Rude Adults (Seniors Who Should Know Better) During Mass

My wife and I attended Mass today and sat in the next to last row. I had to leave a little early to attend to the Eucharistic Adoratiion Ministry table at the breakfast. We normally do not sit in the back.

Two senior adult men were sitting behind us and carried on their conversation throughout Mass.I gave them a stern glance once jsut before Mass started.

I am hard of hearing due to military and work exposure. If someone is buzzing in the background I have problems understanding anything around me, Tinnitis is also a hindrance.

I was doing my best to concentrate on the Mass and ignore the rudeness. I have had a habit of attempting to correct bad behavior during Mass and this sometimes annoys my wife.

As our parish priest elevated Our Lord just before receiving the Body of Christ his asthma interrupted him. One of them made the comment that “He forgot the words!”. My wife and I turned around and glared. They finally understood the message.

They left immediately after communion.

What is wrong with people these days? Why can’t the elders set a good example? Why are people so rude, inconsiderate, and irreverant??

Eddie Mac

I don’t know :shrug:

but it is irritating isn’t it…?

Could it also be that one of them was deaf and therefore the level of his voice was higher than you would normally expect ?

I agree it’s irritating - but it’s better to be tolerant

Because they are people?:wink:

Must be a national phenomena. The church I got to is really bad this way. Its a lot of older people too especially before mass. One time before collections the guy who was passing the basket was chatting at the rear of the church with a guy he knew. They were so loud that people were turning around. The other night they had confession and it was like a big social event in the church. Women chatting out loud in the church while waiting in line. Its frustrating to see the older people doing this too.

Eddie Mac :

“If you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift”. (Matthew 5:23-24)

I am not sure why, but I have noticed this is a common problem among older men.

We’re a fallen people and without expectations and guidance we tend to act in unacceptable manners. I think the biggest change is not that we are ruder/cruder in an innate sense but many of us lack the strong guidance and higher expectations that used to be more common coming from our parents and our pastors.

There are still parishes where people wouldn’t think of talking. That’s typically a product of the pastor having the resolve to teach on the matter and/or he might have some respected and visible parish “elders” who set good examples and/or it’s a product of out and out peer pressure – the kind one typically finds at a performing arts venue today.

GIRM 45 “Even before the celebration itself, it is commendable that silence be observed in the church, in the sacristy, in the vesting room, and in adjacent areas, so that all may dispose themselves to carry out the sacred action in a devout and fitting manner.”

It happens at my church as well. One of the " regular talkers" is an usher. He is older and I really have to concentrate hard not to judge him. It is very irritating.

I guess I would have handled it like I did some teenagers. They were talking from the beginning of Mass, as the priest began his homily; I turned and said “If you would like to talk please do so out there” pointing to area behind the glass windows to the narthex. They all three turned beet red, and shut up. These “adults” were acting in the same manner so I would have done the same thing.

I will say this too, we attended an EF Mass a couple of weeks ago and then returned to our regular parish for Passion Sunday, the level of respect for fellow parishioners was unbelievable. The people around us at the EF realized and respected that we had come to worship and allowed us too by not disturbing, and in respecting us we gave them equal respect. Many people at the OF do not care why we are there they only seem to care that they have to be there and they will do as they please, there is little respect for the fellow sitting next to you.

How to change this I do not know.

It is really too bad that we get so distracted during mass. I think everyone does. Last weekend was especially difficult for me. A man next to me was texting almost the entire time, except when we was talking to his son about what a great little hockey player he is. And they left right after communion. The liturgy is set up in a way that it is just tooooo easy to leave after communion.

I think a lot of people don’t realize you aren’t supposed to talk before mass… but during mass? That should be a given.

People take their cues from their surroundings. If the church looks more like a living room than a church, and if Father Bob begins Mass with “Howdy, y’all” instead of “In nomine Patri et Fili…,” then people are going to follow the example they are given. It took us 40 years to learn our present habits. It is going to take some time to unlearn them.

That’s a very good point…

I know how you feel. I’ve got a similar situation. I go to Mass in the mornings at my old home Church, and there are two older women that go there too, and they LOVE to gossip right before Mass. They don’t keep it quiet at all. The first time I ever heard it, I was disgruntled and angry with what they said. They were talking about the priests and they said that the youngest one (who is VERY traditional in his practice) gets on his soapbox too often. :mad: I wanted to turn around and say, “What right have you to criticize him when he does not shy away from the truth?” But I didn’t. Then last time, they were laughing and talking right before Mass (and were sitting 2 pews behind me so I heard them loud and clear). I mean, really, are we in elementary school? I know children that behave better than they do! :tsktsk:

I hear you all. It’s a very frustrating problem, although the talking before mass, methinks, isn’t near as bad as the distractions during mass.

Perhaps it’s time to start speaking up. These threads come along every so often, and the common response is that “I wanted to say something, but didn’t”, etc.

Why don’t we all start a movement, here and now? When we see or hear such behavior, let’s do something about it…tell an usher, tell the pastor, ***politely ***let the offenders know that their behavior is disruptive.

If we don’t have a problem pointing out that homosexuality, fornication, etc. is sinful, what’s different about pointing out that disrespect towards our Lord (can be, at least) sinful as well? I’m not suggesting that we point out to the offenders that their behavior is sinful, but rather distracting to us.

Hey, you don’t even have to say anything outloud…if there are seats available, just move. Some will get the idea through their thick heads. :eek:

The key, methinks, is to show charity while giving instruction. :slight_smile:

I’ve thought about it several times. If I go to Mass this morning and they do it, I’m going to probably be polite and say something like, “I’m sorry. I’m trying to pray and talking distracts me.” Which is true. I do pray the whole time before Mass and I try to get centered in Jesus beforehand. :slight_smile:

Are you placing the blame on Vatican II, poor catechesis, or both?:confused:

You stated that you had to do something that may appear to be rude and disrespectful (leave early) for what you felt was a valid reason.

Maybe, on another forum somewhere, someone is posting…

"There is a man who lives next to me, we are in a Sr. Citizens community, he is a fallen away Catholic. He has not been to Mass for 50 years, since his wife passed away and no one from the Parish came to see how he was doing.

This Sunday, he agreed to go with me. He is a bit hard of hearing, and things in the Parish are a bit different since he has been there. We sat in the back, so I could answer questions if need be.

A couple sat in front of us, they would turn around and glare every time my friend had a question or comment. Finally, we just left.

Seems they left early, too.

My friend says it seems that nothing has really changed since the parish deserted him in his time of grief. I don’t know if he will come back again, please, pray for him."

Spot on kage!:slight_smile:

I think we have all done things or said things in certain circumstances or at a place like a show, a speech, a movie, a lecture etc, and yes, even Church! I’m sure none of us meant to be disrespectful or even knew we were being disrespectful or annoying, yet somebody probably thought we were just that. Point is, we are all human and we all capable of being annoying to somebody sometime.

Agreed though, if it’s habitual by the same people every week, something should be said, gently. Chances are they didn’t even know they were annoying and there is a good chance there behavior will change…

Oh, that’s absolutely so ! (And I agree with your ‘spot on, kage’- kage, your little ‘imagine’ brought tears to my eyes).

Every Wednesday we have Exposition throughout the day. One particular day, I was tidying-up the hymn-books in the porch, when someone I knew started talking to me about her arthritis and other worries. The glass doors to the church were closed, but our (well, to be honest, more her) speaking was evidently louder than we both realised, because someone came out of the church proper and told us we could be heard.
We are both daily Mass-goers, we would never ever have wanted to show disrespect to the Blessed Sacrament or to disturb those trying to pray. we were just showing friendly concern for each other, and were really upset at not realising we were being loud. But I betcha there were some in the church who would have grieved or worse at our apparent lack of reverence.

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