[quote="davidsunrise, post:16, topic:233473"]
Thanks all for your responses:
If the problem with not getting seats in the pews is because they come late, then would these late comers get seats in the pews if they all come early before the mass begins?
Mathematically speaking, this is impossible because every church has exact number of seating capacity in the pews.
For example, the seating capacity of the pews in my church is 2650 (including the upper floor). There is always a chronic over capacity problem on Sunday morning mass especially at 9AM that is getting worse every year because 200s-300s of newly baptized catholics join my church every Easter. And the number of pews stays the same from the time the church was built. There are already 4 masses on Sunday right now. Maybe they should make it 5 next year to cope with over crowding problem. This situation has been like this in the last few years as around 4000-5000 new catholics join the diocese of Jakarta every year.
Logically, with 2650 available seats in the pews and 2800s-2900s parishioners coming early to attend the mass, there are always some people who will never get the seats in the pews even if they all come early.
We, ushers, can always advise these late parishioners to come early to get seats in the pews.
But if all these late people really come early, can we guarantee seats for them?
Then the "if" will only get upgraded, if you come much earlier..., if you come even much much earlier you will get seats.
This is already happening year after year during Easter and Christmas mass.
Even ONE hour before the mass begins, the church is already 90%-95% packed! This is not only happening in my church but in all 20+ churches throughout Jakarta. So those families with kids who come even 30 minutes BEFORE the Christmas mass, they WILL NOT get any seats in the pews. Few years back, if one came 30 minutes before Christmas mass, they would get seats. Maybe in 5 years, people should come 1.5 hours before the mass begins and much earlier later on. Talking about being late comers of not getting seats?
The seats are just limited. And these already limited number of seats are taken by non-catholics who have no interests at all about catholicism other than doing their job for the convenience of their boss.
Thanks for the wonderful explanation re over-crowding.
The reason for it is a blessing: growth in converts.
Dealing with overcrowing is never easy.
Scheduling more Masses can help if priests are willing/able.
Calling in extra priests (teachers, etc..) can help with that.
I remember my childhood parish when the big CRUNCH hit.
It was the arrival of the Baby Boomers as babies, then as children.
The church was always packed, just as the school was.
60+ plus students per classroom. Many people had
to stand all through Mass. Eventual solution was to build
a new larger church and a larger school too but that
happened over a number of years. Still no matter how
crowded, all in attendance must be made welcome.
Tough for the ushers? YES!
Please though, do not underestimate the work of
God's grace among disinterested visitors. They too
are in the Presence of God.
One plants, another waters, etc..