My name is Jackie, and I don't like going to mass


#1

Help. Please help! I have never enjoyed Mass. As a kid, a teen and now an adult with kids of my own. It is the LAST thing I want to do on Sundays and if I can find any excuse not to go, I will. Slight headache, fussy baby, bad night of sleep, a pimple, a stomach ache... It wouldn't be that bad, but taking all the little kids turns into a circus of hair, brushing, tights-finding, teeth brushing, baby nursing, kids whining (they don't want to go either), grumbling and rushing. I do what I can the night before, but it seems like Mass - and I know this sounds awful - ruins the whole day. Cuts into everything and makes me have to do more laundry. On top of that, my toddler is a total scene at Mass, trying to get away, wiggling and crying when we say "no." I know this sounds bad. I know. Making time for Mass should not be viewed as a hassle, and it's the least I owe Jesus. But I am coming to you in all honesty because I hate that I hate going to church. With all the kids it ends up being 2.5 hours cut out of our ONE family rest day and it's hard when we're exhausted and desperate for a lazy, quiet day at home. The last thing I feel like doing on Sunday morning is showering, styling my hair, doing my makeup and getting dressed up so that I can wrangle babies for an hour on a hard bench. Believe me, I get that this is a bad way to view Mass - but can you help? I want to look at Mass as a joyous event, not a burden and a drag. I have to admit that by the time the baskets are passed I am staring at my watch counting down the minutes of torture. I know skipping Mass out of laziness is a sin. I want to change but it's hard when my husband is perfectly fine not going and the kids don't want to go either. If anyone is going to demand that we attend, it will be me and I am really not good at following through on that. Please help! I can't be the only adult who thinks Mass is boring (and yes, I know the parts of theass and I do listen.)

Jackie


#2

Somebody else might be able to help you with finding joy in Mass. I can tell you that I used to find it boring, but I don't any longer. For me it was a process, and I can't tell you anything special, except maybe more time in prayer, to help.

But I can say this: the fact that you go when you really, really don't want to be there, don't think that God doesn't see the love in that. If you can even progress to going with the attitude of giving to God, even though you don't want to be there...as a gift to God, it might help even more.

God has a funny way with things. A story for encouragement: I was at a daily Mass several years ago because the intention was for my Mom. Mass still didn't mean that much to me then (though I was at the point where it was growing on me.) I remember looking at the daily Mass-goers and thinking, is it wrong that I will NEVER be one of them and have no desire to be?

A year later I was going daily, and haven't stopped. It's essential for me.

So for now, develop your relationship with God, pray, and remember that going to Mass when it is difficult for you is another way to show your love for Him.


#3

I'm not a parent, but I try to understand. It can be tough doing the right thing when everyone else, even yourself, is against it. I would say to just buckle down and go. If your church is large enough, they may have accommodated a 'family room' where you can still participate in mass without disturbing others. I also noticed that on your profile you labeled yourself as Catholic/Agnostic. That may have an effect on why you don't like Mass so much. Try to develop a personal relationship with God, as well as encourage others in your family to do so too. What helped me was to sign up for Adoration in our church. Ask around and see when Adoration is offered at your parish. If you're lucky your parish may offer Perpetual Adoration, which is Adoration 24/7/365. I'll be praying for you.


#4

Hindsight is 20/20.Looking at my life from that perspective,I was you thirty years ago.My lazy attitude evolved into rarely going to Mass,even in Christmas and Easter! It was to my detriment that I put God on the back burner. In my early forties I made a grievous decision that I will regret for the rest of my life.The good news is,through that poor decision,the resultant guilt and regret,I found my way back,through the grace of God! I now have a renewed love and deep appreciation for the gift of my Catholic faith and all that it beholds.My advice,work through all the hassle and make God the center of your life.Ypu won't regret it!Merry Christmas!:)


#5

JackieMom: I have to say that I really admire your truthfullness about finding Mass boring. I too felt this way for too many years. I had a hundred questions that never seemed to get answered.

To be honest I was very much one that didn’t understand the whole Mass thing. It took a few gut wrenching things that happened to me to bring me back to Mass and I thank Christ everyday now.

Have you spent anytime researching Catholicism? Have you listened -----REALLY listened to what the Priest says at Mass? A lot of my questions got answered at Mass by just listening instead of allowing my mind to wander. This is really a fascinating religion and I am now so sorry for wasting so much time by resisting. Researching the Mass is a good starting point. I promise once you get into it, you’re whole attitude will change. You might even find out how really amazing Mass really is.

But oh how I do remember standing in your shoes and just wanting to stay home. I wasted so many years wanting to not go—and didn’t.


#6

Jackie,
Have you thought of going to the Vigil Mass on Saturday afternoon/evening? That way you are already showered etc. and you might just need a comb and a quick wardrobe change (right, what's a quick change with a bunch of little ones?!?!LOL!)
We used to go to 4pm Mass when my kids were littler and they would usually snooze through most of Mass ;) They were also allowed a simple snack and a small sippy cup of juice or water until the age of about 5.

I also found that sitting NEAR the front (but not in the front row :eek: :D) helped and it also let me explain what was happening in the Mass to them. (I always hoped that no one around me was bothered by that, and one day a priest commented positively on it during a homily....he looked directly at me and nodded :o)

IMHO Sitting in a 'family' or 'cry' room, will only exacerbate behavior problems at Mass. If the children are surrounded by well behaved people, hopefully that is the behavior they will learn to imitate, but if they are surrounded by out of control kids....they will most certainly imitate that type of behavior! LOL!!

I was in a very similar situation to yours (although it sounds like you have more kids than I) but I made a decision that I was going to stick with it...and for the most part, I have. I usually tell myself what I tell my kids (and what my mom told me) "Jesus didn't want to spend three hours on a cross dying, but I think the least you can do for Him is ONE hour at Church." I don't say that as some form of Catholic guilt or anything, but it's the truth, and sometimes the truth hurts.

Someone else commented that it seems your change needs to be from within and I think so too.

One thing I try to do is always be in the middle of reading at least one spiritual thing....I have a book on my computer called "First Fruits" and if nothing else, I try to read a quick page or two from that in the morning....

I'm glad you posted and I hope that people will respond and give you some ideas and support.


#7

Research what actually happens in Mass and the significance of the prayers. You can’t appreciate what you don’t understand.


#8

It might help to shift your understanding and perspective.

Ok you find it boring. But think of it as for what is really is, prayer.

Mass is the most effective prayer of the Church. It's not meant to entertain you or do something for you. It's about God and worship. It's about prayer. It's about Calvary.

We in western culture have been too brainwashed into the mind-set of "what's in it for me" "what do I get out of...."

That is the wrong approach to Mass. It really is not about you.


#9

[quote="JackieMom, post:1, topic:309246"]
Help. Please help! I have never enjoyed Mass. As a kid, a teen and now an adult with kids of my own. It is the LAST thing I want to do on Sundays and if I can find any excuse not to go, I will. Slight headache, fussy baby, bad night of sleep, a pimple, a stomach ache... It wouldn't be that bad, but taking all the little kids turns into a circus of hair, brushing, tights-finding, teeth brushing, baby nursing, kids whining (they don't want to go either), grumbling and rushing. I do what I can the night before, but it seems like Mass - and I know this sounds awful - ruins the whole day. Cuts into everything and makes me have to do more laundry. On top of that, my toddler is a total scene at Mass, trying to get away, wiggling and crying when we say "no." I know this sounds bad. I know. Making time for Mass should not be viewed as a hassle, and it's the least I owe Jesus. But I am coming to you in all honesty because I hate that I hate going to church. With all the kids it ends up being 2.5 hours cut out of our ONE family rest day and it's hard when we're exhausted and desperate for a lazy, quiet day at home. The last thing I feel like doing on Sunday morning is showering, styling my hair, doing my makeup and getting dressed up so that I can wrangle babies for an hour on a hard bench. Believe me, I get that this is a bad way to view Mass - but can you help? I want to look at Mass as a joyous event, not a burden and a drag. I have to admit that by the time the baskets are passed I am staring at my watch counting down the minutes of torture. I know skipping Mass out of laziness is a sin. I want to change but it's hard when my husband is perfectly fine not going and the kids don't want to go either. If anyone is going to demand that we attend, it will be me and I am really not good at following through on that. Please help! I can't be the only adult who thinks Mass is boring (and yes, I know the parts of theass and I do listen.)

Jackie

[/quote]

I would suggesting purchasing a Sunday missal - I like the Saint Joseph one!

perhaps try different times

some churches have childcare... worth looking around for Churches that do

my prayers go out to you!


#10

Jackie,

I'm assuming you belong to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, since the majority of Catholics are Roman Catholic. Try out a Eastern Catholic Church, such as the Byzantine Catholic Churches, who have beautiful liturgies.

God Bless,
BVMFatima


#11

Hi

I have a host of kiddos myself, all under ten, so I kind of feel your pain. As far as making it easier on yourself and them, I agree, try different mass times to find out what works. What was originally a good time for dh and I did not work at all once kids came into the picture. We tried out different masses until we found a time of day that didn't lend itself to hyperactivity or meltdowns. Sure, sometimes we still have to take the younger ones out, but we stay in as long as we can, as that is the only way they will ever learn to behave. Of course it is hard right now, but it won't always be this way. And you owe it to your kids and yourself to make regular mass attendance a priority.

I agree with the poster above who said that it really isn't about us, and when we consider Christ's suffering....the small sacrifice of getting to mass when we don't feel like it seems pretty inconsequential. The grace is there whether you feel it or not....don't rob yourself of that.

One other piece of advice I will offer is this: do something after mass, whether it is going to lunch or a trip to the playground or whatever...make it a part of the ritual. It extends the family time and gives both activities a feeling of, "this is what our family does". I have found that having the regular time and the ritual takes out the possibility of it being an optional activity, so there is far less grumbling. It is now something they expect, if not look forward to.

Hope that helps...


#12

[quote="JackieMom, post:1, topic:309246"]
Help. Please help! I have never enjoyed Mass. As a kid, a teen and now an adult with kids of my own. It is the LAST thing I want to do on Sundays and if I can find any excuse not to go, I will. Slight headache, fussy baby, bad night of sleep, a pimple, a stomach ache... It wouldn't be that bad, but taking all the little kids turns into a circus of hair, brushing, tights-finding, teeth brushing, baby nursing, kids whining (they don't want to go either), grumbling and rushing. I do what I can the night before, but it seems like Mass - and I know this sounds awful - ruins the whole day. Cuts into everything and makes me have to do more laundry. On top of that, my toddler is a total scene at Mass, trying to get away, wiggling and crying when we say "no." I know this sounds bad. I know. Making time for Mass should not be viewed as a hassle, and it's the least I owe Jesus. But I am coming to you in all honesty because I hate that I hate going to church. With all the kids it ends up being 2.5 hours cut out of our ONE family rest day and it's hard when we're exhausted and desperate for a lazy, quiet day at home. The last thing I feel like doing on Sunday morning is showering, styling my hair, doing my makeup and getting dressed up so that I can wrangle babies for an hour on a hard bench. Believe me, I get that this is a bad way to view Mass - but can you help? I want to look at Mass as a joyous event, not a burden and a drag. I have to admit that by the time the baskets are passed I am staring at my watch counting down the minutes of torture. I know skipping Mass out of laziness is a sin. I want to change but it's hard when my husband is perfectly fine not going and the kids don't want to go either. If anyone is going to demand that we attend, it will be me and I am really not good at following through on that. Please help! I can't be the only adult who thinks Mass is boring (and yes, I know the parts of the mass and I do listen.)

Jackie

[/quote]

Well - you have your hands full - no doubt....
Sounds to me - reading through your post that there are several different things going on - and they are interconnected.....

You list yourself as "Catholic /Agnostic.....Could you explain this to us? This could be a big reason why you have never connected at mass.

Children at mass....What are the ages of your children? Any that are say 4 or 5 should be old enough to sit reasonably still. Younger than that - it's better to leave them at home.
So - you go to early mass leaving them with your husband, and when you get home he can go to a later mass...This what my folks did with us when we were little.

Your life will be much more calm - the children big enough to go should not be a big hassle to get ready - especially if you keep it simple. For instance, you can wear a scarf if you don't have time to style your hair - just a quick brush will do.

It is obvious to me that you are getting nothing out of the mass. You do not count it a privilege but purely an obligation that you hate. You can derive little grace from this and this attitude - along with all of the stress in the family - will do nothing to help the children come to know and love the mass.

Also - besides talking this over with your husband, talk t your confessor about these matters. He may have suggestions too.

Peace
James


#13

My suggestion is to fall in love with Jesus Christ. When you do that your eyes will be opened to allthe beauty and joy of the sacraments and the Mass. You"ll want to spend as much time as possible with Him. And to be away from Him and His presence in the Eucharist will cause you pain because you are away from your “Beloved”.


#14

[quote="JackieMom, post:1, topic:309246"]
Help. Please help! I have never enjoyed Mass. As a kid, a teen and now an adult with kids of my own. It is the LAST thing I want to do on Sundays and if I can find any excuse not to go, I will. Slight headache, fussy baby, bad night of sleep, a pimple, a stomach ache... It wouldn't be that bad, but taking all the little kids turns into a circus of hair, brushing, tights-finding, teeth brushing, baby nursing, kids whining (they don't want to go either), grumbling and rushing. I do what I can the night before, but it seems like Mass - and I know this sounds awful - ruins the whole day. Cuts into everything and makes me have to do more laundry. On top of that, my toddler is a total scene at Mass, trying to get away, wiggling and crying when we say "no." I know this sounds bad. I know. Making time for Mass should not be viewed as a hassle, and it's the least I owe Jesus. But I am coming to you in all honesty because I hate that I hate going to church. With all the kids it ends up being 2.5 hours cut out of our ONE family rest day and it's hard when we're exhausted and desperate for a lazy, quiet day at home. The last thing I feel like doing on Sunday morning is showering, styling my hair, doing my makeup and getting dressed up so that I can wrangle babies for an hour on a hard bench. Believe me, I get that this is a bad way to view Mass - but can you help? I want to look at Mass as a joyous event, not a burden and a drag. I have to admit that by the time the baskets are passed I am staring at my watch counting down the minutes of torture. I know skipping Mass out of laziness is a sin. I want to change but it's hard when my husband is perfectly fine not going and the kids don't want to go either. If anyone is going to demand that we attend, it will be me and I am really not good at following through on that. Please help! I can't be the only adult who thinks Mass is boring (and yes, I know the parts of theass and I do listen.)

Jackie

[/quote]

Jackie, you say that you don't want to go, you've always hated Mass, you've never wanted to go, you are bored, etc. Don't you think that your kids pick up on that? Could that be causing some of the unruliness?

I also see that you have identified yourself as Catholic/Agnostic. What does that mean?

As juliamajor has suggested, your best route is to fall in love with Jesus Christ. I don't think you are fully there--not if you identify as "Catholic/Agnostic." When you understand that each Mass is like the Incarnation--God come to earth once again to give himself to us--you will have a better chance of understanding the immense privilege that we have to participate in this amazing thing, and then, even more amazing, we get to receive Him, body, blood, soul, and divinity.

Something--someOne--is pulling you to Mass despite your emotional struggle. He loves you and wants you there. Give in!


#15

Find a teenager who goes to a later Mass, and have her watch the kids for you - and go to Mass by yourself in your clean, modest, comfortable jeans and sweater. Brush your hair and teeth, yes - but don’t fuss with makeup or the curling iron.

Because you’re right - it’s supposed to be a day of rest. :slight_smile:

The kids don’t have an obligation to go to Mass until they are old enough to describe the difference between natural bread and the Eucharist in a sensible way.

Your husband is responsible for his own soul - if he wants to come, the babysitter is there - and if not, then she can have the morning off to sleep in, too. :slight_smile:


#16

Jackie, I do sympathize. I have never found Mass boring, but I do well remember the years when there was someone laid out in the pew behind me and I could never sit down without checking for little bodies first! :D

God does know what you are suffering, and when you make sure everyone goes, even when you don't want to go, you are pleasing God very much!

There are two things going on - your own boredom and your kids squirminess. Let's talk about the kids first.

Do try different Mass times. We went on Saturday evenings for awhile and it can be a great time. Everyone is already up and dressed and Mass attire can be a bit more casual. You can have a little snack at least an hour before Mass to keep the kids from getting cranky and come home for a crockpot dinner. Then sleep in on Sunday and have a nice quiet family day for the Sabbath!

Sunday evening Mass can also be a great way to end a family Sabbath.

Try different times and see what works for your family. I had a friend who swore by the early morning time. They got up and had the kids out the door before they were really awake enough to complain. :p Then home after for a nice big breakfast!

Remember too that even though you should be neat and clean for Mass, you don't have to be dressed up to the nines. An easy t-shirt style dress for the girls, and elastic waist chino pants and a polo type shirt for the boys. They can even wear the same thing every week!

Sitting towrad the front where they can see and for the older ones a kids missal to follow along in can help alot.

For your boredom, learn a bit more about the Mass. I recommend a missal for you too (Magnificat monthly subscription or something similar) so that you can read the readings ahead of time and even spend some time reading through the Eucharistic prayers and other parts of the Mass. Scott Hahn's book *The Lamb's Supper *is very good. Take some time to read it maybe a chapter every week or so to help you learn more about what happens at Mass.

I'll be praying for you. Perservere! It is definately worth it!


#17

I have to echo what some of the others have said -- what exactly is a Catholic / Agnostic? I'm not sure how you can be both... :shrug:

OK, now moving on. ;) Is it possible that you are just too distracted to really sit and appreciate the Mass? Could you perhaps leave the children at home with dad a time or two so you can have that time alone? I have brought my nephews and nieces with me a few times and they're pretty squirmy and high maintenance but I found that if we sit up in front, they behave MUCH better!

Have you considered going to Adoration sometime? Spending that time with our Lord is an amazing experience! It certainly helped me when I had hit a low point and had a tough time getting myself to go to Mass.

Last but not least, please speak with your parish priest. Let him know what's on your heart and why you are having troubles with this. Praying for you!


#18

Jackie,

You've received a lot of good, solid advice already so I'll just address the boredom issue.
Ask yourself these questions over the next few days and weeks:
Do I fully understand that I am in the presence of the Lord of the universe?
Do I accept the fact that I witness a genuine miracle at each Mass? Not just intellectually but with my whole being?
Is there any place on earth that is more important to be other than at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

Those are just some thoughts that I find to be most important. One big thing that you are doing is that you are making a huge sacrifice already by getting there and getting the kids ready and trying to keep them under control.

God sees that!!!!!!!!!

God be with you, and I wish you a blessed Christmas.

  • Reg.

#19

For those that find Mass "uninteresting" I recommend you do an internet search on: The Holy Mass explained to Catalina by Jesus and Mary.
It was recommended to me by a CAF member and I found it a fascinating read.
:)


#20

[quote="JackieMom, post:1, topic:309246"]
Help. Please help! I have never enjoyed Mass. As a kid, a teen and now an adult with kids of my own. It is the LAST thing I want to do on Sundays and if I can find any excuse not to go, I will. Slight headache, fussy baby, bad night of sleep, a pimple, a stomach ache... It wouldn't be that bad, but taking all the little kids turns into a circus of hair, brushing, tights-finding, teeth brushing, baby nursing, kids whining (they don't want to go either), grumbling and rushing. I do what I can the night before, but it seems like Mass - and I know this sounds awful - ruins the whole day. Cuts into everything and makes me have to do more laundry. On top of that, my toddler is a total scene at Mass, trying to get away, wiggling and crying when we say "no." I know this sounds bad. I know. Making time for Mass should not be viewed as a hassle, and it's the least I owe Jesus. But I am coming to you in all honesty because I hate that I hate going to church. With all the kids it ends up being 2.5 hours cut out of our ONE family rest day and it's hard when we're exhausted and desperate for a lazy, quiet day at home. The last thing I feel like doing on Sunday morning is showering, styling my hair, doing my makeup and getting dressed up so that I can wrangle babies for an hour on a hard bench. Believe me, I get that this is a bad way to view Mass - but can you help? I want to look at Mass as a joyous event, not a burden and a drag. I have to admit that by the time the baskets are passed I am staring at my watch counting down the minutes of torture. I know skipping Mass out of laziness is a sin. I want to change but it's hard when my husband is perfectly fine not going and the kids don't want to go either. If anyone is going to demand that we attend, it will be me and I am really not good at following through on that. Please help! I can't be the only adult who thinks Mass is boring (and yes, I know the parts of the Mass and I do listen.)

Jackie

[/quote]

I am so sorry to hear that you do not enjoy the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Sometimes a reminder that Jesus did not enjoy suffering death on the cross either, for YOUR sins, serves as a wee little pin prick to our very human conceit. :(

I don't understand your attitude, I do understand that getting small children ready for Mass can be a hassle, but I think your attitude is making the whole thing much worse. Of course the children will fuss when you do not want to go in the first place! You know, last week I watched in admiration as a family with 5 children, the youngest one a babe in arms, sat in front of me. None of the children were older than 6, they were stair-steps. And every one of them behaved very well, even when Mom had to leave and go stand a little ways away with the baby. It was obvious that they were expected to behave, without causing a fuss, making too much noise, or eating and drinking, for that hour. Their parents simply taught them that Mass is a time to behave. The oldest boy participated in the Mass, and his younger siblings tried to imitate him. It was quite touching to see. I have seen older children behave much worse than these little ones.

No one will be able to change your heart but you. If you do not want to be in Mass, how will they learn to love it? No, they will stop going as soon as they can, and never go back. If going to Mass is only a chore and a bore, why are you going?

Work on your agnostic problems, and all will solve itself.


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