Locked church doors?


#1

(Not sure if this is the right forum, so feel free to move if necessary!)

Last night after a very rough day at work and in my personal life, I felt a very strong urge to pray in church. Around 5:30pm, I drove to my church, and all doors were locked and all lights were off in the building. This really surprised me, and I'm not sure if I'm just being naive, but I guess I just assumed that the church doors would be open all the time for any "24/7" praying needs. Would anyone else have expected this as well, or what do you do if you want to pray at church and the building is closed? Thanks. :)


#2

Unfortunately, with the world the way it is, locked church doors are common.

There are a couple of possibilities I can think of so you can be prepared in the future.

Go to masstimes.org and see if there is a parish in your area that has an evening weekday Mass. If they do then you can count on the church being open in the early evening.

You might also check around to see if there is a parish nearby that has perpetual Eucharistic adoration. You could go there to pray as well.


#3

Unfortunately, for security reasons most churches cannot keep their doors unlocked 24/7 anymore.

I used to need to go and pray after work, after the hours the church was normally locked. Sometimes one of the priests was in the church praying privately, and he would let me in. But this was hit-or-miss. So after a while I asked my pastor if he would give me a key, and he did so. If you think this will be a frequent "need" for you, you might ask your pastor what you can do. (Or if you are fortunate enough to have a Perpetual Adoration Chapel nearby, that would be another option.)

I know how you feel. There are times when I just need my "Jesus fix"!


#4

Yes, many churches now need to be locked in the evening. If the rectory is on the grounds, you could have asked the priest to let you in. Or see if another church in your area (or near work) has evening Masses, prayers services, or a perpetual Adoration chapel.

God bless you for going to Jesus instead of "re-creating" another way!!


#5

Thanks everyone! Yeah, I figured it was for safety reasons, but I didn't think 5:30pm was too late to go either. I just felt that I needed to be in the church that night. It was ok though, I headed home and once I got the major distractions out of the room (puppies, tv, phone, etc.), I was ok. I'll look into perpetual Adoration chapels as well. :)


#6

This website may help you: therealpresence.org/chap_fr.htm


#7

Most of the churches near me are locked after morning Mass, so even early afternoon would be too late to visit.

When I’ve been really desperate, I’ve made an “auto visit.” That’s when you park your car as close to the church as you can and talk to Jesus through the walls. It’s ever-so-slightly better than nothing!

Betsy


#8

My church doesn't lock the doors during the daytime until around 6-7, depending on the day. It always leaves a door open for people who want to sit with Jesus. :)


#9

We have adoration on Tuesdays, and those people have to have a code number and a key card to get in. The choir director has to let us in for rehearsals, and if you get there too early, you just have to sit in your car. This is in a fancy suburban neighborhood with a fancy college across the street one direction and a seminary the other.

The Episcopal catherdral here had a murder a year or so ago. It’s downtown, and a homeless man who was a regular at their soup kitchen lost it and killed a woman who had worked there for years. Anybody who wasn’t locking the doors before, is surely doing it now.

With the lack of respect for God that so rampant in many communities, I think this is a necessary safeguard for not only the people who might be there but for the Blessed Sacrament that might be housed there.


#10

Yes, most Churches keep their doors locked when there is not a Mass or Eucharistic Adoration. But i only recently learned of the “most” part, for i had thought they all had locked doors when something wasn’t going on. So, actually, i am the OP’s opposite.

i visited the local Monastery and did the outdoor Stations there among other things. i got home and told father i had been at the Monastery. He said it is good to spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. At first i was confused and i explained i had spent the time outdoors at the Stations. Turns out i did not know the doors were unlocked and i could have gone outside. Then father expains to me all the Churches used to be like that- open, and it seemed in that moment he yearned for those better days from his youth.

An entirely different world the younger generation of today does not know.


#11

I have often found city churches have their doors locked when nothing is scheduled in the church, especially if the rectory is not right there. Here in our suburban area, many of the churches have schools and rectories on the property so there is more activity and more people watching to keep things safe. My parish keeps the church doors open until about 9 at night but between CCD, RCIA, KoC, Legion of Mary, etc there is almost always people at the parish until then anyway.


#12

I have not worshipped in or worked in a parish where doors are open all day, let alone all evening or all night, for over 30 years. That includes inner city, urban, suburban and rural parishes. Sadly unless the church is a tourist destination that can afford full time professional security, it is just not an option to keep the church open. However, every single one of those parishes has had a Eucharistic adoration chapel or other place for prayer that is open for extended hours, and many all round the clock for perpetual adoration. check your diocesan website.


#13

Our church used to be unlocked from morning - before Mass - until about 10 PM. We recently had the box - a large, heavy, oak box - that held candle donations stolen. The priest feels there may have been about $150 in it. It was such a heavy piece that it wasn’t emptied very often. Nobody expected it to ‘walk off.’ So, now we have a smaller box that is emptied often, and a church that is locked a lot more often. Another local church had its sound system equipment stolen.


#14

If you're lucky enough to visit or live in Edinburgh, Scotland, the St. Mary's Cathedral is open 24/7 and in addition to Our Lord, the bones of his dear friend St. Andrew the first apostle are there for your veneration. :)


#15

It's probably not safe for churches to remain unlocked all the time anymore. :( Actually I'm surprised my church doesn't ever lock its doors; it's open 24 hours a day for Adoration.


#16

Maybe, someday! I should remember this. The first Catholic Church in the US that I attended and played for was named for St. Andrew, and now, sadly, it is closed.

I have been to parts of France and Italy - late 1980’s. ALL churches there were open then. That may have changed now?


#17

[quote="PhilotheaZ, post:3, topic:182044"]
Unfortunately, for security reasons most churches cannot keep their doors unlocked 24/7 anymore.

I used to need to go and pray after work, after the hours the church was normally locked. Sometimes one of the priests was in the church praying privately, and he would let me in. But this was hit-or-miss. So after a while I asked my pastor if he would give me a key, and he did so. If you think this will be a frequent "need" for you, you might ask your pastor what you can do. (Or if you are fortunate enough to have a Perpetual Adoration Chapel nearby, that would be another option.)

I know how you feel. There are times when I just need my "Jesus fix"!

[/quote]

I started reading this thread & thought of this!!
Usually it is the insurance company, the fire department, and/or the police who make the requirement for churches to be locked.
But if you ask your pastor, you may well be able to get a key, as long as you are faithful about re-locking. My (Methodist) pastor says that if he had his way, the church (& all the other churches!!) would be open for prayer, but pastors are often :(outvoted by legal & safety issues....However, there are sure to be others who will let you have a key. (Can you tell that:) I have one?)
Anyhow, :gopray2::gopray2::hug1:.
God bless.


#18

I feel blessed that the church I attend opens from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm every day. There are activities in most evenings of the week so if feels pretty safe to pray there. Just want to share this.


#19

One nice thing about having a key is knowing that you are really alone with Jesus in the church. Then you can sing or chant or pray aloud or prostrate yourself, or whatever you would always like to do but don't for fear of distracting others.

I used to have the key to the church across the street from my office, and I would go every day and sing psalms to Jesus. It was wonderful.

Betsy


#20

So true. I am fortunate to have a key, because I play for Mass and come in to practice when nobody is there.

I like to walk the Stations when no one else is there. It is wonderful.


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