Parish meetings in the Sanctuary?


#1

I'm a fairly new Carholic so I don't really know this so I wanted to know. We were told they were having a meeting about serving in the litergy. The meeting was held in the sanctuary and very informal with the priest sitting on the top of a pew . Most people were telling stories of how things went in the past, complaints and suggestions I was rather confused and to be honest uncomfortable. I love coming to there daily to pray before work and go on Thusday's for Adoration. It is such a very Holy place that it seemed odd or wrong to meet there when we could have met in a different spot . It was never used to demonstrate or show anything- just conversation . Was this ok to do??
Thank you for responding,
Mlz


#2

I'm okay with meeting in the nave, because I know that sometimes all the other rooms are in use or it's the best place to meet for a particular purpose. The contemporary choir at our parish, as well as the cantors, meet in the nave of the church (the main part of the church, what most people call the sanctuary) for practice. Training for new readers and EMHCs are held in the nave. The RCIA team leads sponsors and godparents through the steps of the Easter Vigil by showing them where they will stand and such, and this can only be done in the nave.

I think the only thing I might have been a little uncomfortable with was the priest sitting on the back of a pew (it does seem a little 'casual', but I could see our priest doing something similar), but I realize he probably did this so he could see everyone without having to stand the whole time.

Maybe talk to your priest to address your discomfort and suggest a different meeting spot for next time?


#3

I’m okay with meeting in the nave, because I know that sometimes all the other rooms are in use or it’s the best place to meet for a particular purpose. The contemporary choir at our parish, as well as the cantors, meet in the nave of the church (the main part of the church, what most people call the sanctuary) for practice. Training for new readers and EMHCs are held in the nave. The RCIA team leads sponsors and godparents through the steps of the Easter Vigil by showing them where they will stand and such, and this can only be done in the nave.

I think the only thing I might have been a little uncomfortable with was the priest sitting on the back of a pew (it does seem a little ‘casual’, but I could see our priest doing something similar), but I realize he probably did this so he could see everyone without having to stand the whole time.

Maybe talk to your priest to address your discomfort and suggest a different meeting spot for next time?

[/quote]

I completely second everything Catholic_Wife said.

mlz, were you literally in the sanctuary for the meeting, or in the nave?

(Sanctuary is the part of the front of the Church which has the altar and tabernacle and is divided from the rest of the church by steps or something similar. [In a Latin Mass parish it will be separated by a rail.] The nave is the main part of the Church with pews under the “nave” of the roof.)


#4

Our church has no meeting rooms, no offices no nothing but the church. So most meetings are there in the church. It did bother me a bit at first, but I've gotten used to it. We do set up tables and we have chairs for that purpose.


#5

[quote="gh4, post:4, topic:317918"]
Our church has no meeting rooms, no offices no nothing but the church. So most meetings are there in the church. It did bother me a bit at first, but I've gotten used to it. We do set up tables and we have chairs for that purpose.

[/quote]

Ours too. We used to be able to meet in the Rectory but due to ADA laws we can't use it anymore! Our priest even offered to build a wheelchair ramp but because the bathroom door wasn't wide enough for a wheelchair it was nixed.

Anyway I wonder if the situation is due to a lack of other available space? The Priest sitting on a pew might have been a little disconcerting I agree. When we meet in the church we stay up behind the pews if possible....folding chairs and tables instead of using the pews.

Lisa


#6

Call me weird.

I actually don’t have a problem with meetings in the nave, assuming there truly is no other on-site space. I would actually prefer people use pews rather than tables & chairs, for one reason: let’s make the meeting quick, efficient, and leave. The priority for the church space is naturally prayer, and the sooner the group is gone, the sooner the parishioners can use it for its rightful purpose (also assuming they have access to it outside of Mass).

I’ve been at meetings before, on occasion, in a nave, with people sitting in pews. (Where else would they sit? ;))

One thing, though, that every parish should be consistent about: If there is a scheduled meeting, please announce it ahead in the bulletin, so people know they can’t pray there during that time. (Ever tried to pray with a meeting going on next to you? Yeah, that works.)

I would have a very serious problem with a meeting being held specifically in the sanctuary, near the Tabernacle.:eek: Not OK, in my mind.


#7

[quote="Elizabeth502, post:6, topic:317918"]

I actually don't have a problem with meetings in the nave, assuming there truly is no other on-site space. I would actually prefer people use pews rather than tables & chairs, for one reason: let's make the meeting quick, efficient, and leave. The priority for the church space is naturally prayer, and the sooner the group is gone, the sooner the parishioners can use it for its rightful purpose (also assuming they have access to it outside of Mass).

[/quote]

Well, when you are in a meeting that calls for taking notes and writing down information and presenting things that are written etc. you have to have a table. I can't take notes on my lap. I really need a table.
Our parish is tiny, and honestly, I've never encountered anyone in the church praying outside of mass, (or right after mass) in all the years I've attended meetings held there.

Dinners and such are always held outside on picnic tables since there isn't room for more people and tables anywhere else. Kind of awkward I suppose, but again, I'm used to it by now!


#8

That is so sad to me.


#9

There is s large room with tables and chairs that would have worked. I guess had we be directed in the nave(sp?) and used it I would understand why we would be there? But if you all don't see it as a problem I will accept it .

Mlz


#10

I am probably going to agree with you. I would prefer the meeting not take place near the sanctuary or even in the nave but I did attend a meeting/talk that took place in the nave. I guess if you haven’t anywhere else and you sat towards the back or you needed to practice something it would be okay but I think all too often many forget the holiness there and I find that sad.

I find that sad too. I do see people in there praying at times. Our parish has frequent adorations.


#11

Sometimes the church is the only place that is able to accommodate a large number of people. I did a presentation to liturgical ministers in our cathedral last month. It was open to all people in the diocese and no room would have been large enough. Usually these meetings are at night when the church would normally be locked so people would not necessarily be there to pray.


#12

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