View from the back of the church

I normally arrive early and position myself towards the middle of the church and as I slowly begin to feel more at home am edging slowly forward. I’ve recently hurt my back and last night arrived at the Saturday night vigil and decided, rather than cause a spectacle as I gingerly attempted to kneel and stand, to place myself in the rearmost pew.
It was quite an eye opener. There is a very different community of worshippers back there. Most are middle aged women who greet each other warmly and continue to exchange news, not always in hushed tones. The remainder are those who arrive late and congregate at the back rather than cause disruption. The general effect is that these rear pews are packed out.
What did amaze me was the number of people who left early…often those who’d arrived late to start with.
I cant help think that they’re all missing out on the wonder that is the Mass. Still each to their own I suppose. I wont be repeating the experience in the near future.

Pray for the people and keep your gaze on Jesus. He is the reason you are there. Ignore the chit-chat and whatnot, as best as you can, and implore God’s Mercy. He will understand.

Personally; I do not care for so called greeters at the main doors of the Church.
And I’m not being self-righteous or unchristian for making this point.
And yes; it does create an air of vocal socialization in a Catholic Church that is primarily a house of prayer. If people genuinely knew fully in their heart just exactly Who It Is Who resides in the Holy of Holies (The Tabernacle) they would have no such need for chit chat and gossip. This Greeting fanfare is traditionally a protestant practice that has been made it way into today’s ultra modernised Catholic churches. Something I believe a lot of secularized priest’s who condone this practice need to seriously re-evaluate. It’s the responsibility of a priest to create an atmosphere of prayer in the Church by his own example. Not a meeting hall.

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