Lounging in the pews

I get annoyed when in church at Mass and during the time before Mass or during Mass when the people are seated, men, especially, will stretch out one or both arms along the back of the pew as though lounging. This wouldn’t be done at a concert or at a presentation by a speaker-why at Mass?

Sorry, I don’t see how that is “lounging”.

P.S. - For me, as long as people are not disturbing anyone around them or the Mass itself, I really don’t care how they sit in the pew. I have enough to do to keep my attention focuesd on the Priest and participate in Mass.

All I can do is quote Matthew 7:4:

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.

While I focus on my own prayers and the priest, I completely understand your frustration. I was taught by the Sisters of St. Francis and this would have never been tolerated. I think what bothers me is the lack of respect in the church. However, when you look at the lack of respect in the world, it is no wonder it is now entering into our church as well.

My advice ~ PRAY!!

It is this attitude, if it doesn’t bother me, then who cares, that has our world in such a mess. I am sorry, I completely disagree with this statement/attitude for all things in life. Everything we do as human beings/individuals affects the world around us.

Me thinkest thou protestest too much. Why not try and focus on the Mass and your own personal spirituality. That probably would please Jesus more than worrying and judging what others are doing or not doing. If we worry about every little thing we would go crazy. I’m still working on doing that myself. I see and hear things that annoy me, but I try to go with the flow and realize that we are all different. You mentioned men as the primary offenders, I hope that is not some sexist commentary on men. Do you know if they are saying a prayer, reflecting, mediating, quieting their minds for Mass,or did they just get off working a shift before Mass. How often do they do this once, twice, or more?

You say this would not be done at a concert or at a presentation by a speaker. Well first thing the pew is generally a long wooden bench with a long back rest. The seating at a concert and at presentations of speakers are usually either fixed or not fixed chairs. So there is better opportunity to stretch out in a pew.

If the Lounger is (1) blocking other people from sitting in a pew, by taking up three spaces, or (2) putting his arms around you, then I would speak to him (and it is always a Him, in my experience) politely and request that he lower his arms. This also goes for a man who sits with his legs flung wide, infringing on the space of the person next to him.

Mark 14

16The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

17When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18**While they were reclining at the table eating, **he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”

Hey, it’s comfortable. :smiley:

It’s not the manner of seating that gets my attention. Our parish’s masses tend to last about an hour and twenty minutes, so sitting there at attention gets to be well nigh impossible.

What does bother me is seeing the same people stroll in whenever they get the urge week after week. Maybe I am wrong, but I cannot pay attention to the priest when people are moving around all over the church. People were dropping in all the way up to the homily at last Saturday’s vigil. It would be far better if they would find a place at the back of the church, though they always seem to want to sit up front.

Pews are uncomfortable and make my back hurt at times. If I want to stretch out to allieviate that, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, who cares? I’m still paying attention to mass. What’s more important? Pay attention during the mass or proper posture according to you?

Again, if you are not infringing on my space, or the space of others, it makes no never mind. However, if the church is crowded and you are sprawling across more than one seat or your body parts are actually touching others, then I think it is okay to mention it.

With respect, no it’s not. It’s the fact that we focus on the minutia and waste time on the things that really don’t matter. Do I care how someone sits in a pew - yeah, once we are all united in Christ, cure cancer, stop abortion, etc. The fact that he is IN the pew is a “win” for me.

No need to apologize for what you think. It is our diversity that makes us strong (and how boring would the world be if we all thought alike :)?) In fact, we do agree - everything affects the world, but given the reality of my life I am just trying to keep this one thing in perspective.

You and I must have gone to different concerts and presentations. As others have said, unless the person is taking up needed space, I’d let it go. On a side note, if you ever attend mass with me, you might notice me carefully sitting on the end of the pew and once in a while stretching my right leg slightly into the aisle. If you’d like, I’ll let you feel the crepitus in my knee, after the service. :wink:


Maybe the person’s a bit hyperactive with an attention deficit. My dad would have been like that. Totally successful man, but could NOT sit still for the life of him. We all inherited some of that. It’s a coping effort of some who have attention problems to sit up front. Sounds to me that if you are spending so much time concerned about other people in the church, you need to sit closer too. Sounds like an attention deficit disorder.

Problem solved.

A corollary annoyance to this (hope corallary is the right word) is the husband/boyfriend who wraps an arm around his significant other next to him in the pew and kneads her shoulder and neck while they are sitting. I would prefer they save that for the couch in front of their television at home. Also the lounging.

I haven’t seen that in a Catholic parish. That’s how we did things back in my Calvary Chapel days, though.
(not me…them…!) :eek:

That should be “corollary”. I knew I should have looked up the spelling.

I am sorry, and not to be uncharitible, but what an utter load. I agree with the poster who suggests one pay attention to the plank rather than the splinter.

Unless someone is infringing on someone else’s personal space, this is a complete non issue.

I often put my arm on the back of the pew. See, I have a serious lack of cartilege in my shoulder due to my years of volleyball, which requires a shoulder replacement. The doctor has advised me, given my relative young age (I really liked it when he said that) to put the surgery off for as long as possible. Apparently replacement shoulders don’t last past 10 to 15 years and typically aren’t done until the recipient is in their 60s at least. Elevating my arm reduces the pain (which is pretty much constant) and allows me to focus on the beauty of the sacrifice taking place on the altar. SO GET OFF MY CASE!!!

I also sit on the end of the pew and frequently put my foot outside the pew in the aisle. This is necessary because I am 6 foot 8 inches tall (hence my volleyballing) and there simply isn’t enough room between pews (or airplane seats I might add) to accomodate my legs.

Mind your own business. You don’t know what other people are dealing with unless you walk a mile in their shoes.

I attend daily Mass and am just incredibly thankful that I am able to do so. Also for all those who also show up at 7:00 am every day in spite of the hour and their own aches pains and hardships. I am also thankful for every single person who still manages to get their family together to come to Mass on Sundays. I don’t much care if they slouch, put an arm on the pew, a foot in the aisle, or embrace their spouse periodically during Mass, and IMHO, neither should you. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

Sorry if this comes across as a little harsh but it really irks me personally, given that I am one of those to whom it is directed and the OP seriously has no clue about what other people are going through or why they may be engaged in conduct that the OP finds offensive.

I don’t goto mass to try to catch other people out…I go to worship. If you are minding your own business how do you see all of this stuff?:shrug:

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