Push in or get up?


#1

This is an issue my mother has at mass. My mother for various reasons likes to sit on the end of the pew. Actually she has some good reasons for this. First she has a medical condition where she has to use the restrooms frequently and she is also claustrophobic. Even before she had the medical condition she felt that if she gets to church early enough to get the seat at the end of the pew she wants she shouldn’t have to push in. So she gets up and lets the other people in. Most of the time that isn’t a problem although some people have given her funny looks. At one church we went to the priest’s opinion was that you should push in and let the other person have the end.

Myself, I have a reason for being at the end of the pew, I usually sit in the back and on the end because I am a volunteer firefighter and if the pager goes off I want to be able to quickly and without making any commotion leave if I have to.

What does everyone think about this?


#2

I always sit on the end of the row (center aisle side). I’m at the church pretty early every time, so anyone who comes in can just go around me- and come in from the other side of the pew. My church is small enough so that’s not a big deal.


#3

If it’s me, I could go either way. It’s a big church, and the sides (Blessed Mother and St. Joseh) have lower, squared ceilings than the center, which means words projected through the speakers are heard differently. I have figured out where I can best hear, as have most of my fellow parisioners.

My husband MUST sit on the outside of things. I don’t know why, maybe he thinks he’s going to be trapped or something. But when he’s along, we have to slide out and let others pass us.


#4

This is not a factor for me when I’m in the choir loft, as we all stick to our regular seats up there. When we’re not singing, and I’m sitting with the rest of the congregation, I’ll push in. As a matter of fact, I avoid the need to push in by sitting in the middle of the pew in the first place. The only exception would be if I had a medical situation going, as when I hurt my knee, and had to keep my leg extended – then I went for aisle seats.

At daily Mass (when I can get there :wink: ), I’ll take an aisle seat, but there’s no need to get up or psuh in, as there is loads of space between the pews in the chapel where daily Mass is held, and people can get in and out easily without the aisle-sitters having to move.

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#5

I’ve often wondered if it’s rude to get up too. I like sitting on the end because I feel trapped if I’m not. Also, I’m short so I can always hang my head over to see the priest if necessary.


#6

#7

As long as you’re willing to get up. I often see people on the ends and it’s as if they are guarding the rest of the pew. We stand there (all six of us) and they don’t even look up. So we say, “May we sit please?” And normally WE get the look. Mind you, this is before mass starts. So I think that “look” goes both ways. Myself, I would push in automatically so fewer people have to stand in the back.


#8

I neither push in or get up. I run the sound for our Life Teen Mass, and the sound board is at the back of the church on the outside aisle. My spot is blocked off, so if people want to get into the pew past me, they have to enter from the center aisle.


#9

If I really want a pew to myself, I suppose I could sit in the dead zone in one of the side pews that had a pillar blocking the view. Hardly anyone sits there.

Anyway, I always sit near the middle of the pew when I first sit down. So I don’t ever move unless six people want in and they push me to the other end of the pew.


#10

I like the end of the pew, on the inside. I like sitting up front. In a non-packed church most people sit in the back.

Just like in college, most people liked to sit in the back of the classroom. I sat in the front. I didn’t want to miss anything and I think putting yourself in the back is removing yourself from what is important.


#11

I slide in.

At my childhood parish, we always slid in, as the pews were made of wood and sliding was simple. Now, the church has thick cushions on the pew seats and sliding can’t be done. Everyone now stays put and folks crawl over legs and laps to get a seat. I hate it.

And before anyone jumps all over this post, yes, I know that there are those who are infirm and so on who need the end seat. I think however, that these folks are in the minority.

People are just more tuned in to themselves nowadays. I have a word for that…rudeness.


#12

I try to leave the ends open when possible by sitting in the middle right away. It avoids the problem. We have to sit at the end sometimes because my husband is a lector. On those Sundays, we’ll stand and let people by. I think that in the case of medical conditions and real phobias, a person should be able to stand and let someone through without being “looked” at strangely. That’s certainly a legitimate excuse for sitting at the end.


#13

I get up and let them in, but I had knee surgery and if I sit on an end it gives me a place to put my leg. I also can’t kneel, since the kneelers don’t go all the way to the end of the pew, I am not taking up kneeler space in the center.


#14

Usually, if I’m alone (at daily Mass), I will normally sit in the middle so there is plenty of room for latecomers to surround me. If I have a sense that my stomach may act up, I will try to sit on the end and stay there, just in case I need to leave. I think the folks who get there early and sit on the end should have the option of moving over or not…depending on their assessment of whether there is a need or not. At Christmas or Easter, forget it–you know you’re going to get squeezed in like a sardine.


#15

I usually arrive very early. As it happens, in my current parish I like the view of the pulpit and the altar from the middle of the pew more than from the end, so usually move right to the middle. If I want to sit on the end however, and arrive early enough to get an end seat, I see no reason why the latecomers get first choice of seat. If I’m on the end I always step into the aisle to allow them to move past me. I am struck by how often latecomers react with annoyance, as if they fully expect to have the end. In my last parish the ushers would escort people to a seat and ask the people in that pew to move in, with no choice given. I know the Bible says “the last shall be first and the first last” but even so I thought that was uncalled for.


#16

I voted other. If am reading at Mass, I let the others pass me. If I am not, I move in. Personally, it doesn’t really matter to me where I sit.


#17

When I am seated, I do not change seats. Being with a family, there is no easy way to scoot everybody. We ususally take up half a pew, so this is not a problem. When it has been just my wife and I, we usually do not sit on the end.

When I do have an occasion to get around someone sitting on the end, I just push past them the best I can without even asking.

I do not have a distinction in how I sit myself at Mass and how I sit myself at the movies.

Always be coureous, but first come, first serve, all things being equal.


#18

[quote=pnewton]When I am seated, I do not change seats. Being with a family, there is no easy way to scoot everybody. We ususally take up half a pew, so this is not a problem. When it has been just my wife and I, we usually do not sit on the end.

When I do have an occasion to get around someone sitting on the end, I just push past them the best I can without even asking.

I do not have a distinction in how I sit myself at Mass and how I sit myself at the movies.

Always be coureous, but first come, first serve, all things being equal.
[/quote]

I would basically have to agree with the “first come, first serve” rule. We usually have our kids with their very young children with us, so we usually try to get them on the end so they can easily maneuver for fussiness, diaper changes, etc. If my wife or I are serving in some capacity, we will usually sit toward the aisle, otherwise I could care less.


#19

i like to sit on the end because i’m claustrophobic. but last fall i sat on the end for daily mass because mass went until 12:45 and i had class at 1. so i left right after mass instead of staying to pray. so i liked to sit on the end so i wouldn’t have to crawl over kneeling people to get to class on time.
but sometimes i have no choice. once mass starts, sometimes ppl will come in and it’s just easier if i’m up front to scoot in. less commotion that way.


#20

I like to sit on the end because I have anxiety disorder and am prone to have panic attacks when I feel trapped. But at my parish we have ushers that force you to move over for latecomers, and someone usually slides in next to me right around the time they are reading the First Reading. That’s so frustrating–I don’t mind when people have me move over before Mass starts, but once the Mass starts I really don’t like moving over. Once I attended Mass when I was recovering from an illness, and my nose would start bleeding all of a sudden. I tried very hard to keep my end spot in the pew in case I had to make a quick exit, but I had to eventually move to the middle. Needless to say, I spent the entire Mass holding a Kleenex and praying for no nosebleeds.


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