Is it okay to have a perma-smile during the Liturgy of the Word, and if not how can I tone the joy down?


#1

Lately, during the entire Liturgy of the Word I cannot stop smiling. And it's not just a small sweet little smile, I'm pretty much grinning and glowing, and this is me holding back. I want to cry and laugh and sing and I'm just going to burst with joy. No I'm not psychotic lol. Thankfully, during the liturgy of the Eucharist I lose the smiles and am looking as bored as everyone else, though I do still feel full. I've been trying to hold it back because everyone else looks so bored and I don't want people to think I'm a freak but I can't help it! It's kind of embarrassing! On weekdays I go to Mass with 5-10 other people, and the past few times the priest has just been staring at me. I can tell he tries not to but he does stare. I don't mind him looking at me obviously, there's only a few people in the room, but he'll look at everyone else and then his eyes land on me and he stares. He looks like he's curious, but he never asks and thank God for that because I have no explanation. Outside of Mass I'm not a bubbly happy type of lady. I'm pretty normal. So I've started sitting behind everyone else so that at least I'm not a distraction. Help!


#2

Would it possibly help to reverently follow the readings while they are being read in a publication such as the Magnificat? Maybe also to close your eyes and bow your head during the Gospel reading?


#3

[quote="elizabeth_anne, post:2, topic:313447"]
Would it possibly help to reverently follow the readings while they are being read in a publication such as the Magnificat? Maybe also to close your eyes and bow your head during the Gospel reading?

[/quote]

Is it irreverent to smile? I suppose I don't see it as disrespectful, just odd. Anyways, I haven't tried using a publication of the readings, I'll buy one for February from my Parish tomorrow. Closing my eyes doesn't help, though. I have tried that one. Whatever is happening in a particular moment during the Liturgy of the Word has my complete attention and closing my eyes doesn't change anything. I will try the reading along suggestion though.


#4

Stop worrying and smile all you want. If other people don't like it, they can go pound sand. That's their problem, not yours. You're not going to Mass for their approval.


#5

[quote="Bill_Martin, post:4, topic:313447"]
Stop worrying and smile all you want. If other people don't like it, they can go pound sand. That's their problem, not yours. You're not going to Mass for their approval.

[/quote]

But is it bad to be smiley and joyful during Mass? I mean, Jesus is sacrificed during this celebration. Part of me thinks it's a little inappropriate, even though I always become more "normal" during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. I don't want to be doing something wrong.


#6

Of course it’s not wrong. Mass is a celebration. It’s supposed to be joyful. You are celebrating that you are free from the chains of death. If that is not a cause to smile, then nothing is.


#7

I did not mean it was irreverent to smile. I meant "reverently" to mean in regards to how one would follow the readings if reading along.

I actually thought you were looking for suggestions as to how to "tone it down." I do think it important not to draw a lot of attention to oneself but that does not sound like what you are doing.


#8

[quote="LilyPearls, post:5, topic:313447"]
But is it bad to be smiley and joyful during Mass? I mean, Jesus is sacrificed during this celebration. Part of me thinks it's a little inappropriate, even though I always become more "normal" during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. I don't want to be doing something wrong.

[/quote]

If your conscience is telling you it might be "a little inappropriate" then maybe discuss it with a priest.

There is a respect and solemnity to the Mass. Only you know whether or not your smiling is in line with that proper respect. No one can really answer that question for you. Take it to prayer and see what the Lord has to say about it.


#9

[quote="elizabeth_anne, post:7, topic:313447"]
I did not mean it was irreverent to smile. I meant "reverently" to mean in regards to how one would follow the readings if reading along.

I actually thought you were looking for suggestions as to how to "tone it down." I do think it important not to draw a lot of attention to oneself but that does not sound like what you are doing.

[/quote]

Oh okay, sorry my misunderstanding. It's a great suggestion!

I would like to tone it down if it is not okay to be this way. If there's nothing wrong with experiencing such fullness during Mass then I'd like to keep the joy I've been blessed with it.


#10

Actually, what troubles most in this post is the fact that you are making value judgments about others at Mass by the look on their faces AND YET you are worried about the possible judgments people are making about you because of your facial expressions???

Bottom line – they are doing to you what you are doing to them!!

I think you need to be less concerned about what others think of you… and focus on your own interior prayer and less on the faces of others at Mass


#11

What makes you think others are ‘bored’ just because they have a solemn expression? Perhaps that is a touch disrespectful to the other people you are meeting in Communion with?

I very rarely smile during Mass (including when giving the sign of peace to others) but I can assure you I am certainly not bored. Perhaps those around you are reverently contemplating the emormity of the sacrifice made for us? Perhaps they are listening intently to the readings? Perhaps they are contemplating their own sinfulness and praying for forgiveness? Not everyone feels the urge to jump up and down and clap in the aisles.

There’s nothing wrong with smiling at Mass, but I personally think their are indeed certain parts of the Mass where beaming grins might not be appropriate.

Like someone else has said, have a chat with your priest about this. Tell him what you feel ask for his advice. It might also help put his mind at ease when he looks at you and your beaming grin thinking, “What’s up with her?” when he’s saying Mass.


#12

Hi all, this is so interesting, cause I have come across a similar situation once. Sometimes listening to the sermon, something would occur to me as funny and i might start to smile/grin/laugh a bit and then feel completely out of place, cause no one would know what I was laughing at, especially the priest who doesn’t think his sermon is funny. This is especially noticeable during a weekday mass, and I would feel especially self conscious if caught out grinning/laughing at the wrong time. I understand feeling joy at the mass and I have also noticed a particular priest giving certain looks at times I would have considered not appropriate. However I guess the best thing is to ask the priest why he’s been looking at you and that it distracts you from your prayers and you hope you also are not providing a distraction to the priest. The priest might just brush it off and not want to say, but he might give an explanation, which might then give you a confidant with whom you can talk about your love of the mass - such a joy is a shame to have to keep to yourself all the time.

I can’t see how the ‘others’ are doing to you what you are supposedly doing to them…(of course I understand people do communicate via their facial expressions), however you said you were sort of smiling in general and the priest was just looking at you and not smiling back?


#13

I can see nothing wrong with smiling during joyful and uplifting passages, but all the time? Even during sad portions of scripture? Are you saying you smile regardless of content, and for example would do so even during the reading of the Passion on Good Friday? That would be highly unusual at least.


#14

[quote="coachdennis, post:10, topic:313447"]
Actually, what troubles most in this post is the fact that you are making value judgments about others at Mass by the look on their faces AND YET you are worried about the possible judgments people are making about you because of your facial expressions???

Bottom line -- they are doing to you what you are doing to them!!

I think you need to be less concerned about what others think of you.... and focus on your own interior prayer and less on the faces of others at Mass

[/quote]

Whoa, I didn't say they are bored but that they look bored. That isn't a judgement on how they're experiencing Mass but a factual statement. They look bored, plain and simple, and I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb if I'm doing something wrong. I'm a convert, a new convert at that, so yes what I do with my body during Mass and conforming to the norm is somewhat important to me because I'm not even used to the sit, stand, sit, stand, kneel etc routine yet. I really don't know what the other people at Mass are thinking and that's not a judgement I'm comfortable making because obviously I have no idea what anyone else is thinking. This is about outward appearances and trying to fit in to my new faith, which has been difficult. I'm sorry I insulted you (and another poster here, and anyone who reads this thread but doesn't post and is insulted).


#15

He smiles back. A lot. Yesterday it looked like he was holding back a giggle during part of his homily about the parable of the mustard seed.


#16

Perhaps what you are feeling is a sense of excitement and exhilaration in your newly found Faith? Perhaps it’s nervousness and self-consciousness that causes you to behave this way? Perhaps it is the Holy Spirit?

I’d pop along to see the priest to discuss it if I was you. Perhaps go to confession and take the opportunity to chat to him about it before beginning your normal confession. As a new convert, I’m sure most priests would be only too happy to give you plenty of support, advice and a listening ear.


#17

[quote="LilyM, post:13, topic:313447"]
I can see nothing wrong with smiling during joyful and uplifting passages, but all the time? Even during sad portions of scripture? Are you saying you smile regardless of content, and for example would do so even during the reading of the Passion on Good Friday? That would be highly unusual at least.

[/quote]

So far it has been that if something that shouldn't normally incite joy is read I keep smiling but start to tear up a bit. I look down during those moments because that I'm certain that would make the reader feel very awkward and maybe that he'd read something wrong and I'm laughing at him in my head. I probably wouldn't be this way during the reading of the Passion on Good Friday because when the Liturgy of the Eucharist comes around during Mass I'm more solemn. During that part of Mass I feel more like crying, but not overly emotional about it.


#18

[quote="LilyPearls, post:14, topic:313447"]
Whoa, I didn't say they are bored but that they look bored. That isn't a judgement on how they're experiencing Mass but a factual statement. They look bored, plain and simple, and I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb if I'm doing something wrong. I'm a convert, a new convert at that, so yes what I do with my body during Mass and conforming to the norm is somewhat important to me because I'm not even used to the sit, stand, sit, stand, kneel etc routine yet. I really don't know what the other people at Mass are thinking and that's not a judgement I'm comfortable making because obviously I have no idea what anyone else is thinking. This is about outward appearances and trying to fit in to my new faith, which has been difficult. I'm sorry I insulted you (and another poster here, and anyone who reads this thread but doesn't post and is insulted).

[/quote]

Saying someone is "Looking bored" is *not *a factual statement -- it implies the people don't care and rather be somewhere else. If you are saying they have a flat affect or don't express facial emotions, say so.

I understand your concern about not wanting to stick out like a sore thumb, really I do. But again, I would still offer the same advice -- focus on yourself. If you are feeling a joy that makes you smile, that is wonderful! God is truly touching you!


#19

Are you filled with Joy? I received the Grace of the Holy Spirit some years ago, and I couldn't stop smiling, and sharing that Joy, whether in Mass or every day life. I did smile throughout the whole Mass. It gave me that excitement that I get to celebrate this miracle that Jesus has given us, the love that He has for us by dying on the cross for our sins. It was like every moment of the Mass was going directly to my soul, unfiltered by human thoughts and feelings. I also felt moved during parts of the Mass that were somber and reverence. I would tear up (I still do!), but I'd often have a smile.

Enjoy the Grace you've been given by the Holy Spirit


#20

[quote="LilyPearls, post:5, topic:313447"]
But is it bad to be smiley and joyful during Mass? I mean, Jesus is sacrificed during this celebration. Part of me thinks it's a little inappropriate, even though I always become more "normal" during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. I don't want to be doing something wrong.

[/quote]

[quote="Bill_Martin, post:6, topic:313447"]
Of course it's not wrong. Mass is a celebration. It's supposed to be joyful. You are celebrating that you are free from the chains of death. If that is not a cause to smile, then nothing is.

[/quote]

How could the joy of the Lord be irreverent? Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Don't quench the Spirit. If you think your exuberance will be distracting to others, perhaps you can go back to the cry room, or focus more inwardly on blessing the name of the Lord and praising Him. But, by all means, don't feel bad about the joy He's given you as a gift!


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