt was a part of, it was important for others in the same area to be able to hear and see things without much interruption.

My best guess is for a child about 6 or 7 years can behave decently at something that long even if they have a quiet toy and/or book to entertain them at times. The few babies that were there I rarely heard them as they were either removed at the first sign of being fussy or were already in the cry room.

Please keep in mind, I am not against children, and that Jesus welcomed the youngsters when they were brought to them & He said we should welcome them. But I am sure they did their best to be quiet when he told them a story too.


Incident at Mass recently - how to handle if it happens again
#2

[quote="MissRose73, post:1, topic:340156"]
I attended a special Mass with a ceremony that my aunt (my dad's brother's wife) was a honored participant with about 30 others (commissioning as a lay minister). The church was pretty filled up with family and friends of the honorees. The whole Mass with the ceremony lasted about 2 hours total at the diocesan Cathedral.

Behind me where I was seated with my parents were about 3 or 4 kids all between age 3 to 7. They kept getting up, running around, talking loud at times, making noises etc and there were 2 adults with them. I turned around several times and placed my finger against my mouth as a signal for them to be quiet. I know I should have not done so but I wanted to hear the service/ceremony as I was also doing non flash photography in the front row of the balcony to capture my aunt's important day (as her husband was in the choir and could not do so).

I would say all of them were too young to be there for a service that long. I say unless a child knows better to stay seated and reasonably quiet, they should not be there (unless a parent cannot make arrangements for child care). I am not against kids but an important event that my aunt was a part of, it was important for others in the same area to be able to hear and see things without much interruption.

My best guess is for a child about 6 or 7 years can behave decently at something that long even if they have a quiet toy and/or book to entertain them at times. The few babies that were there I rarely heard them as they were either removed at the first sign of being fussy or were already in the cry room.

Please keep in mind, I am not against children, and that Jesus welcomed the youngsters when they were brought to them & He said we should welcome them. But I am sure they did their best to be quiet when he told them a story too.

[/quote]

This might be a shock to you, but a normal + perfectly regular mass in the archdiocese where I currently live lasts 2 hours - 2 1/2 hours. I see children attending all the time, but that doesnt mean that they don't behave like children.


#3

My little girl is three and we have been taking her to Mass since she was born. We used to carry her in in her little baby basket. When she gets naughty we take her out to the back of the Church. She’s part of our family and we would never think of going without her.

We have gone to churches before where they have a “cry room” and that does not work for our girl. She behaves worse in there then she ever would in the regular pews. We have also gone to Churches where she was the only child at Mass and that is very sad.

Children belong in Church just like everyone else. Some parents let them behave a little too wild, I will agree to that, but those same parents are making an effort to raise their children to be good Christians and we must remember that before we judge to harshly. I would rather sit through a mass with fifty ill behaved little kids then one middle aged hippy strumming his guitar bleating out some lame folksy Bad Church music. If they let hippies sing during Mass then how can they keep children out?


#4

Jesus said something about small children. I don’t recall him saying anything about their behavior.

Reb Levi


#5

This makes me absolutely cringe.

The parents picked the balcony so they wouldn’t bother people. I would be absolutely mortified and a bit perturbed if you had shushed my kids.

Hello people this is not the opera it is Mass

It is not about you

At all.

If you want peace and quiet and a good show experience can I suggest a play or concert of some sort.

Ok, that said, there is not much of an excuse to allow kids to run around and be disruptive. There are plenty of quiet things like coloring and reading they can do. Not to mention participate.

I take my 2, 4, and 6 year old to mass with me by myself every week.

Matt 19

13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

So in light if this I would not rebuke people who bring their kids to mass. Jesus wants them there.


#6

[quote="MissRose73, post:1, topic:340156"]
I attended a special Mass with a ceremony that my aunt (my dad's brother's wife) was a honored participant with about 30 others (commissioning as a lay minister). The church was pretty filled up with family and friends of the honorees. The whole Mass with the ceremony lasted about 2 hours total at the diocesan Cathedral.

Behind me where I was seated with my parents were about 3 or 4 kids all between age 3 to 7. They kept getting up, running around, talking loud at times, making noises etc and there were 2 adults with them. I turned around several times and placed my finger against my mouth as a signal for them to be quiet. I know I should have not done so but I wanted to hear the service/ceremony as I was also doing non flash photography in the front row of the balcony to capture my aunt's important day (as her husband was in the choir and could not do so).

I would say all of them were too young to be there for a service that long. I say unless a child knows better to stay seated and reasonably quiet, they should not be there (unless a parent cannot make arrangements for child care). I am not against kids but an important event that my aunt was a part of, it was important for others in the same area to be able to hear and see things without much interruption.

My best guess is for a child about 6 or 7 years can behave decently at something that long even if they have a quiet toy and/or book to entertain them at times. The few babies that were there I rarely heard them as they were either removed at the first sign of being fussy or were already in the cry room.

Please keep in mind, I am not against children, and that Jesus welcomed the youngsters when they were brought to them & He said we should welcome them. But I am sure they did their best to be quiet when he told them a story too.

[/quote]

-a six or seven year should not need a book or other "here play with this and be quiet" item during Mass, even a long Mass. Six and seven years old is old enough to know that Mass is a special time and that they need to behave.
-The kids have as much right as anyone else to attend Mass (I'd say more so since they are still learning the faith, but that's just me)
-The biggest item that I really haven't seen addressed in any of these type threads is the parents. Sushing the kids is fine (I've done it too), but it shouldn't be the only thing you do. If the kids are misbehaving (different from just being children) than you need to address the issue with the parents (getting the attention of the parents and making sure they are doing their job as parents and/or seeing if they would like your assistance).
-There are other ways to approach this issue (kids acting like kids and/or misbehaving). My 3 year old was being disruptive and one of the ladies at Mass helped my wife and I out (we have 6 kids) by showing my daughter (after asking if she could help us) her rosary and talked to my daughter about Jesus and Jesus's mommy. After a few minutes of talking to my daughter she asked if she wanted to hold the rosary and problem solved (my daughter held the rosary for the rest of Mass with the only "disruption" being her occasionally showing my wife or I Jesus on the rosary [crucifix]). Kids generally secretly want to behave, they just need to be shown how to in a manner which will catch their attention.


#7

[quote="oldcatholicguy, post:6, topic:340156"]
-a six or seven year should not need a book or other "here play with this and be quiet" item during Mass, even a long Mass. Six and seven years old is old enough to know that Mass is a special time and that they need to behave.
-The kids have as much right as anyone else to attend Mass (I'd say more so since they are still learning the faith, but that's just me)
-The biggest item that I really haven't seen addressed in any of these type threads is the parents. Sushing the kids is fine (I've done it too), but it shouldn't be the only thing you do. If the kids are misbehaving (different from just being children) than you need to address the issue with the parents (getting the attention of the parents and making sure they are doing their job as parents and/or seeing if they would like your assistance).
-There are other ways to approach this issue (kids acting like kids and/or misbehaving). My 3 year old was being disruptive and one of the ladies at Mass helped my wife and I out (we have 6 kids) by showing my daughter (after asking if she could help us) her rosary and talked to my daughter about Jesus and Jesus's mommy. After a few minutes of talking to my daughter she asked if she wanted to hold the rosary and problem solved (my daughter held the rosary for the rest of Mass with the only "disruption" being her occasionally showing my wife or I Jesus on the rosary [crucifix]). Kids generally secretly want to behave, they just need to be shown how to in a manner which will catch their attention.

[/quote]

I love this.

Yeah what would Jesus do ?

Shush and glare....concerned about himself? "I can't hear, I am bothered , I am inconvenienced, I I I I I ."

Or would the truly Christlike thing, be to offer assistance to the parents.


#8

[quote="Jon_S, post:7, topic:340156"]
I love this.

Yeah what would Jesus do ?

Shush and glare....concerned about himself? "I can't hear, I am bothered , I am inconvenienced, I I I I I ."

Or would the truly Christlike thing, be to offer assistance to the parents.

[/quote]

I was not able to offer any assistance as I was documenting the event in non flash photography for my aunt as part of my gift to her special day as her other family members were not able to do so. The front row balcony seats allowed me and a few others to take pictures during the ceremony without disturbing others.

At least I was not like my mother who gave a few glares and a bit of a loud whisper to the kids a few times which was much more distracting (and my mother has raised 2 kids and has 2 grand kids). My mother of all people could have offered help or something instead of her actions but I cannot control what she does.

Me simply turning around with the finger to my mouth quietly was a last resort.


#9

[quote="MissRose73, post:1, topic:340156"]
I attended a special Mass with a ceremony that my aunt (my dad's brother's wife) was a honored participant with about 30 others (commissioning as a lay minister). The church was pretty filled up with family and friends of the honorees. The whole Mass with the ceremony lasted about 2 hours total at the diocesan Cathedral.

Behind me where I was seated with my parents were about 3 or 4 kids all between age 3 to 7. They kept getting up, running around, talking loud at times, making noises etc and there were 2 adults with them. I turned around several times and placed my finger against my mouth as a signal for them to be quiet. I know I should have not done so but I wanted to hear the service/ceremony as I was also doing non flash photography in the front row of the balcony to capture my aunt's important day (as her husband was in the choir and could not do so).

I would say all of them were too young to be there for a service that long. I say unless a child knows better to stay seated and reasonably quiet, they should not be there (unless a parent cannot make arrangements for child care). I am not against kids but an important event that my aunt was a part of, it was important for others in the same area to be able to hear and see things without much interruption.

My best guess is for a child about 6 or 7 years can behave decently at something that long even if they have a quiet toy and/or book to entertain them at times. The few babies that were there I rarely heard them as they were either removed at the first sign of being fussy or were already in the cry room.

Please keep in mind, I am not against children, and that Jesus welcomed the youngsters when they were brought to them & He said we should welcome them. But I am sure they did their best to be quiet when he told them a story too.

[/quote]

The Mass was not about you or your aunt. It never is about us.

It is God's house and all his children are welcome there any time.

Nevertheless, those children should have be better controlled by their parents but some parents have no consideration for others.


#10

[quote="MissRose73, post:8, topic:340156"]
I was not able to offer any assistance as I was documenting the event in non flash photography for my aunt as part of my gift to her special day as her other family members were not able to do so. The front row balcony seats allowed me and a few others to take pictures during the ceremony without disturbing others.

At least I was not like my mother who gave a few glares and a bit of a loud whisper to the kids a few times which was much more distracting (and my mother has raised 2 kids and has 2 grand kids). My mother of all people could have offered help or something instead of her actions but I cannot control what she does.

Me simply turning around with the finger to my mouth quietly was a last resort.

[/quote]

Matt 19:14 but Jesus said,** "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them**; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."


#11

[quote="oldcatholicguy, post:6, topic:340156"]
-a six or seven year should not need a book or other "here play with this and be quiet" item during Mass, even a long Mass. Six and seven years old is old enough to know that Mass is a special time and that they need to behave.
-The kids have as much right as anyone else to attend Mass (I'd say more so since they are still learning the faith, but that's just me)
-The biggest item that I really haven't seen addressed in any of these type threads is the parents. Sushing the kids is fine (I've done it too), but it shouldn't be the only thing you do. If the kids are misbehaving (different from just being children) than you need to address the issue with the parents (getting the attention of the parents and making sure they are doing their job as parents and/or seeing if they would like your assistance).
-There are other ways to approach this issue (kids acting like kids and/or misbehaving). My 3 year old was being disruptive and one of the ladies at Mass helped my wife and I out (we have 6 kids) by showing my daughter (after asking if she could help us) her rosary and talked to my daughter about Jesus and Jesus's mommy. After a few minutes of talking to my daughter she asked if she wanted to hold the rosary and problem solved (my daughter held the rosary for the rest of Mass with the only "disruption" being her occasionally showing my wife or I Jesus on the rosary [crucifix]). Kids generally secretly want to behave, they just need to be shown how to in a manner which will catch their attention.

[/quote]

A friend of mine with young children put together what she calls "church books" for her kids. There are religious coloring pages, pictures, and other age appropriate things that she updates to fit the service. Since the kids only get the books at church, it's viewed as a special treat, and she said it does seem to help them sit still but still be engaged in the service - her three year old, when he heard the pastor speaking of Jesus, just had to show her the picture of Jesus he colored. Basically, this is my long winded way of saying I agree. Kids can behave, but you just have to find the age appropriate way to help them with it.


#12

[quote="MissRose73, post:8, topic:340156"]
I was not able to offer any assistance as I was documenting the event in non flash photography for my aunt as part of my gift to her special day as her other family members were not able to do so. The front row balcony seats allowed me and a few others to take pictures during the ceremony without disturbing others.

At least I was not like my mother who gave a few glares and a bit of a loud whisper to the kids a few times which was much more distracting (and my mother has raised 2 kids and has 2 grand kids). My mother of all people could have offered help or something instead of her actions but I cannot control what she does.

Me simply turning around with the finger to my mouth quietly was a last resort.

[/quote]

For clarity, my comment concerning offering assistance instead of just sushing was a general comment and not directed at you specifically.


#13

No age is too young.


#14

[quote="MissRose73, post:1, topic:340156"]
Behind me where I was seated with my parents were about 3 or 4 kids all between age 3 to 7. They kept getting up, running around, talking loud at times, making noises etc and there were 2 adults with them. *I turned around several times and placed my finger against my mouth as a signal for them to be quiet. * I know I should have not done so but I wanted to hear the service/ceremony as I was also doing non flash photography in the front row of the balcony to capture my aunt's important day (as her husband was in the choir and could not do so).

[/quote]

I do wonder how much they were "getting up, running around, talking loud at times, making noises." Children make noises. Most at that age forget to use their inside voice. And yes, a 3 year old will get up a couple of times during a 2 hour Mass.

I also bet that you could have stopped taking pictures for 5 minutes, during the 2 hour Mass, to offer help. If it was Mass, there were readings, and, I am sure that your Aunt didn't need multiple pictures of the Lector. Or multiple pictures of the priest, during the Homily.

As many here have said, Mass isn't about you. Nor is it about your aunt. It would be good to remember that.


#15

In most Eastern Catholic Churches, all baptized children (even infants and toddlers) receive the Eucharist. There is no such thing as being too young to attend Mass. :)


#16

[quote="oldcatholicguy, post:6, topic:340156"]
-a six or seven year should not need a book or other "here play with this and be quiet" item during Mass, even a long Mass. Six and seven years old is old enough to know that Mass is a special time and that they need to behave.
-The kids have as much right as anyone else to attend Mass (I'd say more so since they are still learning the faith, but that's just me)
-The biggest item that I really haven't seen addressed in any of these type threads is the parents. Sushing the kids is fine (I've done it too), but it shouldn't be the only thing you do. If the kids are misbehaving (different from just being children) than you need to address the issue with the parents (getting the attention of the parents and making sure they are doing their job as parents and/or seeing if they would like your assistance).
-There are other ways to approach this issue (kids acting like kids and/or misbehaving). My 3 year old was being disruptive and one of the ladies at Mass helped my wife and I out (we have 6 kids) by showing my daughter (after asking if she could help us) her rosary and talked to my daughter about Jesus and Jesus's mommy. After a few minutes of talking to my daughter she asked if she wanted to hold the rosary and problem solved (my daughter held the rosary for the rest of Mass with the only "disruption" being her occasionally showing my wife or I Jesus on the rosary [crucifix]). Kids generally secretly want to behave, they just need to be shown how to in a manner which will catch their attention.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#17

As others have stated, there is no minimum age for children going to mass. Now that I've said that, what is it with bringing food to church with kids?.

Also, when my daughter was little we sat in front so she could see what was going on. This makes all the difference in the world. They are going to be bored and then disruptive if they can't SEE over all the tall people in front of them. Father, or God as she innocently thought he was, was fascinating to her. Children can be taught to behave. When she was about 4, I let her bring paper and pencil so she could draw pictures of the altar. Father loved that! and even hung them on his frig.


#18

[quote="MissRose73, post:1, topic:340156"]
I attended a special Mass with a ceremony that my aunt (my dad's brother's wife) was a honored participant with about 30 others (commissioning as a lay minister). The church was pretty filled up with family and friends of the honorees. The whole Mass with the ceremony lasted about 2 hours total at the diocesan Cathedral.

Behind me where I was seated with my parents were about 3 or 4 kids all between age 3 to 7. They kept getting up, running around, talking loud at times, making noises etc and there were 2 adults with them. I turned around several times and placed my finger against my mouth as a signal for them to be quiet. I know I should have not done so but I wanted to hear the service/ceremony as I was also doing non flash photography in the front row of the balcony to capture my aunt's important day (as her husband was in the choir and could not do so).

I would say all of them were too young to be there for a service that long. I say unless a child knows better to stay seated and reasonably quiet, they should not be there (unless a parent cannot make arrangements for child care). I am not against kids but an important event that my aunt was a part of, it was important for others in the same area to be able to hear and see things without much interruption.

My best guess is for a child about 6 or 7 years can behave decently at something that long even if they have a quiet toy and/or book to entertain them at times. The few babies that were there I rarely heard them as they were either removed at the first sign of being fussy or were already in the cry room.

Please keep in mind, I am not against children, and that Jesus welcomed the youngsters when they were brought to them & He said we should welcome them. But I am sure they did their best to be quiet when he told them a story too.

[/quote]

If you had shushed me or my family. I would have taken a break from trying to parent my kids and done a little parenting on you. :(

Yes the behaviour you describe is not optimal. But neither is the lady in front of you snapping pictures and shushing your kids while you are just trying to spend time with the Lord at Mass. I am so sorry the children affected your heart before you received our Lord.


#19

[quote="MissRose73, post:1, topic:340156"]
I attended a special Mass with a ceremony that my aunt (my dad's brother's wife) was a honored participant with about 30 others (commissioning as a lay minister). The church was pretty filled up with family and friends of the honorees. The whole Mass with the ceremony lasted about 2 hours total at the diocesan Cathedral.

Behind me where I was seated with my parents were about 3 or 4 kids all between age 3 to 7. They kept getting up, running around, talking loud at times, making noises etc and there were 2 adults with them. I turned around several times and placed my finger against my mouth as a signal for them to be quiet. I know I should have not done so but I wanted to hear the service/ceremony as I was also doing non flash photography in the front row of the balcony to capture my aunt's important day (as her husband was in the choir and could not do so).

I would say all of them were too young to be there for a service that long. I say unless a child knows better to stay seated and reasonably quiet, they should not be there (unless a parent cannot make arrangements for child care). I am not against kids but an important event that my aunt was a part of, it was important for others in the same area to be able to hear and see things without much interruption.

My best guess is for a child about 6 or 7 years can behave decently at something that long even if they have a quiet toy and/or book to entertain them at times. The few babies that were there I rarely heard them as they were either removed at the first sign of being fussy or were already in the cry room.

Please keep in mind, I am not against children, and that Jesus welcomed the youngsters when they were brought to them & He said we should welcome them. But I am sure they did their best to be quiet when he told them a story too.

[/quote]

Most young parents learn from experience. Sometimes the children behave well and sometimes for whatever reason, they are difficult to handle no matter what the parent tries to do. If the parents knew that the service would last two hours and they knew how difficult it would have been to handle them on that particular day for that length of time, they would not have taken them to that Mass if they could have helped it. No one need tell them that. It is easy after the fact for some stranger to tell them what they should have done. But we also don't know all of the factors in this situation. Maybe they also had someone in their family who was being commissioned too. And maybe they did not have a babysitter.


#20

[quote="Hoosier_Daddy, post:18, topic:340156"]
If you had shushed me or my family. ** I would have taken a break from trying to parent my kids and done a little parenting on you. ** :(

Yes the behaviour you describe is not optimal. But neither is the lady in front of you snapping pictures and shushing your kids while you are just trying to spend time with the Lord at Mass. I am so sorry the children affected your heart before you received our Lord.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

I think some people forget that Mass isn't a photo op. Yes, I get that you might want some pictures. But if you can't take 5 minutes away from taking pictures, are you really even at Mass??


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