This really pushed my charitable thought to the limit!


This may not seem a big deal to some people but it really annoyed me.

I recently attended a vigil mass while away on business, unfortunately I left in a less than charitable mood. Mass was said so quickly that if one didn’t have a missal it was just garbled - acoustics in large churches do not really allow for rapid speech, however, I have experienced this before so no big matter. What really did get to me though was this…

At the offertory collection baskets were being passed around, however, the celebrant launched into the Eucharistic prayer which meant that those of us at the back were still passing the baskets around just before the Sanctus, a second collection was also making its way around for a separate cause. Long story short - a basket was thrust into my hand just at the point of the elevations!

This was at a well known and prominent Catholic Church, I would have expected more knowledge of the importance of the liturgy by the stewards. All in all I left a little annoyed and disappointed. I did try to presume on the good intentions of those collecting, however, this did push the boundaries.

Anyone else experienced this sort of thing and how did you deal with it?


I’ve never experienced anything like that, but then I attend a very reverent parish, and I don’t travel much at all.

I was reminded of the Sabbath scene in Fiddler on the Roof where Tevye was reciting his pre-Sabbath prayers, while Golda was trying to get him to agree to go talk to Lazar Wolf about his proposal to marry Tseitel. When Golda tried to interrupted Tevye’s prayers, he would just look and point up and keep praying.

I think that if someone was trying to push an offering basket into my hands at the time of elevation, I would make a significant gesture toward what was going on at the altar, and then continued my own prayers and ignored subsequent attempts.

But that’s just me. I can be a little stubborn sometimes :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: Found the clip – the relevant action is 2:00 - 2:30 :smiley:


I am not going to try and defend a church when I was not there, but my first question would be was the vigil Mass on a weekday or weekend.

In churches that I have attended that have daily collections the baskets are passed and the Mass continues. This usually happens because they are held before work and on lunch hours and there is limited time for the congregation.


It was a Saturday evening vigil mass. I can understand somewhat if time is an issue, but in those circumstances I think it would be better to invite people to put a donation in a box as they leave.


That is what I should have done, however, I was so lost about what to do I just handed it back.

It was very surprising as the liturgy itself was conducted very much ‘by the book’ and was very traditional - guess it’s a good reminder not to take good liturgy for granted.


Different parishes train ushers in different ways. And, as usual in these situations, if you’re not in charge of things all you can do is let it go if you’re unhappy. The other choice is to allow something that took a few seconds to ruin your day, your week, or your month.

At my parish the ushers are well trained to notice where things are in the liturgy and act accordingly. If latecomers arrive, the ushers will wait to seat them until there’s a break in the liturgy – at the point where people are changing positions from standing to sitting, for example. They won’t have people moving around during a prayer or during a reading. But I’ve been in other parishes where that’s not how things are done. Oh well. Makes me appreciate my own parish all the more.


I thought the monetary gifts were to be taken to the alter before the consecration as they are part of the gifts with the wine and bread? But i havent been to a really large Mass where there may be more time constraints.


I’ve seen this before, but not quite to that extent - usually the first has been brought up already (though if a daily mass has a collection, I don’t think it’s necessarily brought forward) and it’s the second moseying around while mass continues. I imagine they pass the second basket because otherwise people would leave without contributing anything at all.

I prefer ushers to hold the basket into the pew (the ones with the long handles) instead of passing it around. I can’t stand having to pay attention to where the basket is and which way it’s coming from, especially when mass has continued. (also if it’s being passed, it could mean you’re in a realllly long pew, and if you’re in the center and have to get out then you need to climb over like 50 people :eek:) and honestly, I think it’d be pretty rude for you to refuse to accept the basket from your neighbor - you’re now putting them in a awkward position, and holding it up for those behind you even more.

(somewhat unrelated, but I’m curious as to how long mass actually lasted, and what region of the country you were in. took me a long time to get used to a full hour… with all the moving and traveling I’ve done, I have no idea how many parishes I’ve been to, but most go way over an hour, just for a regular mass. drives me batty.)


If I were a parishioner at that parish I would let the pastor know about it, and then he could take care of it.


I can only say it was in England as don’t wish to identify the place. The mass lasted for an hour (although the homily took about 20 mins). Mass in my home parish can last for 1hr and 15/20 mins but it has a good musical tradition and a sung mass will take longer so I don’t mind that at all. And if we have second collections menacing looking ladies of a certain age are put on the door with baskets to get people to give lol.


If this is all it took to “push your charitable thought to the limit,” perhaps you should consider enlarging your charitable thought limits?

On my “Annoyance Scale,” this wouldn’t even register. :slight_smile:

If this were in the United States in the last few weeks, I would suggest that perhaps it was done because of dangerous winter weather. We’ve had several bad storms in the last month, with snow falling so fast that it could literally snow several inches in an hour, and temps below zero, with windchills in the teens and twenties. This makes it really tough (dangerous) for people to drive home, so I know that Masses are being “compacted” to make sure everyone gets home safely.

But I don’t know anything about England, so can’t speculate.

Hope this is helpful to you.


I can’t imagine how that could ever happen. It has never come close to happening in my parish. But I have a great church to attend - it is formal, and the singing is straight from God - it carries me right up into the Heavens every time; I can’t think about anything else. If I were in that situation - they wouldn’t have gotten any $$ - I wouldn’t have realised there was a plate there!:wink:


Maybe it wouldn’t register for you but for me the Elevations are a high point of the mass. I’d prefer to be concentrating on Jesus in the Sacrament and the mystery of the Eucharist rather than trying to find a few coins or notes to put in a collection!


In our parish, the bread and the wine are brought up to the priest just as the collection is finished being taken, so this would not happen.

Ti appears, for whatever reason that the Priest was moving rapidly through the Mass; for what reason we can only speculate. However, taking it up with the priest should be done only in the most circumspect manner, unless one really wants to go into the lion’s den and poke the lion with a sharp stick; if that is the choice, then one should not complain of any reactions of the lion.

And unless this is a constant issue over a significant period of time, no, I would not suggest running to the bishop’s office. That usually results in more frustration to the person so doing.


As it wasn’t my regular parish it wasn’t my place to say anything. And the priest was a lovely chap.

Looking back, I’m just pleased I was able to go to mass in this place as it’s somewhere I have wanted to attend for ages.

Also, counting the positives that at least I was able to go to mass, something not everyone has ease of access to and in some places would mean risking life/prison.


You can’t fix problems when visiting. Sometimes even when you are a parishioner you are required to adapt to the situation. The best and quickest way I have seen this was a parish I visited that started the basket, then started the second collection once the first had passed a couple of pews ahead.


Have your donation ready to go before the Mass ever starts. That would eliminate “trying to find a few coins.”

For me, giving is serving Jesus and His people. It’s not an “interruption”.


np, I was just curious about location, but you weren’t in america so can’t comment :smiley:


Yes, giving is serving too. I have my donation ready as I always look for a Gift Aid envelope if I’m visiting somewhere (it allows a church to claim tax back on donations), however, not expecting a second collection it threw me a bit.

As I stated above, I’ve thought it through and was grateful I was able to just attend a mass, however, there are points of the liturgy which should be left for an uninterrupted focus of the Blessed Sacrament in my opinion.


There is no requirement that the money be taken up in procession. In fact, there is no requirement that there be a procession with the bread and the wine. Many parishes don’t have one; the bread and wine are on the credence table and simply brought to the altar at the appropriate time.

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