My Daily Mass chapel does not have pews or kneelers. Just folding chairs.

I have started attending a gorgeous church which is less than a mile from my home. :smiley: It’s almost brand new…just over a year old. It’s gigantic. The main chapel seats at least 800 people. Has pews, etc. However the attached smaller chapel where Daily Mass is celebrated is obviously a much smaller chapel…but it only has folding chairs. No kneelers. No Pews. When you kneel you have to physically put your knees on the tile floor. There are a lot of elderly people who attend Daily Mass and they are not able to “kneel” to pray. It’s hard for me to kneel and I’m only 44! Only about 1/3 of the people kneel. It’s very disheartening. The smaller chapel does have a huge Altar and a GIGANTIC Crucifix hanging above the Altar and they are breathtaking. I am so thankful that Daily Mass is available twice a day every day. It’s all so beautiful except for the folding chairs.

It’s really sad. It’s a multi million dollar church but apparently pews and kneelers were not budgeted for the Daily Mass chapel. Why not celebrate Daily Mass in the main Chapel? Am I just being too picky and too critical? :o

Matthew 18:20 - where two or three are, there Jesus is. It’s fine, IMO.

No, I think your being reasonable. The Mass requires the people to kneel at certain points. Kneelers help people kneel. Why shouldn’t they have put kneelers in?

Oh I agree totally. Of ALL things to be left out of the budget. The reality is that the daily Mass attendees ARE often older folks who may not only have trouble kneeling but folding chairs are flimsy and do not provide the kind of back support or even something to steady you when getting up and down. Our church was temporarily (seven years…ugh) in a school and we did the folding chair gig. I hated it and would usually attend the smaller Vigil Mass that was held in a rented Episcopal church (too small for Sunday Mass).

Do you know the Priest or Business Manager well enough to ask if kneelers and solid chairs if not pews are in the future? We have some small kneeler benches that fit under the chairs we use when the pews are full. That wouldn’t be as expensive as bringing in pews and kneelers. Wonder if they’ve considered that?


PS Feel your pain…knees on floor…ouch!

If it is so new perhaps there will be pews with kneelers in the near future. At one of the churches here, they put in a few “individual” chairs that had kneelers in the back of the
chairs, so you would be kneeling on the back of the chair in front of you. :confused: LOL
Most people attending daily mass (in the small chapel) were thoughtful enough to leave
these for others who might have problems kneeling directly on the floor. Tile ? ouch, that
is hard and cold in winter.

I smell a fundraiser brewing…:wink:

But, look to see if you can purchase a few of those dense foam gardening kneeler pads. They could be kept in an inconspicuous place or a tasteful box at the rear of the chapel for those who really desire to kneel.
Maybe once the powers that be see people trying to make it work, they might be amenable to at least a row or two of those chairs with kneelers attached. You might even get folks to sponsor a chair or two. I assume you’re not talking about huge attendance?

Approach your pastor and see if any of these options would not be inappropriate.

Perhaps you need to ask someone who was there when the building was built or the parish priest. Since it is only a year old maybe the construction is not done, or priority was given to the main worship space, maybe budgeting fell apart, maybe the parish had other unusual expenses, maybe…

I think you get my idea. We can’t answer the questions you have, but you can get the answers from the parish.

Also, you should be grateful for the opportunity to attend daily Mass since so many cannot due to work or due to shortages of priests it is no longer a possibility.

Also, if a person cannot physically kneel God understands (often more often than our brothers and sisters in community)

While I would be curious about the answer, yeah, I do think you’re being too critical and picky — since you asked :rolleyes::wink:

It could be that they are waiting to install pews later. Or that they planned the space to be more flexiable - For example, if it is thought to be an adoration chapel, than pews and kneelers aren’t necessary.

My parish has 3 daily Masses each day during the week (God bless my pastor!) which are all held in the main sanctuary. Our small chapel is set up for daily adoration with chairs and also a couch (:D) in the very back.

I think it is fine for you to ask about the chapel and if pews or sturdier chairs are planned. If it is a budget issue, offer to help with fundraising.

This would indeed make your chapel very “traditional” in a Catholic sense. Catholic churches had NO pews until after the protestant reformation.

Your idea about the gardening kneeler pads is a good one. I used to occasionally attend an early morning Sunday Mass at a chapel in a Catholic cemetery, and there were no kneelers; only folding chairs to sit on. The chapel provided small carpet remnants to use for kneeling, but I found them to be inneffective for my arthritic knees, so I brought a small pillow. Some folks brought garden pads.

You won’t look out of place if you bring something with you, like a pillow or pad, to kneel on. Chances are, there are others there who also have a difficult time kneeling on the floor.

There are many very practical reasons for not opening the main Church.

The pastor is responsible for Church finances. It cost money to light and heat a large Church. Some chapels have two candles instead of four. Those candles aren’t cheap. They have to operate a sound system in the main Church as well. That means speakers, amplifiers, and the priest having to put on and take off a cordless microphone. A sound system is not needed in the chapel. It is much more intimate and less work for the priest.

In addition to the microphones, the credence table is often further away from the altar. If there are no altar servers then the priest has to walk back and forth from the altar to the credence table several times before and after the Liturgy of the Eucharist to get the chalice, ciboria, etc. Sometimes a smaller credence table is set up next to the main altar however. It depends on the Church but it can be more work and it adds time to the Mass. People have to get to work in the morning and have to get back to work after lunchtime mass. People have lives to live. We have to be reasonable.

The Blessed Sacrament is often reposed in the chapel overnight. Opening the Church means moving the Blessed Sacrament to the main church, and then back again to the chapel so people can pray if the main Church is to be locked up during the day.

Sometimes there is a funeral scheduled and so the Church is reserved.

I am a sacristan who often sets up for evening and Saturday Mass. There is a protocol in our parish for when to open the Church and when not to, and the priest sometimes changes it last minute depending on the crowd or weather.

One time I set up in the Chapel and no one told me that we were hosting the statewide Knights of Columbus conference. 500 guys showed up and all these guys in tuxedos with feather hats. I’m like, “Aaaaaaah!” and have to move everything into the Church.

One time I set up in the chapel and no one showed up because of ice and snow. It was just me and the priest. It was awesome. :slight_smile:


The basillica downtown holds a noon Mass on Tuesday and Thursday in its itty bitty teeny tiny side chapel. There are only 18 folding chairs in the chapel itself with another ten or so chairs set up temporarily in the tiny vestibule for overflow, and no kneelers. Guess what. That chapel is full every time. I am unable to kneel in such a cramped space so I sit on the edge of my chair as do some others, and the majority of faithful who attend are not youngsters. None of us truly sees a problem with that arrangement. Even in my own parish, complete with kneelers, there are those who are unable to kneel, including my husband.

I used to go to Mass at a chapel with unpadded kneelers. Most people brought one of these along:

Count yourself lucky, and give thanks and praise…there are plenty of believers who have no access to priests to celebrate the mass daily,

In the winter months our church is closed in the week and daily mass is celebrated in the community hall…Only chairs and a make shift altar for us, but does it really matter as long as the correct mass is said, if we sit on chairs or if we kneel or not? As long as we believe with our hearts…:slight_smile:

Personally I would have a word with the Priest in a nice way, if they cannot afford them, which might be the case ask Father can you help out by asking the parishioners etc to donate towards them.

Talk to the priest and ask why this is. If the answer is plans for further renovation or a lack of funds then ask if you could either start a fundraiser or maybe find a handy parishioner willing to make detached wooden kneelers that fit under the folding chairs and then get a group of handy people to cover them in padding and some type of durable material. If small wooden kneelers were constructed it wouldn’t be very expensive in materials at all. And the foam, batting, and cloth to cover them could be applied with spray adhesive (foam layer) and a staple gun (batting and cloth layers) and also would be inexpensive. Plus, covering the kneelers is something pretty much anyone can do! It’s dead easy. Cut foam to fit, cut batting to fit, cut cloth to fit, assemble. Once the kneelers were made it wouldn’t take very long at all to cover them.

Once the parish makes any renovations and/or adds chairs with kneelers the ones made for the time being could be passed out by ushers to those that want them when there is a special event and the church is standing room only.

Our parish only has one daily mass. And our building is old and cold, as they say. It’s certainly not cheap to keep it warm and lighted. The way our building is set up there is a screen behind the alter. Behind the screen is the tabernacle. On the other side of the tabernacle is a small area set up for daily mass complete with chairs that have kneelers. During the winter months daily mass is held in the parish center across the street because it is too costly to heat the church (it takes a couple hours to warm up) for such a small crowd.

I suggest that you ask the priest why they do not have pews and/or kneelers.

I sometimes go to a chapel where the kneelers are unpadded so this is what I bring -gardening kneeling pads. I got them from dollar tree.

Hope this helps!

If that is the case then why not do away with standing and kneeling altogether? If all that matters is that we “believe in our hearts” then why not make it the norm for everyone to sit throughout every Mass in every church?

The Mass is full of symbolism and this symbolism has important meaning. The position of the congregation is part of this symbolism. It does matter. As well as praying with our mouths, we also pray with our bodies. Bodily posture is part of our prayer.


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