Struggling with distractions


#1

I'm kind of struggling with distractions right now every Sunday at Mass..Our RCIA group goes to the same Mass each week and for the next several weeks we are attending a Mass that uses electric guitars, electronic drums, bass guitar and vocalists..

Not only is the drummer constantly banging on his drums in a "can you believe i'm doing so many awesome drum fills right now!" manner, he is always playing BEHIND the beat..

but that's not so much what's causing me such trouble. What i find so terribly distracting is the fact that the "band" shows up 15 minutes before Mass begins and spends the next 15 minutes warming up..drummer practicing his "fantastic" drum fills..bassist constantly "thumping" on his guitar, and the various guitarists each seemingly trying to outdo the other with incredible finger exercises.. while the vocalists are each singing/humming different songs at the same time..

such is the cacophony that I am unable to pray, meditate on the readings, or simply enjoy the presence of Christ in the tabernacle.

I do not feel comfortable saying anything to anyone for fear of offending someone seeing as how I'm not even confirmed yet..I don't want to make a big deal out of nothing, but this really is so distracting at this particular Mass time. I have started sitting in my car until Mass is just about to begin so I can pray, before going inside to participate in the Mass..

Any other thoughts / suggestions on how I can deal with this situation?


#2

My advice is to attend Mass at a different parish, while continuing to attend RCIA at the parish you are currently at. If anyone asks you where you are attending Mass after noticing your absence, just say so.


#3

You can submit an anonymous complaint to the parish council. Look on the website, most have a contact link and that is where the e-mail is sent. I agree that it seems especially distracting. It is one thing to warm up and practice as a choir but it sounds like it has gone well beyond that. The only other thing I can suggest is show up earlier to spend more quiet time in the church. Most parishes I have been to don't feature a full band, is this a teen Mass you are attending?


#4

What happens if you do not attend the same Mass as the rest of your RCIA group? Can you simply say to the leader of the group that you find it difficult to attend that Mass without going into details, and would it be all right for you to attend the x o'clock Mass?


#5

[quote="hotdiggity, post:1, topic:305526"]
I'm kind of struggling with distractions right now every Sunday at Mass..Our RCIA group goes to the same Mass each week and for the next several weeks we are attending a Mass that uses electric guitars, electronic drums, bass guitar and vocalists..

Not only is the drummer constantly banging on his drums in a "can you believe i'm doing so many awesome drum fills right now!" manner, he is always playing BEHIND the beat..

but that's not so much what's causing me such trouble. What i find so terribly distracting is the fact that the "band" shows up 15 minutes before Mass begins and spends the next 15 minutes warming up..drummer practicing his "fantastic" drum fills..bassist constantly "thumping" on his guitar, and the various guitarists each seemingly trying to outdo the other with incredible finger exercises.. while the vocalists are each singing/humming different songs at the same time..

such is the cacophony that I am unable to pray, meditate on the readings, or simply enjoy the presence of Christ in the tabernacle.

I do not feel comfortable saying anything to anyone for fear of offending someone seeing as how I'm not even confirmed yet..I don't want to make a big deal out of nothing, but this really is so distracting at this particular Mass time. I have started sitting in my car until Mass is just about to begin so I can pray, before going inside to participate in the Mass..

Any other thoughts / suggestions on how I can deal with this situation?

[/quote]

There is nothing wrong whatsoever with this. Many parishes do this in some form. If the priest does not care, I would not get worried about it. Most priests don’t get too concerned over this. Many parishes do this. Just today at mass we had a wonderful ceremony where we celebrated the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha. Saint Kateri, is known as the Lily of the Mohawks. She is the first Native American saint that has been canonized ever. At mass this evening there were Native American costumes being worn, Native American blankets worn, and Native American music complete with drums and flutes and even rattles and dance. We also placed various Native American Art placed around alter with her picture at the center. The priest told the compelling story of St. Kateri’s life during the homily. What a beautiful way to celebrate mass and welcome our new Native American Catholic Saint and have a bit of culture all in the mass. .


#6

I also refuse to attend any mass with electric guitars and a drummer, unless it is the very last mass on Sunday and I have been unable to get to any other mass. My reasons are the same as yours. The "music" is distracting (putting it verrrryyyy kindly) and it gives me a migrane headache.

I'm presuming that the RCIA dismissal is at this particular mass, with the class starting after the dismissal, and that you're not just attending to be sociable. If that's the case, attend an earlier mass and arrive back at church in time for the class.


#7

Yes, speak to the RCIA instructor and let them know this "type" of music for mass is distracting to you and ask if you can attend a mass at a different time, as long as you show up for your RCIA class.

Not everyone is moved by guitars and drums at mass. I'm certainly not.

Like another poster stated, I will only attend the "rock and roll" mass if I have missed all the other masses that day! It is my last choice!


#8

[quote="Nan_S, post:6, topic:305526"]
I also refuse to attend any mass with electric guitars and a drummer, unless it is the very last mass on Sunday and I have been unable to get to any other mass. My reasons are the same as yours. The "music" is distracting (putting it verrrryyyy kindly) and it gives me a migrane headache.

I'm presuming that the RCIA dismissal is at this particular mass, with the class starting after the dismissal, and that you're not just attending to be sociable. If that's the case, attend an earlier mass and arrive back at church in time for the class.

[/quote]

^^^ This would be my suggestion. On that one or two Sunday a year I am asked to help with dismissal, I attend my regular Mas, go get a cup of tea, and show up right after the homily (or right before the Gospel if I really enjoyed the homily during my regular Mass time).


#9

[quote="hotdiggity, post:1, topic:305526"]
I'm kind of struggling with distractions right now every Sunday at Mass..Our RCIA group goes to the same Mass each week and for the next several weeks we are attending a Mass that uses electric guitars, electronic drums, bass guitar and vocalists..

Not only is the drummer constantly banging on his drums in a "can you believe i'm doing so many awesome drum fills right now!" manner, he is always playing BEHIND the beat..

but that's not so much what's causing me such trouble. What i find so terribly distracting is the fact that the "band" shows up 15 minutes before Mass begins and spends the next 15 minutes warming up..drummer practicing his "fantastic" drum fills..bassist constantly "thumping" on his guitar, and the various guitarists each seemingly trying to outdo the other with incredible finger exercises.. while the vocalists are each singing/humming different songs at the same time..

such is the cacophony that I am unable to pray, meditate on the readings, or simply enjoy the presence of Christ in the tabernacle.

I do not feel comfortable saying anything to anyone for fear of offending someone seeing as how I'm not even confirmed yet..I don't want to make a big deal out of nothing, but this really is so distracting at this particular Mass time. I have started sitting in my car until Mass is just about to begin so I can pray, before going inside to participate in the Mass..

Any other thoughts / suggestions on how I can deal with this situation?

[/quote]

May God bless you abundantly on your journey. Your heart is in the right place with the emphasis where it should be. It is of primary importance that we all prepare ourselves for the mystery about to take place at Mass. Just attend the class and go to a liturgy that will feed your soul with solemn reverence.


#10

[quote="anonymous_in_fl, post:7, topic:305526"]

Not everyone is moved by guitars and drums at mass. I'm certainly not.

[/quote]

I am. I am moved to tears over the irreverence shown towards the Mass with such banal music.


#11

Thanks for the replies, they were most helpful..Our class does meet after this Mass so we attend the Mass together, leaving as a group just after the homily..We will begin attending different Mass times after the first of the year, to experience all the services and to allow the Church to see who we are..

I have no problems with electric guitars, drums, etc, but find them totally distracting before this Mass because the individuals take the last 15 mintues before Mass to warm up. They are positioned just beside the altar down front..Very hard to ignore..

Thanks again for your help, I will put some of your suggestions into effect :)


#12

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:10, topic:305526"]
I am. I am moved to tears over the irreverence shown towards the Mass with such banal music.

[/quote]

Me too. I was kind of shocked at our communion preparation song from mass this Sunday, which was a piece written by Handel (in the 1800s).

Truly, it was terrible as a liturgical piece. By FAR too opera-esque. The only thing I could think of if I put my mind on the music was of Carlotta singing "Poor fool he makes me laugh, ha ha ha ha ha" in Phantom of the Opera (same kind of rhythm).

Fortunately, I didn't have to put my mind on the music, because there was a lovely cross I could put my eyes on :). It's just unfortunate that some people equate modern with irreverant, because there has been irreverant and reverant music composed throughout the ages.

OP, mental discipline and devotion to Christ can conquer any drum set or music ministry... trust me, I've been through some bad ones (like a tone-deaf woman with a thick Korean accent singing to a guitar). Find your inner place with Christ and go there, my friend, because you will encounter distractions in the mass from time to time (it's as certain as death and taxes).


#13

I find it hard with distractions also but mainly with people having conversations nearby in a volume of voice that is not for the main worship space. Either whisper or talk very low, or even better save the long conversations for after Mass is finished. Some people do like to come to Mass early to meditate and pray, and do not wish to tune out people's secular conversations. The music ahead of time does not bother me all that much but at times I wish there was less "rock n roll" style of playing of guitars and drums but I can understand if its a Mass geared to young people.

Makes me glad I am able to go to the Extraordinary Form more often as the only talking I hear is the same person leading us in the Rosary and sometimes a few other devotions before Mass. The rest there who do not participate in the rosary remain relatively quiet.


#14

[quote="MissRose73, post:13, topic:305526"]

Makes me glad I am able to go to the Extraordinary Form more often as the only talking I hear is the same person leading us in the Rosary and sometimes a few other devotions before Mass. The rest there who do not participate in the rosary remain relatively quiet.

[/quote]

The EF has its own distractions. Cell phones, temper tantrums and parents who seem oblivious to them, old people who think they're whispering, but are actually talking at normal conversation level, the big main doors slamming shut every time someone comes in the church, kneelers being dropped or kicked down, keys rattling, missal pages being flipped, people breathing, etc.


#15

[quote="hotdiggity, post:1, topic:305526"]
I'm kind of struggling with distractions right now every Sunday at Mass..Our RCIA group goes to the same Mass each week and for the next several weeks we are attending a Mass that uses electric guitars, electronic drums, bass guitar and vocalists..

Not only is the drummer constantly banging on his drums in a "can you believe i'm doing so many awesome drum fills right now!" manner, he is always playing BEHIND the beat..

but that's not so much what's causing me such trouble. What i find so terribly distracting is the fact that the "band" shows up 15 minutes before Mass begins and spends the next 15 minutes warming up..drummer practicing his "fantastic" drum fills..bassist constantly "thumping" on his guitar, and the various guitarists each seemingly trying to outdo the other with incredible finger exercises.. while the vocalists are each singing/humming different songs at the same time..

such is the cacophony that I am unable to pray, meditate on the readings, or simply enjoy the presence of Christ in the tabernacle.

I do not feel comfortable saying anything to anyone for fear of offending someone seeing as how I'm not even confirmed yet..I don't want to make a big deal out of nothing, but this really is so distracting at this particular Mass time. I have started sitting in my car until Mass is just about to begin so I can pray, before going inside to participate in the Mass..

Any other thoughts / suggestions on how I can deal with this situation?

[/quote]

This sounds very similar to a parish in my area. During RCIA you are encouraged to attend all the different masses and one is a teen mass, complete with all the drums and etc.
As others have said not everyone can tolerate that at mass. As a matter of fact, my teenage son was asked to help with a teen mass and did not like it. He said he felt he was at a concert instead of mass. Stating it is being played way too loud and difficult to understand
I agree with the others to attend a different time or place and know that is not like that at all masses. There are many parishes that offer mass in a very reverent way without the loud music and IMHO many more parishes are.

Also, welcome. We are glad you are here.


#16

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:14, topic:305526"]
The EF has its own distractions. Cell phones, temper tantrums and parents who seem oblivious to them, old people who think they're whispering, but are actually talking at normal conversation level, the big main doors slamming shut every time someone comes in the church, kneelers being dropped or kicked down, keys rattling, missal pages being flipped, people breathing, etc.

[/quote]

Lol so true.


#17

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:16, topic:305526"]
Lol so true.

[/quote]

Don't you just hate it when people breathe during Mass, especially low Mass?


#18

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:14, topic:305526"]
The EF has its own distractions. Cell phones, temper tantrums and parents who seem oblivious to them, old people who think they're whispering, but are actually talking at normal conversation level, the big main doors slamming shut every time someone comes in the church, kneelers being dropped or kicked down, keys rattling, missal pages being flipped, people breathing, etc.

[/quote]

At the EF Masses I've been to, those noise types mentioned, do not really bother me that much. Most people there come prepared for Mass by have their phones silenced and keeping talking minimal & quiet levels. But that is my personal experience.


#19

I think if a person that does not like a certain type of music or worship, it is human nature to find more "fault" in those situations since there a pre-diposition to do so.

In my parish, there is a mass with contemporary music, a mass with a full choir, a family/children's Mass, and a mass with a cantor but no instruments.

If there are options for individuals, people have a responsibility and need to seek out the type of worship that brings them closer to the grace of God.

What drives me crazy is not the different styles but the people who go to the family mass weekly and complain about the number of young children who are there.... hello????

Or the people who weekly go to the contemporary mass and complain about contemporary music.... again, hello?????


#20

[quote="coachdennis, post:19, topic:305526"]
I think if a person that does not like a certain type of music or worship, it is human nature to find more "fault" in those situations since there a pre-diposition to do so.

In my parish, there is a mass with contemporary music, a mass with a full choir, a family/children's Mass, and a mass with a cantor but no instruments.

If there are options for individuals, people have a responsibility and need to seek out the type of worship that brings them closer to the grace of God.

What drives me crazy is not the different styles but the people who go to the family mass weekly and complain about the number of young children who are there.... hello????

Or the people who weekly go to the contemporary mass and complain about contemporary music.... again, hello?????

[/quote]

And then there are all those other people *breathing *during Mass!!

:p


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